There is no doubt that time is valuable for almost all of us, no matter what stage of life we are at. As teenagers and young adults, spending time with friends takes priority. As adults the hours vanish at work when we are earning money. As parents our kids are the priority and keeping our homes in order somehow has to happen at the same time as looking after them.
Here are some ideas and strategies to help you find time to declutter, to make it quicker and much easier than you expect.
You only need a few minutes
Decluttering does not need to mean that everything has to be pulled out and gone through at once. If you have 60 seconds spare you have time to look at a shelf or into a drawer and pick out one thing that is useless to you now. If you have got a decluttering box ready it is a matter of seconds to get the useless thing into the box. Think small, if you get rid of one bit of clutter a day that will mount up to hundreds over the year. Decluttering in small doses has other benefits too, slowing down means you are less likely to make mistakes you regret. You have time to think about everything without feeling rushed or harrassed.
Find the spaces between being busy
No matter how busy you are there are always gaps in the day. What do you do when the kettle boils? When the bath runs? While you are waiting for a bus? When your baby (or cat) falls asleep on you and you cannot move for fear of waking them?
If you are stuck in one place, waiting for something, this is the ideal time to go through your phone and get rid of photos and messages that are taking up memory. If your hands are free you might be able to have a quick declutter of pockets or your bag.
What is a normal day like for you? From waking up to going back to bed where are the gaps of a few minutes. I’m not suggesting you cut into any relaxation time to declutter, there are probably numerous other opportunities to find just one minute. Have a day of just noticing when you get a chance to stand still. I tend to declutter something from the kitchen while I am waiting for the kettle or having to watch something on the stove. It is minimal hassle to open a drawer and pick something out.
Make it easier for yourself
Set up a box to declutter into and plan where it will go when it is full. Being prepared and ready to declutter at any time makes a huge difference. Go through a simple checklist as you walk through your home to help you decide what to get rid of.
Do I like it?
- Is it just plain ugly?
- Does it have a funny smell you can’t get rid of?
- Do I like the colour?
- Does the texture feel nice?
Do I use it?
- Is it 2 sizes away from fitting me?
- Have I used it in the past 3 years?
- Have I opened it recently?
What is it’s hassle factor?
- Will I ever finish it?
- Does it need repairs I am never going to get round to?
- Will I use it if it is mended?
- Do I have the materials to fix it?
- Is it a nasty tangle of stuff that I am never going to disentangle?
Why am I keeping it?
- Am I just keeping it because someone gave it to me?
- Am I keeping in the hope it will have value one day?
- Is it a part of something else I lost a long time ago?
- Would something else I have do the same job as it?
- Have I got more than one of them?
- Do I need that many?
- Is it cheap and easy to replace?
How does it make me feel?
- Does it have bad memories?
- Does it make me feel guilty?
If you love it; keep it, if you don’t then ditch it!
Don’t let lack of time beat you
Remember that any movement towards a goal will get you there eventually. There is no need to do everything at once. Think small and it will click into place.
The Elephants in the Room covers
- Why decluttering gently works better than overhauling and purging
- How to make decluttering easy for yourself
- How to make decluttering a habit instead of a chore
- How to find the best time to declutter
- How to find places and ways to get rid of things ranging from easy to hard
- How to avoid recluttering with more stuff
and it guides you through 5 days of easy decluttering too.