Decluttering Versus Sorting and Tidying Up!

Are you decluttering or tidying up? Tidying up and/or sorting generally means you’re keeping everything but just finding different places for the items. Sometimes people also pack things away in boxes, to be relegated to the garage or an attic, and think that they’ve decluttered. The problem with that is that you often forget what you’ve packed away, and probably didn’t need the items anyway, so those boxes become redundant. They are also taking up space which you could better utilise.

Decluttering is about letting go of things, in other words moving items out of the home. This may take the form of donating to charities, or filling up a few rubbish bags. I don’t donate anything that I believe cannot be on-sold i.e. if an item of clothing is marked or ripped. Once something has past its use-by date then I suggest dumping it.

Okay, so back to ‘decluttering’… I love helping people to create space in their home, to not have things cluttering up the floor or coffee/dining tables, and to be able to relax and enjoy their home rather than looking around and seeing endless clutter. That is not relaxing.

If you’ve been receiving my newsletters for a while, and I’ve been writing them since September 2009, then you will know one of my favourite expressions:

“the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time”

This means, tackle your areas to be decluttered in a piecemeal fashion, gradually working through something eventually gets it done. Here’s what I suggest:

– Pick one small area in a room and it may be a messy closet in the guest room, or even a drawer in your kitchen.

– Give yourself an hour and sort that one area. Usually an hour will be enough time to sort one small area.

– Reward yourself when you’ve finished! It may be a coffee with a friend, or a walk – in other words, something that is a ‘pat on the back’ for a job well done.

Working through your home in this way, bit by bit, will eventually see the job done, and you’ll build the momentum so each area becomes easier and you’ll get through it quicker.

Bear in mind however that as you go through the process you don’t continue to bring stuff into the house, which will just undo all your good work. As I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, I try to keep things moving in and out of my home, and if I do go shopping then it’s generally to replace something which I’ll be throwing out.

One more suggestion I want to make here: how about throwing away/giving away at least one item per day, and do this every day. That would have 365 items ‘moved on’ from your home over a year. I keep a bag under my bed with clothes that I’m going to donate, and I add to it until it’s full enough to drop off. Likewise you could keep a rubbish bag in the garage for items you’re going to dump and throw it out when it’s full. What works with this idea is that you create the habit of deciding on at least one item per day that you can let go of. And that you discipline yourself to not go delving into the donation or rubbish bags and re-think whether you want to give/throw it away or not. It’s the indecision that will have you keep the item rather than letting it go.

I hope these suggestions are helpful, and I’d love to receive your feedback if you do give them a shot.

In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying our glorious autumn weather, and as always, I wish you a joyous month ahead.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

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