De-Clutter Fast – a review

February 2, 2010


If you’d like to do more than just declutter, such as make a lifestyle change, understand why you have so much stuff or better understand how emotions are affected by clutter, check out Mimi Tanner’s e-book, DeClutter Fast: How To Get Your Home In Order Almost Immediately. Mimi wrote this e-book based on her own personal lifelong interest in De-cluttering.

Mimi teaches you…
• Her “ONE-DAY DeClutter Fast Method”
• Emergency Decluttering – (read: unexpected guests?)
• How Does Your Home Affect the Ones You Love?
• How to Declutter When You Don’t Know Where To Start
• The Tough-Love Truth About Order vs. Clutter

It’s one of the most sensitively written books I’ve read on a topic that alot of us struggle with. You can really tell that Mimi uses her journey from “pack rat to organized” to help others who struggle with clutter and related issues.

To find out more about De-Clutter Fast, click here

How to Declutter an Entire Room in One Go

February 2, 2010

By Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

My family is moving to another house this coming weekend, and to prepare for the move, we’re going through the entire house and getting rid of stuff we don’t need.

The new house has much less storage, which I’ve decided is a blessing: it means we have to cut things down to the essentials. I’m pretty good at keeping things simple, but things tend to accumulate over time (especially in the kids’ rooms!).

Moving day, btw, is a wonderful time to declutter. I often advocate decluttering in small steps, but sometimes it can be fun to do an entire room at once.

So here’s the method we’re using to declutter each room, one room at a time:

1. Clear a working space, probably in the middle. We’re using our beds in the bedrooms.

2. Start on one side of the room and work to the other.

3. Do one drawer or shelf or spot on the floor at a time.

4. Pull everything out of the drawer or shelf (or section of floor or what have you), and pile it in the working space. Clean out the drawer or shelf.

5. Sort the pile into two piles: 1) what you use regularly and love, and 2) what you’re going to get rid of. Pick up one item at a time and make an instant decision — when was the last time you used this? If you haven’t used it in a few months (6 months at the longest), get rid of it. This excludes seasonal stuff like winter jackets or what have you.

6. When you’ve sorted through the pile, put back the stuff you love and use, neatly. Put the other pile into a box to be donated or recycled or given to friends and family.

7. Move on to the next drawer or shelf or section of floor. Repeat the process until you’ve worked your way across the entire room. Do the same thing with closets: one section at a time.

Working like this, we were able to do each room in a couple hours. If it’s really cluttered, it could take 3-5 hours. Set aside some time on the weekend to do a room.

It feels amazing when you’re done.

Now sit back and enjoy the simplicity.

5 effective de-cluttering tips

February 2, 2010

Getting rid of clutter can be an arduous task but just with a few simple tips and tricks, it can be made incredibly simple. Here are 5 effective decluttering tips to help you straighten out your homes

1. Have an organized person help you go through your stuff Having a trusted friend who is more organized help you de clutter is extremely valuable. They don’t have the same emotional attachment to your stuff that you do.

2. Create a de-clutter planner Plan out when you are going to de-clutter, how often, what rooms and tick it off as you go. You will feel a tremendous sense of achievement as you accomplish the tasks on your list. Put the list in a prominent place where you can’t ignore it.

3. Whenever you’re making a coffee, tidy the a room quickly….if the kitchen is tidy, have a quick whizz round another room. You’ll be amazed by what you can achieve in 3 minutes.

4. Reward yourself when a task is done When having a task to do, have the goal of being able to do something nice at the end of it. Maybe put your feet up with a coffee or watch your favourite show on dvd or go out somewhere nice.

5. Make it enjoyable Put your favourite song on in the background or whatever you like to make it a less arduous task

Zen Mind: How to Declutter

February 2, 2010

One of the things that gives me most peace is have a clean, simple home. When I wake up in the morning and walk out into a living room that has been decluttered, that has a minimalist look, and there isn’t junk lying around, there is a calm and joy that enters my heart.

When, on the other hand, I walk out into a living room cluttered with toys and books and extra things all over the place, it is chaos and my mind is frenetic.

I’ve been a simplifier and a declutterer for years now (probably 8-9 years) and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but I’ve found that you have to keep coming back to revisit your clutter every once in awhile.

Here are my top decluttering tips:

  • Do it in small chunks. Set aside just 15 minutes to declutter just one shelf, and when that shelf or that 15 minutes is up, celebrate your victory. Then tackle another shelf for 15 minutes the next day. Conquering an entire closet or room can be overwhelming, and you might put it off forever. If that’s the case, just do it in baby steps.
  • Set aside a couple hours to do it. This may seem contradictory to the above tip … and it is. It’s simply a different strategy, and I say do whatever works for you. Sometimes, for me, it’s good to set aside part of a morning, or an entire Saturday morning, to declutter a closet or room. I do it all at once, and when I’m done, it feels awesome.
  • Take everything out of a shelf or drawer at once. Whichever of the two above strategies you choose, you should focus on one drawer or shelf at a time, and empty it completely. Then clean that shelf or drawer. Then, take the pile and sort it (see next tip), and put back just what you want to keep. Then tackle the next shelf or drawer.
  • Sort through your pile, one item at a time, and make quick decisions. Have a trash bag and a give-away box handy. When you pull everything out of a shelf or drawer, sort through the pile one at a time. Pick up an item, and make a decision: trash, give away, or keep. Don’t put it back in the pile. Do this with the entire pile, and soon, you’ll be done. If you keep sorting through the pile, and re-sorting, it’ll take forever. Put back only what you want to keep, and arrange it nicely.
  • Be merciless. You may be a pack rat, but the truth is, you won’t ever use most of the junk you’ve accumulated. If you haven’t used it in the last year, get rid of it. It’s as simple as that. If you’ve only used it once or twice in the last year, but know you won’t use it in the next year, get rid of it. Toss it if it’s unsalvageable, and give it away if someone else might be able to use it.
  • Papers? Be merciless, unless it’s important. Magazines, catalogues, junk mail, bills more than a year old, notes to yourself, notes from others, old work stuff … toss it! The only exception is with tax-related stuff, which should be kept for seven years, and other important documents like warranties, birth and death and marriage certificates, insurance, wills, and other important documents like that. But you’ll know those when you see ‘em. Otherwise, toss!!!!
  • If you are on the fence with a lot of things, create a “maybe” box. If you can’t bear to toss something because you might need it later, put it in the box, then close the box, label it, and put it in storage (garage, attic, closet), out of sight. Most likely, you’ll never open that box again. If that’s the case, pull it out after six months or a year, and toss it or give it away.
  • Create a system to stop clutter from accumulating. There’s a reason you have tall stacks of papers all over the place, and big piles of toys and books and clothes. It’s because you don’t have a regular system to keep things in their place, and get rid of stuff you don’t need. This is a topic for another day, but it’s something to think about as you declutter. You’ll never get to perfect, but if you think more intelligently about how your house got cluttered, perhaps you can find ways to stop it from happening again.
  • Celebrate when you’re done! This is actually a general rule in life: always celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Even if you just decluttered one drawer, that’s great. Treat yourself to something delicious. Open that drawer (or closet, or whatever), and admire its simplicity. Breathe deeply and know that you have done a good thing. Bask in your peacefulness.

Reproduced with kind permission by Zen Habits

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February 2, 2010

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