When facing a cluttered room, it can feel overwhelming and anxious-making for many people. Where do I start? How do I figure out what to do with these seemingly random things? Isn’t there some new show on Netflix I could be binge-watching?

To combat your worries and turn clearing clutter from a chore into a JOYFUL activity, here are my Top 10 Tips for Clearing Clutter!

  1. Select a (small) space to focus on first.
    It doesn’t really matter where, but pick a space to begin with. I encourage my clients to start small – a specific counter in the kitchen, a drawer in a bathroom, or the coffee table. For this example, imagine a kitchen counter covered in magazines, piles of mail, a fruit bowl with questionable contents, and no clear surfaces.
  2. Create your intention for the space.
    Ask yourself, “What is this space for? How do I want this space to look?” For our kitchen counter, perhaps we want room to chop vegetables and prepare dinners.
  3. Set yourself up for success.
    Clearing a space can be an enjoyable activity, but less so if you have to start and stop in the middle. Gather the following things:
    – boxes and trash bags to put donations and garbage/recycling into as you sort
    – a water bottle and a snack
    – a basket or bin for items which are not garbage or donations, but no longer belong in the space
    – a table or temporary surface to put things on while sorting. I like to do this on a portable folding table, but any flat surface will do.
  4. Make it fun.
    Put on some upbeat music, turn on all the lights and get excited! I like to open all the blinds and put on fun dance music while I clear a space.
  5. Remember your goal.
    Before you even touch anything in the space , take a moment to remember your goal. Think about the ideal for the space and its purpose: a prep counter in a restaurant would need to have only those things related to the task (cutting board and knife block) and nothing else.
  6. Pull everything out of the space.
    IMPORTANT! Do not do any sorting in the space – we want to clear and bring in new energy, which means removing the things which do not serve a purpose in the space. Pull everything out and take it to the table or other surface from Step 3.
  7. Sort and purge.
    Go through each item and sort into one of the following categories:
    – Trash/Recycling – broken items, old magazines you’ll never read, junk mail, rotten fruit from the fruit bowl. This is the easy part. Do it first.
    – Donations box – things you no longer want that aren’t garbage
    – Things which do not belong in the space – anything which does not match the purpose of the space
    – Things which belong in the space – for our example, the best cutting board and knife block
  8. Re-introduce things to the space with intention.
    Take a moment to admire the cleared space, and re-introduce only the things which have been selected. Place those things carefully and
  9. Clean up.
    – take out the trash/recycling
    – box up and donations and put them in your car. Drop these off the very next time you are running errands.
    – Anything not belonging to the space needs a new home. Decide where those things go and put them there.
  10. Enjoy your new Intentional Space!
    Each time you use the space, you can feel the calm and peace of having an intentional space. Be proud of yourself for creating a new space full of purpose and beauty!