So, when it comes to getting into the nitty gritty of your own purge, it’s important to do small things to keep yourself motivated and on track. It’s going to be hard!
You ARE going to want to quit!
The best advice I can offer is to categorize your belongings. This of course comes after clearing at least a bit of space so that you can set up an area to start collecting like items together. If you have a lot of crafting supplies for example, start collecting them all together in one area so that when the time comes, it’s easy to see it all. Sometimes seeing little piles all over makes it easier to decide to keep most of it. BUT when you see it as one huge pile it makes way more sense to get rid of most of it!
The other thing I suggest, is to focus on the purge until the whole house has been rapidly gone through at least once.
Open each drawer to find stuff to sort, open each closet, open each bin! Anywhere that stuff is hiding pull it out and examine it and see if any of the stuff can be sorted into the categories. You may need to take time off work, or try not to have the kids around for the whole time, but the faster you can go through all of your stuff the easier it is to make some quick decisions about what to keep. Unless an item holds true sentimental value (use this as a category for sorting) then you should be able to make a decision in less than three seconds about whether or not to keep it, keep it for now (adding it to a category), sell it, donate it, or trash it.
I would guess, unless you live in a massive house AND have tons of stuff, that you could realistically get through the whole house in a week. It will take a lot of commitment, and maybe some help from others, use friends or family as runners to help bring stuff to their designated piles. You may end the week with category piles all over, but then you can take a couple of days to declutter each pile more slowly. Some categories will be easier to declutter than others but at least, once it’s sorted and piled you can just systematically go through each pile.
Once you have successfully made your piles smaller, you can start to organize the stuff you’re keeping into the confines of the house. Make sure you start with the stuff you actually want to keep (even ignoring the stuff you want to ‘keep for now’).
Make it functional!
It’s critical, as you start to put stuff back in their new home, that you keep things functional. Think of how the house was before. Did you need to walk around something? And now you don’t have to? Don’t put something back there, in the way. Did you have to move something to get access to something else? Organize your stuff to be ‘one touch and grab’, as opposed to ‘move three things and balance them on your hands and head to get the thing you’re actually reaching for’. Enjoy the ease and function while you set your house back up, but always remember the struggle you USED to face. Hopefully it helps to keep the house from returning to the over cluttered mess it was.
As an ongoing rule, as soon as something becomes hard to use, ask yourself why is it? Maybe you need to find a new home for the item that is easier to use. If the item must stay there, see if there are other things in the way that can be moved.
Lastly, pat yourself on the back and crack open some champagne!
It’s really hard to go through ALL of your stuff! It’s really hard emotionally to let go of all of the stuff you have been acquiring and loving. It’s hard to come to terms with it. But also, take some time to stop and enjoy the relief of not seeing all of that clutter and feeling all of the weight of the mess.
Purging and decluttering is ongoing! Especially if you’re used to having clutter around. A thing on the table here and there is easy to ignore, because the table may still be way emptier than it was. You’ll need to practice putting stuff away in its new home, because those one or two items can easily turn into a cluttered table. And frankly, why put the time in, if you’re going to just leave things around again – no one wants to waste their time, right?
The hard part seems like it’s the purging process, until you start living in your new space! Then you realize, the hard part is actually training your brain to see your stuff in terms of, does it benefit you? Does it make you happy? And does it make you feel like you are proud to live in your house?
Now sit back, put up your feet, and admire the view…from everywhere!!!