AHH clutter! I have to admit I have given in to clutter. If you take a look at my home everything is clean and neat, you will almost always smell the scent of a soothing candle burning. BUT once you begin to dig a little deeper and open my closets, drawers, containers under my bed, office/storage room you will notice that it is all pretty cluttered with items I have accumulated throughout the years. In this day and age we can all admit to being guilty of purchasing items we want (but do not need); we will use (but never really do). And the cycle goes on – we purchase, and purchase and purchase but we do not get rid of items we no longer use. The problem is that for the majority of us, our dwellings are not getting any bigger, in fact they start feeling smaller as the years go on.

Chaos and clutter go hand in hand and when there is chaos there is little or no control. Meaning that if clutter in your home is not addressed it can, overtime, take over your life.  Having a clutter around you can cloud your thinking, it can stress you out and it can leave you feeling anxious and not in control of your own home.

One of my problem areas is my closet and drawers – as I have mentioned before I am not much of a morning person because of that I need to prepare EVERYTHING I need to get ready for work in the morning the night before. I pack my lunch and leave it ready in the lunch bag in the refrigerator, I prep my Nespresso machine, leave my travel mug ready next to the machine, I leave my purse, keys, outerwear shoes by the front door and last but not least I leave my outfit (down to the underwear) ready. All of this in the name of sleeping in an extra 20 minutes in the morning! I say all of that to say that picking out my outfit has definitely become a stress point in the last couple of years and I do not look forward to this activity on a nightly basis. The reason for this is because it has become a nightmare to go through my closet and drawers – I have pajamas, workout clothes, casual clothes, work clothes (along with winter and summer) versions of these scrambled all over the place with no rhyme or reason. Once upon a time I had a pajama drawer, a workout clothes drawer, an underwear drawer and my closet was organized by work clothing and non-work clothing. Overtime something went awry and it has become unbearable! So, at least for me, I know exactly where my de-cluttering will begin.

Here are a few tips on how to begin decluttering your home. If you can, I would suggest you set aside an entire weekend to tackle as much of your home as possible. My home will not take more than 1 ½ - 2 days since it is a small 2 bedroom apartment but bigger homes will require more than one weekend. Also, know that you NEED to get in the mood to get rid of things and this is probably the hardest and most crucial step in de-cluttering. Another small pointer is to apply the following rule: if you have not used it in the past 6 months then it needs to go either in the donation pile or in the trash – anywhere but your home!

1 | start where you feel it the most

For me it is hands down my closet. Maybe for you it could be your mud room, basement, garage, office or bedroom. If there is one particular area of your home that quickly come to mind when you think of clutter then that is where you should begin. When you start de-cluttering an area of your home you have to finish it! It will be very tempting to give up but please trust me when I say that the end result will be so worth it. This will also give you the motivation to move on to another area of your home.

2 | visualize what you want the room to look like

Take a couple of minutes and just stand in the room you will begin de-cluttering and visualize what you want the room to look like after it has been de-cluttered and organized. Think about how you want to feel the next time you walk in the room. This should instantly give you a boost of motivation and determination to complete what you just set out to do.

3 | get ready to be brutally honest with yourself

The reason we accumulate things is because we tend keep items that have sentimental value. I recently found not only my high school cap and gown but I also found the cap and gown I used for my Bachelor’s degree graduation and the one I used for my Master’s degree. But for what?! There is no reason for me to hold on to these – I will admit that it will be hard for me to part ways with them but I know that I will not make any use of them at all. This is the hardest part of decluttering – old memories sweet and bitter will return – which may make it difficult to continue but you need to get through it!

4 | get your supplies ready

Make sure you have boxes, containers and trash bags ready to divide the items that you will keep, donate and get rid of. Also, I recommend having cleaning supplies handy to clean off drawer and shelves as you go through the room.

These tips should help get you started in your decluttering endeavors. Remember that 50% of the work happens in your head and once you understand the real reasons having a clean and organized home matter and the negative impacts having a cluttered and messy home can have on your overall life getting started will be a no brainer !Happy cleaning!

Have you attempted to declutter rooms in your home? Do you have any tips to make this an easier endeavor?