It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed every time you step into that one room that’s filled with clutter. You know you should clean it out. But just the thought of the task sounds like an hours-long project.
Luckily, this idea that decluttering has to take forever is just not the case — and we’ll prove it to you. So get your timer out and, once you’ve read the steps below, set it to 30 minutes.
Before you start, make sure you have the necessary supplies to make this process as quick and easy as possible. You’ll need boxes, sticky notes and markers to label them, trash bags, and the aforementioned timer.
Place the boxes in one spot together. Label them with Keep, Donate, Toss, and Wrong Place. Keep the trash bags in the same area. This should only take a couple of minutes.
This is an optional step that’s useful if you really want to leave your room sparkling clean. By removing everything inside, you can clean out your space and make it fresh. It’s going to add to your half-hour, though.
Go through all pieces in your room and quickly remove the more obvious items that clearly stand out. We’re not referring to the tidbits you’ve packed in drawers.
Toss these items into the four boxes: Keep, Donate, Toss, and Wrong Place. Bag what is obvious trash. Don’t spend long here. Consider if you’ll really use an item in the future or if you’re holding onto unnecessary valuables.
Your keep box will hold items that you don’t want in the room but definitely have to hold onto. Consider calling a storage company that can keep these safe for you while allowing you to have a cleaner home.
If something is broken or you have too much of it, consider tossing or donating respectively. This should take no more than 10 minutes if you stick to the task.
This is the time to double-check your items. As a general rule, items in good condition should be donated or sold. Those worn out or in poor condition should be thrown out.
Do this right away if possible. Similarly, items that were in the wrong place should immediately be returned to their correct place, but even if they’re not, your space is already cleaner.
If you opted to remove all items from the room, it’s now time to bring them back. Don’t set yourself up for more clutter in a couple of months. Make sure every item is well-placed in its designated spot.
Find a reputable storage company to hold onto your important documents and other items that you don’t immediately need but are must-haves.
Those items which you want to donate can go in your car for the next time you’re able to pass by a donation spot. Those items you want to sell should be listed right away and sold quickly.
If you’re not getting sales for an item, consider just donating it as well. Either way, keep the items out-of-the-way so members of your family won’t take them out again.
This method doesn’t just have to be for one-time use. Feel free to designate half an hour every day if you want to declutter your entire home within a short period.
You may want to schedule a particular room for each day of the week. For much larger rooms and a more thorough clean, you can allot half an hour to certain sections.
Sometimes your decluttering process will go over the allotted time. Other times it will go under. If you effectively use your timer, you won’t have a problem stopping mid-cleaning to continue the next day.
Decluttering is a give and take — literally. The most important thing is that you’re giving yourself more room to breathe and be productive. So go get started with that messy room!