Wondering what to do first? It is important that you determine your motivation for services. Are you ready to get help or are you being pressured by others? While it is wonderful to want to comply to the wishes of a loved one, it is entirely different to feel coerced into change you are not wanting.
Clutter To Comfort encourages you to determine not only your motivation, but also your resistance to change. These things deserve to be respected and dealt with. If you are unsure, guidance can help you decipher your motivation. (The issues surrounding motivation were a key emphasis in the graduate studies of Clutter To Comfort’s owner.)
Go easy on yourself. Be aware that we are genetically programmed to obtain and save “stuff.” Our basic instinct is to accumulate and hoard, as in times past that meant survival. Our ancestors gathered and stored in preparation for feast or famine. Over the ages, this became transformed into the belief that it is always better to have more - it makes us feel richer, safer, more secure. These beliefs are hard-wired in our brain. When we’re stressed, hurt or feel lost, we revert to clinging to this “back-to-nature” method of coping. This can trigger the impulse to participate in excess: hoarding, shopping, and using substances like food, alcohol or other drugs.
The power of this need to accumulate in order to feel safe differs greatly person to person. There are many reasons for this, from genetic predisposition, to influences of how we were raised to traumas in our life. Clutter To Comfort can help you sort through these issues and free you to enjoy a level of accumulation that allows you to feel safe while also allowing your house to feel like a true home.
The following list contains ideas for quick and easy helpful ways to get started in a decluttering process. However, what is quick and easy for some, may not feel at all that way for you. Therefore, this list can also serve as a screening tool for when you may need the services of Clutter To Comfort.
Challenge yourself to try one of the following suggestions each day for a week. Set a goal of thirty minutes each day to focus on the task. If you do not sense accomplishment after a week, or if you are unable to keep the pace until your space is organized, you could benefit from a Clutter To Comfort consult.
Remember the 80/20 rule: we tend to use only 20% of our items 80% of the time. That means 80% of our closet, drawer and cupboard contents are used only 20% of the time. Many of those items are never or rarely used. This can be a great place to begin the decluttering process.
Weed out the clothes that don’t fit; the appliances collecting dust; the maintenance records on the car you no longer own.
- Grab a garbage bag and collect items that can go
directly to the garbage.
- Purge all food with overdue expiration dates.
- Safely dispose of all medicine with overdue expiration dates.
- Remove all dead plants from your space.
- Find things which are broken beyond repair and put them in the garbage.
- Find things which are broken, but can be repaired and you wish to keep. Make a plan to have them repaired and follow through with the plan.
- Find items you don’t like or don’t use, which are still usable, and donate them.
- Find things you have duplicates of and therefore aren’t using, and donate them.
- Find an item you are not using but always thought you would use. Dust it off and decide to use it within the week. If you don’t use it by week’s end, donate it.
- Purge a pile of junk mail. Place a garbage can next to the door and decide to toss junk mail before it enters the house.
- Find something you have been storing for another. Call that person and announce you are going out of the storage business and they will need to pick up their item. Or, deliver it to them if you can.
- Unsubscribe from those time-robbing emails.
- Be environmentally kind and take your name off catalogue and junk mailing lists.
- Return those library books, or DVDs, or that piece of clothing with the tags still on.
- Purge your closets of clothing no longer worn.
1. Implement the one-for-one rule. If you buy a new pair of
shoes, one existing pair needs to go - either to the garbage (if in
poor repair) or charity (if still in good shape).
2. Keep only those items which fit you now, which you feel comfortable in and which you like how they look on you.
3. Try the hanger trick. Put all of your hangers facing one direction. As you wear an item, replace it on the hanger facing the other direction. When the season ends, you will notice which items haven’t been worn and it will help you decide what to “recycle”.
If an item has not been used in a year, going through our four Wisconsin seasons, it will likely not be missed. It is time to let that item go, unless:
1. It is of great emotional value. Then make sure
it is properly displayed to honor the value.
2. It is of great financial value. Then make sure it is properly stored to protect the value.
3. It brings you great pleasure. Then use it and enjoy it.