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One Area At a Time – Prioritize Decluttering

If you have not decluttered recently nor maintained since your last purge (or if you're just starting to declutter), it can be quite a task to get things under control. Thankfully, there are many ways to go about this while keeping your sanity. By organizing and decluttering one section of your home at a time, you can tidy up in a manageable way. Here is how to do it.

Prioritize Areas

First, sit down with a notebook (or this handy printout) and divide your home into rooms. Include non-rooms such as hallways and the entryway. Decide which room will be your first priority, then your second, then your third, etc.

If your children always have friends over, your living room might be first priority. If you feel like you can handle anything that comes your way as long as you have a clutter-free place to relax every night, then your bedroom might take first place instead.

I always start my rotation in the kitchen because I love to cook and I like it to be orderly. I also tend to collect kitchen gadgets because I ‘might' use them, then find I don't. They're typically the first to go.

Choose Area Size According to Available Time

Decide how much time each day you can devote to the task of decluttering. If you have entire days to spare, you might be able to take on a room per day. If you are like most people and have several responsibilities to juggle, then it might be more reasonable to tackle small areas within a room.

For instance, you have two hours you can devote to decluttering tomorrow and the living room is your target area to start. Perhaps focus on straightening up and weeding through the entertainment center. If your bathroom is your next target, that medicine cabinet or towel cupboard might be your focus.

Break Down Each Area into Sections

After you have decided how much space you are likely to be able to clean each day, break each room down into areas such as closet, desk, floor, etc. Make the sections small enough that you can complete your task in one day. Whether it gets accomplished in twenty minutes or four hours, you will feel satisfied that you have finished the task you assigned to yourself.

Cleaning the floor in your room may only take 20 minutes, but you'll feel just as accomplished when it's done as you do after the day it takes you on the closet. Why? Because you'll see your progress and breaking areas into sections allows you to do just that without getting discouraged at the ‘big picture'.

Enlist Some Help from Family and Friends

Ask an especially organized family member to help you, or arrange for a decluttering swap with a good friend. Involve them in the planning process, and of course when it comes to the actual physical labor as well. Make it fun, and order pizza for everyone afterward. Most friends are happy to help out when asked, and you can always return the favor in the future.

My daughter is my especially organized family member. That child can organize any room in a matter of hours and it makes sense when she's done. She's the child of mine who rearranges her room (home now) just about every week.

Be Realistic and Flexible

We can set goals, but sometimes life gets in the way. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach your goal one day, or if you have to reschedule due to life events. Even if it takes longer than planned, your decluttering will eventually come to an end if you stay consistent and stick to it. If you miss one day, simply get back to it the next.

Set a reminder in your smartphone, or find another way to get into the decluttering groove without forgetting about it. Be flexible about your schedule if for some reason you should need one room to be decluttered sooner than originally planned, even if it means putting off another room. As long as you are doing something almost every day, you are headed in the right direction.

Decluttering takes organization

Decluttering takes organization. Prioritizing your task means that you will be able to get everything done in a timely fashion. Use these ideas and get on your way to an organized decluttering spree today.

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