If decluttering your whole house seems way too overwhelming, consider trying to declutter your way towards something you want to access. It would take days to deal with everything that’s in the room right now, but you really want to be able to play your piano again.
Start at the edge of the clutter and work inwards. Don’t get distracted by other stuff along the way, but keep clearing until you can get to the piano and sit down comfortably on the piano stool. Bonus points if you uncover some piano music on the way there!
Or head down into the basement. Instead of taking a look around at the 35 years’ worth of dusty old boxes and heading right back upstairs again, remember where the pool table is. Make it your decluttering goal to uncover enough space around that pool table to play pool.
Maybe you want to unearth the crib in the attic. You know it’s in the back right corner, so declutter towards that corner.
Maybe you have a recipe you’re itching to try, so you clear the clutter from around the stove.
Of course, declutter doesn’t mean just shove out the way. You’ll toss the trash and recycling, donate what you don’t need, all the usual strategies we use to clear our space, it’s just that this time you’re decluttering in a straight line towards something specific.
Things will look a little weird with that path through the middle of the clutter. You may want to keep going with the rest of the room once you’ve reached your goal object. But if you don’t, at least some of the clutter has made it out and you’ve gotten the reward of finding the crib, trying a recipe, shooting some pool or playing the piano again.
Next time, pick a different target to aim at. Or work on one side of the path you’ve created and see how much you can get done in that space. Maybe all your Send It Away Saturdays* need to come from that spot from now on.
What do you want to be able to use that’s currently buried in clutter?
Send It Away Saturday: each Saturday, look around and find one thing you can let go of. Just one and then you’re done. The whole idea started when I got fed up of the endless magazine covers and blog articles about decluttering and organizing your home in just 674 easy steps.
I knew that was overwhelming and unrealistic but I also knew that most people could manage to find one thing a week to declutter without too much stress.
And so a movement was born. Many readers email me each week to tell me what they sent away and they often send me photos too. There’s no prize except the feeling of being accountable and the email I send back cheering you on. Email email@example.com, if you’d like to play too.
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