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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!