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You know that feeling of walking into a clean hotel room? Crisp white sheets on the bed. Floors and surfaces clear. Ahhh, so calming. Your mind feels uncluttered because the space is uncluttered. No matter the state of your messy home, you can find that same calm by taking some simple steps to declutter.
A good first step is to start with the trash. Before you go all Marie-Kondo on your stuff, start by simply grabbing a trash bag, walking around the space, and discarding the literal trash. Put aside your guilt or shame for creating waste. We’ll talk about zero-waste living another day. Today, it’s about decluttering. If you do nothing else but eliminate all the trash that’s taking up space in your home, you will see and feel an incredible difference. <Buh-bye kids party goodie-bag crap. So long box of receipts from 1995. See ya broken pens and pencils.>
Start small. Take it room by room, drawer by drawer. You can even start where you are. Are you sitting at your dining table that’s half-covered in old mail and junk? Make today the day you tackle just the table. Other good places to start:
Donate. This takes a bit more concentration than the trash collecting but, when you are ready, take some time to reduce the stuff you have by donating extras. Do you really need 37 coffee cups? How about those three bundt pans? When was the last time you even made a bundt cake? Keep one and donate the others. Goodwill’s are not your only options. There are TONS of places that accept donations that will be delighted to get those mugs. Libraries, nonprofits, women’s shelters, blessing boxes, etc.
Create easy systems. If you think those Instagram-worthy minimalist homes don’t have hidden stuff, think again. The key is to create organizing systems that are so easy that you will actually follow them. Use baskets, pretty boxes with lids, and designated spots…places where you can quickly and easily stash things without getting too overwhelmed.
Aim for calm, not perfection. You are still going to have stuff, and that’s ok! The goal is to just have less stuff. It’s about decluttering the mess so that your home is a place of calm.
Finally, take “before” pictures! You don’t need to share them with anyone else. They are just a memento of your achievement. When you feel like the mess is piling up and you barely made a dent, take a look at where you started. <Who doesn’t love a good before + after moment?> Don’t let the ‘insurmountable’ feeling take hold and be proud of whatever you accomplished.
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