It was about this time last year that I stumbled across the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I was completely fascinated by her Japanese methods organizing a house and ended up getting half way through the process.
What is still astounding to me is that those parts of the house that were done a year ago are still gorgeous!
In the fall we had a Ten Week Decluttering Challenge on the blog here and I made it through the rest of the house.
I have been thinking about why I have struggled in the past to declutter and I wanted to hit on
Four Roadblocks to Decluttering
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Decluttering is soooo time consuming! I have found that scheduling time each day to declutter works well, but not more than two hours. This seems to be the sweet spot, enough time to see significant progress, but not enough time to become completely overwhelmed and lay down in the middle of the floor crying.
While I agree in getting it done as quickly as possible so you can get on with your life, that doesn’t mean the whole house is purged in a weekend or really even a month. Ten weeks is about right for our 2,000 sq. ft. house, but some people need six months.
Either way, I suggest setting a firm deadline to be finished by.
2. Asking too many questions about items
How much did I pay for this? Will I need this in the future? Is it wasteful to get rid of something perfectly functional? Will I hurt so and so’s feelings by discarding this? Etc.
When you ask just this one, powerful question, it suddenly becoming simple and doable to work through your things.
Does this spark joy?
If your answer is “No”, or even “I don’t know”, then the item gets discarded. Those four little words have indeed become life changing in our house.
Many times I get pulled away from my focused decluttering by phone calls, my kids, my schedule, anything really. Now I know to turn of my phone, turn off music, block off time, get my kids occupied and whatever else I need to do to get the job done. If I come across something that requires more attention, I will write it in my planner and address the issue another day.
4. A place for everything
Once the initial decluttering process happens, it is time to find a very real and logical place for each item that made the cut. I love baskets, glass jars and wooden crates for everything! Also, there is something to be said for storing things vertically instead of stacking them. This was a new concept that I learned in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Once something is beautiful and easy to put away, it becomes so much more realistic to do the “maintenance decluttering” of daily life.
And, if you are working on multiple New Year’s resolutions like I am, I am offering one of the classes from my course for FREE addressing successful planning.