In addition to spring home-maintenance tasks, perhaps some spring home-decluttering is needed as well. Spring is an ideal time for such a fresh start, and with the crisp, warmer weather, hopefully you’ll be invigorated and ready to embark on such a task! After completing round 1 of the decluttering process, you will have decided on an over-arching purpose, a personal focus, and a specific plan. In a way, maybe that seems like a pre-round, but whatever you call it, you’re ready to begin!
Have Receptacles Ready
Depending on your focus, you may want to have boxes or bins designated for the following outlets:
• Relocating (to another area of your home)
• Selling (at a garage sale or online)
• Giving (to specific friends or family members)
• Freecycling (via www.freecycle.com) or donating
• Throwing Away (right away!)
For the items you plan to relocate to another part of your home or give away, you may also want to have separate bags (one for each intended area or person) or some masking tape and a marker handy to label those items appropriately.
Re-evaluate Your Plan
Now, make sure those categories you chose for receptacles make sense with your focus: If you aren’t really trying to make money, and you know it will slow you down to sell or “freecycle” items, don’t feel guilty about having just two bins: one for trash and the other for donations. It’s also important to be honest with yourself and your tendencies; after all, most clutter is due to procrastination, putting off a decision about what to do with an item. If you know you tend to procrastinate, don’t allow yourself to do that, now: end each scheduled de-cluttering session by removing the items from your home. Whether that step involves driving to your nearest donation drop-off site or simply putting bags in your vehicle for friends you’ll see within the week, make sure your plan includes finishing the job.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Especially if you tend to procrastinate and consider de-cluttering up there on your top 10 least-favorite-things-to-do list, you’ll set yourself up for success by including a little motivation. Whether you know you work better with your favorite tunes playing in the background or with a friend at your side, even those who routinely declutter know that providing yourself with the motivation you need is a huge part of the equation. Maybe you need to plan a little reward for later on — dinner out, or a favorite movie, perhaps? Whatever you do, make sure you do what it takes to motivate yourself to focus on the task at hand.
The thing about success, and with just about anything, is that you get to define it for yourself. If you beat yourself up over not getting through as much space or as many rooms as you had hoped, you’ll feel defeated. Instead, determine ahead of time to consider progress, not perfection, as success.
What’s Round 3? It’s an important follow-up to any progress in the decluttering process. (Coming soon!)
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