How to start decluttering when you’re just starting out

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Are you new to the world of decluttering? Well done– you’ve just made the first step to a more organised lifestyle! 

Decluttering is the process of removing unnecessary items from your home. We do it to create a neater home, better organisational systems, and a calmer lifestyle. Clutter builds up over time and not only takes up unnecessary space, but it also creates unnecessary stress.

Decluttering sounds like a great process, right? But maybe you just don’t know how to start declutter. There are so many reasons that stop people from taking steps to practice decluttering behaviour.

Why people avoid decluttering

There’s always an excuse not to declutter. There are some common reasons someone might put it off:

  • Too busy
  • Unsure of where to start
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Emotional attachment to items
  • Procrastination
  • Indecision– the decision is difficult to make so they avoid it for as long as possible 
  • Perfectionism–  you don’t want to make the wrong decision so you don’t do anything

Sound all too familiar? That’s OK. The good news is you can get past a lot of these avoidance thoughts and behaviours. Decluttering doesn’t have to be a huge task if you break it down, follow a plan, and share the load. Think of decluttering as learning and practising a pattern of behaviour, not a once-off daunting task. I promise it won’t be so overwhelming if you start to use these decluttering tips.! 

How to start decluttering

Set an intention 

By creating a plan and goal for what you want to achieve, will guide you through the process. When you feel lost or overwhelmed, return to your intention and refocus. This is always the first step I use with clients as it is the foundation for the following decluttering steps.

Be aware of underlying issues

Are you a chronic procrastinator? Do you have large time commitments with other things? Whatever it is that you feel like holds you back, embrace it. Being aware of potential obstacles makes them easier to face. This helps you plan, rather than stop when you encounter a problem. If you procrastinate, you could remind yourself of your intention and schedule a deadline to declutter. If you know you have a busy work schedule, set small time periods for decluttering. There are always ways around different issues.

Be accountable

Accountability is the best way to stay on track and motivated. It’s easy to just skip something if you aren’t accountable. Try asking a family member, friend, or even share your goal on social media and tag @simplyhappycircle! I love to hear about decluttering projects and see what people are working on. Don’t forget to take a before and after photo so we can see the process!

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pantry-declutter | how-to-declutter | declutter-tips

Schedule a time to get started

I suggest at least 2-3 hours for a project like a pantry or a cupboard. If this sounds too much, start with a small area like a drawer where decisions are limited and simple. Tackle the bigger areas once you’ve got some momentum and feel ready to make harder decisions. You can also break up the tasks and time if that better suits your schedule– just don’t forget to keep to it! 

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  1. Celebrate the wins (no matter how small!)

Taking a look back at what you’ve done is the key to momentum and will motivate you to take on bigger tasks. Remember, you are decluttering to improve your life, and that’s great in itself! Take pride in your work, you deserve it. 

Prioritise rest and recharging

Decluttering can be mentally (and physically) draining. Listen to your body and rest when you need to rest. A vacuum cleaner can’t clean without power– you’ve got to make sure you’re fully charged too! Take time to recharge yourself in a way that actually helps you feel rested, so you can tackle your decluttering with energy. Even if you have to extend your decluttering deadline, or reduce your goal, your personal health and wellbeing should always be the priority.

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Try my online Yin & Nidra Yoga Bundle or consider joining me on a Mum’s Revive Retreat to help you prioritise rest.

I hope these tips on how to start decluttering will help you get started today. Let me know in the comments which tip has motivated you to start.

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