Declutter your Life!

I don’t think I’m alone when I think that the clutter around me affects my life. It doesn’t matter if it’s clutter on or around my work area, or in my home in general. I have stumbled across a lot of different sites over the past couple of months that talk about clutter and organization, and I’ve been testing their theories out. For example, according to The Flylady, if you “shine your sink” before you go to bed, you will be in a much better mood. Her mindset is that before you go to bed, put everything in its place, clean up your kitchen and shine the sink. Well I tried it. I put away the dishes, wiped off the counter and even took my hand towel and shined my sink. And would you know it, in the morning when I came out to grab my morning cup of coffee, that little shiny sink was staring back at me, and I have to admit – I felt better.

I haven’t gone as far as The Flylady suggests with the Control book and the daily rituals and the “swish and swipe” of the bathroom, but I have decided to implement the shining of my sink every night. That also sent me on another journey of finding other ways to brighten my day through organization, cleanliness and other decluttering methods.

I found a neat little article on The Closet Entrepreneur that talked about decluttering under your desk. I took a look under my desk and didn’t see any dust bunnies, dirty dishes, or other articles that didn’t belong there. But as I continued to read the article, I found that what he was talking about was the clutter of wires and other odds and ends that end up under and behind your desk as a result of your computer. I took another glance with my newfound information from his site, and I was horrified to find that the clutter under my desk was atrocious. It is now on my to do list of organizational tasks.

Over the past couple of days, in anticipation of writing this article, I’ve created my top 7 helpful tips to declutter your life.

1. Anyone can do anything for 15 minutes a day. (That’s the motto I learned while reading The Flylady’s site.)
2. Create a One Year Box. This can be any amount of time really – 3 months, 6 months, a year, or anything in between. If you’re not sure if you should really get rid of something, put it in that box. Tape it up and date it for one year in the future. If you haven’t opened it up before that date, don’t open it and donate the entire box.
3. If you haven’t worn a particular piece of clothing in the past 12 months – get rid of it!
4. Choose one spot in your home – a room, a counter, a section of the counter, anything – as your “no clutter zone”. This is the starting point of decluttering your life. Nothing gets into this zone. Each day (or week, or month) try to expand your no clutter zone so that you will eventually have your entire house part of this zone.
5. Learn to let go of your stuff. Lots of people feel bad when they toss out things from their life. Remember – your memories live with you – not with your stuff.
6. Set up three boxes in the room you are decluttering and mark them garbage, donate, and put away. When you’re done, do as the boxes say!
7. How many times have you bought something that you didn’t really need? From now on, if you bring something new into the house, you must get rid of two things to make room for your new item.

You can do this! Remember to shine your sink tonight!

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