It’s the year again, the time to organize for the new year; a moment to take a step back and evaluate your environment to better enrich the space around you. If you’re having trouble feeling the cleaning vibes, shared below are a few ideas to help you get organized and set yourself up for success.
Here Are 5 Cleaning and Decluttering Tips for Getting Organized
Start with the little spaces
If organizing or decluttering gives you a headache or you’re feeling a bit of resistance to making any changes, then start with the little spaces in your world.
For instance, clean out your wallet of old receipts and make a pile of any unused gift cards that you’ve been saving onto, with the intention of using them in the next 30 days.
- If you need any of those receipts for returns, attach them directly to the items you need to send back and place them by your front door.
- If you need any of those receipts for business purposes, make an organized stack and paper clip them together before placing them in a folder or a drawer that you use for your bookkeeping and accounting.
This little act of cleaning is a great way to get started and show yourself that it’s easy to get started and to finish. From there, move out into other areas of your space to keep the cleaning ball rolling.
Do it in categories
Choosing to organize by categories is an effective approach to cleaning because it helps your mind stay focused on one task and gives you the reward of finishing each one.
Instead of jumping into your entire house and going room by room, pick one category of your belongings and stick with it until you’re done.
It’s often easiest to start with your clothes and from there into your bathrooms, and living spaces. The best way to clean is to see everything that you’re working with all at once and organize from there. No matter what category you choose to do first, stick with it and don’t deviate until you’ve completed it.
How detailed you get with those categories is up to you – if you find that one day you just want to tackle clothes and next focus on books before you go into your kitchen, it’s entirely up to you. You will find that it’s easy to make steady progress with this approach and will reduce feeling overwhelmed..
Carefully look through and pick up everything you own, one at a time, and then set aside what you’re keeping and what you’re not into two piles. From there, you can easily put back what you’d like to keep and place the rest in a box or bag that will go by your front door or right in the car.
Set a realistic goal
It may not be practical to hold yourself to the expectation that everything you own will be organized and decluttered in one weekend. Depending on the belongings in your space, it may be better to give yourself breaks in between categories so that you can emotionally and physically rest in between.
Decluttering can sometimes bring up a lot of emotions, so be nice to yourself and create a schedule and specific intention of the things you wish to complete. Whether you want to spend 30 minutes every night or get it all done in two or three big weekends in one month, setting a realistic deadline will set you up for success.
Be nice to yourself
As mentioned earlier, the process of cleaning can sometimes create an emotional roller coaster since the things we own can trigger certain memories, feelings, or mindsets.
If you find yourself experiencing a rush of emotions when you’re going through it, remember that it’s perfectly normal and a part of the process. When you physically clean out your space, you’re also decluttering your emotional space as well.
Do your best to get enough sleep, drink water, and eat foods that you know will give you energy and good nutrition. If you need a break between categories, take time to breathe but set a date for when you intend to pick cleaning again.
Have a celebration planned at the beginning
The best way to accomplish any task is to have the reward already planned before you start. That way if things get tough or you feel that your commitment is starting to wane, you’ll have a reminder of what you’ll receive at the end of your cleaning spree.
Your celebration can be anything you want it to be! Whether that’s taking yourself out to your favorite restaurant, doing some mani-pedi self-care, or quietly enjoying your space and the new energy you’ve created. The reward will stay in the back of your mind and can serve as a motivator to stay in the right mindset as you dive into cleaning your space.
Wrapping it up…
How you approach cleaning will help you follow through on your plan and get everything done. By starting small, sticking to categories, and setting a realistic pace, you’ll be fully organized and finished before you know it.
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*Adapted from an article published on March 20, 2020.
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