***If you missed the first episode of Clearing the Clutter make sure to read it HERE.
WHERE TO BEGIN
Welcome back! It has been a few hard, chaotic weeks now, it’s crazy how trying to clean things up can make more of a mess sometimes, but it really has been therapeutic, and some glimpses of sunlight are beginning to shine down through the metaphorical rain clouds!
So, early on in this process, I accepted the fact that I had to get rid of a lot of GOOD stuff, since i plainly had too much stuff and not enough space! I set a date for a garage sale and knew that I had to go through everything before that date. I made the date relatively close. I had a burning desire to change the way we were living and, rather than spread this out over months and months, decided to make it happen quickly.
This desire also compelled me to throw caution to the wind and go through my entire house (not just the office/scraproom).
This method is not for the weak! My husband and I talked about it beforehand and knew it would be a hard few weeks and even knowing this in advance, it was a trying experience!
With toddlers and a baby in the house, I could only go through things when they were napping during the day or sleeping at night. This would mean a lot of sleepless nights, so to make the most of my limited time, I knew I needed a plan!
In this article, I want to share with you the method that I used to sort through everything. It REALLY worked for me in every room of the house!
DIVIDE TO CONQUER
First things first: You have to divide to conquer!
There is no other choice. Categorizing and dividing things up turns all of the chaos into controlled chaos, making everything less overwhelming and easier to handle. I’ve tried buckets before and was left, in the end, with boxes of “stuff to go through”. I didn’t want that again!
The key was to be more specific! I didn’t want to have to go through a pile later if I didn’t have to. This meant using more boxes than you usually hear about, but the goal should be for things to pass through your hands as few times as possible.
Here were the categories I developed to handle the mess:
- Put Away Now
- Put Away Later
- Sell Now
- Sell Later
Let’s break them down.
PUT AWAY NOW
My rule is, if it is something we use, and is just simply in the wrong place, then don’t wait… put it away, do it NOW. If we used it, but it didn’t have a home yet, then I created one.
For example, my stamps, and my adhesive. I realized I had stamps everywhere, all in different places because there was no specific place for them to go. So I started piles. That way, all of my stamps were together in one place, all of my adhesive was together in one place, etc…and then, once they were gathered, I found them a home, since I knew this was something that I was going to keep and use.