Declutter Like a Pro

March 21, 2023 at 1:29 a.m.
Declutter Your Life!
Declutter Your Life! Harriette Blye

Declutter Like a Pro

Living in a cluttered environment does not mean you aren’t clean. It means you hoard stuff, and you can’t let go. Most people I know are sentimental hoarders… including me.

I have items belonging to my mother, husband, aunt, and daughter, all of whom have passed away.

I feel as if I get rid of their loved treasures, I am losing them again. This is nonsense of course.

Actually, I have moved three times in the past twenty years and had to downsize. I have decluttered mostly my stuff.

The first decision to make is what area of your life you intend to declutter.

What Areas to Declutter?

My problem is I am not a minimalist. I like the stuff around me. My mother liked the stuff. She passed this disease on to me. My sisters have it too. To my higher self, I say—enough, right now!

Oh, I know it’s not easy.

Decluttering is infinitely easier when you think of it as deciding what to keep, rather than deciding what to throw away.” ― Francine Jay.

Is your living space, mired in stuff, disarray, and junk? How do you feel when you see it? Does it make you feel uneasy, overwhelmed and confused?

If you are struggling to focus, look around your home or work area. If you have a messy desk, your productivity goes down. It may be time to declutter.

Experts say being in a tidy space has many benefits:

* Improves mood

* Decreases stress

* Improves sleep

* Improves the ability to let go

* Improves mental clarity

We all know it is not as easy as it sounds. It starts with a willingness to get rid of things. For example, when I clean out my refrigerator and toss the bad food, wipe the shelves and sides down, I feel good when I open the door. I may decide to cook.

I enjoy that free feeling with a clean closet and spacious drawers.

One process I use for closets, shelves, and drawers is to remove all the items, and only place back into the space those I will realistically use or wear again.

As I move to the next area, I also recall the feeling I have when I look at my newly cleaned closet or shelf. I feel a sense of accomplishment that keeps me going.

How To Do It? Where To Start?

To declutter try these tips from the pros.

Marie Kondo: What sparks joy.

Fly Lady: Do a little every day.

Colleen Madsen: Remove one item a day or “The Minimalists Packing Party.”

Check out those strategies, decide which process resonates with you, and get on with it.

Expert strategies:

Find a place for like items.

Put items back when finished with their use.

Do not get a second home for stuff (Storage Facility).

Storage bins, use sparingly.

Bring in one thing, take one thing out.

Dump duplicates.

Keep a junk box handy for donations of all sorts.

Be careful with collections.

Books, no! Try the library first.

Celebrate Your Efforts

The work to declutter may be a long-term process, remember to take time to celebrate your efforts in a way that resonates with you.

For me, now is the time to declutter my scarves. I will find a way to honor my accomplishment when the task is done.

Harriette Blye, retired in Washington registered respiratory therapist has a passion for writing and sharing life’s lessons. Read her latest reflections on lifestyle and the pursuit of well-being at Rise to Joy with us. Join us at:

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