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7 Strategies For Clearing Clutter
When You Don't Know Where To Start

If you're feeling overwhelmed about where to start clearing clutter, here are strategies you can use to begin today!

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Each of the strategies I've listed below will work in some circumstances, and not in others. It really depends what is causing you to get stuck in the first place.

That's why whenever you're at a loss for where to begin you can use the list below to get motivation to start and turn the green light on to your decluttering project!

1. Set Your Priorities: Fix What Bugs You The Most First

If every room of your home needs to be decluttered you can sit there, doing nothing, because of indecision.

What you need is a plan of attack. One strategy is to start with the area that bugs you the most.

Chances are the room that bugs you the most is one you spend a lot of time in.

Tackling the biggest problem area can make you motivated to continue as you see positive results.

(Remember, if you want to choose your own order to declutter, but then want the steps broken down for you for that area, I recommend the decluttering checklists pack I've created. Check out the link for more information about this helpful resource.)

On the other hand, what if you feel like tackling that entire area feels too overwhelming?

2. Take Small Bites Of The Task When Clearing Clutter

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Just because you choose the toughest area to tackle first doesn't mean you'll tackle the whole thing all at once.

Choose a time of day when you've got lots of energy, grab your timer, turn on some motivating music, and tackle one little portion of that room.

For instance, don't try to tackle the whole kitchen at once. You'll just get overwhelmed and make a big mess that you won't have enough energy to clean up at once! Instead, choose one drawer or cabinet, or even one shelf in one cabinet, and get started with just that.

Don't shotgun your approach though. Don't hit a small section of one room, and then another of a different room. Otherwise you'll never feel like you're making progress, which is demotivating.

Once you choose a room stick with it until its done, even if you, for example, have to declutter it in 15 short sessions in a row over the course of two weeks. Once you choose the drawer or cabinet to start with, then just go systematically through the room from that place forward, so you don't avoid anything or miss cluttered patches.

3. Share Your Decluttering Goal With Others Who'll Hold You Accountable

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Sometimes making a promise to yourself that "I'm going to declutter my house this year!" is not enough. You can let yourself get away with excuses. After all, life happens and things get busy.

If you're really serious about the process, tell a friend or loved one about your goal and ask them to hold you accounatable.

Psychologically, you're less likely to want to let them down and you'll begin the clutter clearing process just like you promised yourself you would.

(If you're looking for accountability and support, make sure to check out the Declutter 365 Premium group!)

4. Get A Friend Or Family Member To Help & Encourage You

Along the same lines, if you start running into problems deciding what to part with, especially because of emotional reasons, getting a trusted and loving friend or family member to help you with the decision making process can be very helpful.

It can be very disheartening to sit there paralyzed by indecision. Sometimes it is useful to hear a more neutral and less emotional point of view to guide you in the right direction.

Trust me, the first few decisions in each decluttering session are the toughest. After a while you start to enjoy the process of letting go, and it can start to feel very freeing! Let your friend help you over the hump and get you in the clutter clearing zone.

5. Trouble Seeing The Clutter? Take A Picture

Sometimes the problem is that you've lived with your junk and stuff for so long you can no longer see it.

I'm sure you've heard to look through your house pretending you are a visitor, to see the home through different eyes.

Well, sometimes that works, and sometimes I just can't seem to do it. However, have you noticed that every time you look at a picture of yourself or someone else in your home you notice all the junk and clutter in the background? How annoying, right?

Well, use this annoyance to your advantage, and take a picture of the area you need to declutter. Somehow your brain can just "see" the problem areas more clearly then, and you can develop your plan of attack (as suggested in step 1).

6. Create A Positive Reward For Yourself For Clearing Clutter

Have you ever felt motivated at the beginning of a session of clearing clutter, only to feel disheartened by the end and ready to throw in the towel?

To avoid this common problem, create a positive reward for yourself for getting the job, or a big step of it, done.

This gives you something to look forward to, and makes it more likely that you'll continue on. Just make sure your reward doesn't bring more junk into the house!

7. Grab A Timer And Just Start!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Last, but certainly not least, the problem sometimes is just getting the motivation to start.

The first two minutes of any task are the hardest, so if you're really demotivated or can't decide what to do, just set a timer and start!

Put two minutes on the timer and commit to doing it that long. You'll be suprised how easy it can be once the timer buzzes to keep going a bit longer. (And what's the sweet spot for a decluttering mission? The answer, I've concluded is 15 minutes. Find out why here.)

Similarly, if you're having trouble prioritizing where to begin, just start somewhere. There is no right or wrong place to begin, so just do it, as Nike says!

And if you're really feeling stuck, and everything is bugging you, I recommend you follow along with a plan that I've created, called Declutter 365. With this plan I've already mapped out, for you, what small area or type of item to declutter in your home, 15 minutes per day, to slowly, over the course of the year, get your whole house decluttered!

You can get the entire year long Declutter 365 calendar right here for free. Then, follow along daily with each mission.

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Get Even More Guidance From Me, When You Become A Declutter 365 Premium Group Member

In addition, if you'd like daily encouragement and reminders of the missions, I've created a closed Facebook group called Declutter 365 Premium which follows along with the Declutter 365 mission schedule. In that group I post each day's mission to help remind you of the challenges and missions, and keep you on track. In addition, an exclusive to the group is the monthly live group coaching sessions, which discuss the routines and habits necessary to maintain and manage your home, as well as access to the 250+ videos in the archives which discuss the weekly organizing challenges and daily decluttering missions.

Learn more about the Declutter 365 Premium group

tips for decluttering your home series

What's Next In The Decluttering Your Home Series?

In this section of the series we tackled the task of clearing clutter from our homes. However, decluttering doesn't have to happen in big bursts, and in fact, regular smaller time increments often work better in the long run.

That's why I recommend that you develop habits and routines that will help you reduce clutter slowly, over time.

Therefore, next in the series I'll share with you five rules for reducing clutter from your home gradually, without you even really noticing it.

5 rules for reducing clutter in your home

Click here to learn more about how to save 50% off on select 2024 Declutter 365 products for this summer!

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Join the Home Storage Solutions 101 newsletter, and get as your free gift the 2024 Declutter 365 Calendar (a $20 value) from me, Taylor, your decluttering and organizing guide.

When you work through the Declutter 365 missions, and accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenges, you'll be able to declutter your home one mission at a time, organize what's left, and learn the skills, habits and routines to maintain your space from now on.

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