So you've decided enough is enough, you're ready to start on you process of getting rid of all the things in your space you have no room for and you don't need. But then you begin to feel overwhelmed as you think "How do I start?", "Where do I start?" and "When do I start?" So I have created the Let It Go blog series, where I'll address how, when, where to de-clutter and what to purge.
So today lets talk about where to start. There is a quote I absolutely live by from Alice in Wonderland (don't judge me) whenever I feel stuck:
“Begin at the beginning...and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” -The King (Alice in Wonderland)
Whenever I find myself stuck on where to begin with a project, this line always comes to mind. If this sounds like I'm absolutely mad, let me put it another way - just begin! Begin where you stand, or anywhere else you choose, but you must just get started. There is no magical area to start with on your journey to de-clutter. Each individual home or space is different and for this reason it is impossible to be absolute on determining where to start.
I do suggest however, working by area and not item type. This means work on one room at a time, versus purging item types (eg: clothes) across many rooms. In my opinion, it keeps each space contained and allows you to focus on, and complete an area, preventing you from becoming confused with the next. There will be times where rooms overlap or you find items in one room that belong to the next. My suggestion if you encounter this, is to carry the item to the room or area that it belongs to and return to the space you were working on before. Don't get yourself confused trying to organize two areas at once. If the room the item belongs to is a mess, don't worry, you will get to it in due time.
For each organizing project you start, complete that space fully before moving on.
For some starting with the easiest area and working your way up is a good option. For others starting with, and completing the hardest area of their home gives them motivation to keep going. Whichever of these options work best for you then that should be your strategy. If you have moderate clutter, choose an area which gives you particular annoyance. It can be as small as a hallway closet. However if your entire home is engulfed in clutter, I would suggest taking some time to set up a plan of action. Write down every area you would like to tackle. List all the problems with each space and set a time in which you would like to complete each area. Beware that each room will take some time. The area undoubtedly did not become a mess overnight, and so the problem will not be undone overnight either. It is very unlikely that you will completely de-clutter a room in 1 - 3 hours. So give yourself a day, maybe two, to get everything done in one room, depending on the severity of the clutter. Also don't go out to buy any storage solutions before you have completely completed purging. Most all the time, once you have let go of a lot of the unnecessary items, you find that you do not need any new storage solutions anyway.
After you have completely de-cluttered and purged from your first space, you should feel a sense of accomplishment and you will also have a better idea of how long a project may take and the work involved. Some of us may work faster, while others may get exhausted faster, or take a longer time to make decisions on what to keep or donate. All of this will affect to speed of completing your projects. Revisit your list and make adjustments as necessary to your estimated times.
So remember, just start, whether with your favorite room which you would like to reclaim, or the most cluttered room, simply begin. Take it one step at a time, and move at your pace.