To begin the decluttering process, start with 5 boxes, labeled as follows:
- Another Room
- Think About
Begin with one small area and make a huge pile of everything on the floor. Take things out of previous containers so you can see it all. This will help you sort and categorize.
Make sure your 5 containers are clearly marked so you don’t throw away something you wanted to donate, etc.
The “Another Room” box is for items that don’t belong in that space. Instead of putting those items away immediately, put them all in a box and put them away after you’re completely finished. If you put things away as you find them, you’ll get distracted in other rooms and never finish the original space.
The “Think About” box is for items that you need to give some more thought. There might be some items, etc, that you aren’t ready to give or throw away just yet. Put them on probation and wait three months. If you don’t use or think about those items in three months, get rid of them.
The “Return” box is for items that you’ve borrowed or for purchased items with tags still on. Return the borrowed items to the lender and take the unused tagged items back to the store.
I did this in my basement on Saturday and it worked wonderfully! I came out with a bag of trash, several boxes to donate, and a box of things to put elsewhere. I didn’t have any items to put on probation because most of the stuff in our basement has been there for about a year and I haven’t seen much of it in that time – I haven’t missed it so far and I don’t think I ever will.
Set a date to get started!