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An organizing and decluttering project might be overwhelming.
You don’t know where to start. There are thousands of different tips and ways to declutter and organize, and too many choices paralize us to do nothing or mindlessly trying a tip here and a method there.
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6 essential steps to take before starting a decluttering project
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (the writer of the most amazing book The Little Prince) says: ” A goal without a plan is just a wish”.
And he is spot-on.
Before starting decluttering project (or any project what-so-ever) you need to have a plan.
Having a plan helps you be the boss. You are in control. You are the project manager. You lead.
And knowing exactly what to do helps you overcome the moments of overwhelm.
When I did my first organizing / decluttering project years ago, I wish someone (or my-future-me) would have told me these 6 steps:
With these steps I would have been much nicer to my home and to myself. And my decluttering project would have started off on the right foot.
Instead of just immediately diving into decluttering 100 things from all around your home or blindly choosing an area to start with, take these 6 steps before you start your organizing / decluttering project.
These steps also help you evaluate your home in any other time, so you know which room or area needs you attention.
Step-by-step through the 6 steps
So take these 6 steps and do the exercises in the free workbook and your goal to have a balanced home is no more just a wish.
1. Take a look
Walk trough your home one room at a time and just take a look. Give half a minute to each room – don’t go into details at this point.
Listen to your inner voice. What do you find yourself saying?
- How would you describe your home?
- Do you talk nicely about your home?
- Do you pin the blame on yourself or your family members about the clutter / disorganization?
- How does each room make you feel?
2. What works?
Give some positive feedback to your home.
Your home gives you so much: shelter, comfort, place to relax, safety. So now it’s time to give back. What works well in your home?
- What’s great about your home?
- What room or area works very well for your needs?
- Is there some things in your home that are well organized and easy to find?
- Is some room or area looking very nice and welcoming?
3. What doesn’t work?
Give constructive criticism to your home.
Your home is the one place where you can truly be yourself, so don’t be a bully towards it. Don’t talk down on your home and no name calling. Be nice to your home even when you are criticizing it.
What doesn’t work well in your home?
- Is there too much clutter?
- Are things missing?
- Do you need to spend your time finding things?
- Do you need to spend your time organizing things?
- Do you need to spend your time moving things from one place to another?
4. Be a dreamer
Now that you’ve taken an overall look, go to the dreamer mode and create a vision. Ask yourself:
- What would you like your home to look /feel like?
- Would you like to be able to find everything easily?
- Would you like to have more empty space?
- Would you like to spend less time maintaining your things?
5. Be a realist
And now that you know what you would like your home to be like, it is time to put the realist hat on and see, are you willing to do the work to create that dream for yourself. Be realistic when answering these questions:
- How much time / effort / resources are you willing to invest to get to your dream outcome?
- Is your dream realistic with the resources you’re willing to invest?
- Are you asking too much from yourself and your home in too little time?
6. Action plan
Now that you’ve taken an overall look, given positive and constuctive feed back, created the vision and defined your resources, it’s time to take action and start your decluttering project.
Organizing takes a lot of time and letting go of things is sometimes hard. To feel good about yourself and your progress, it’s important to
- Create action plan with “bite-size” tasks
- Prioritize tasks
- Determine milestones
To do the action plan, prioritization and determining milestones you should:
- Analyze your home room by room to know which room to start (read more about this here)
- Choose a room to start with
- Write down all different areas in that room
- Choose an area to start with
- Declutter and organize that area to your liking