Yesterday, nature blessed me with a cold wet nasty day. The blessing is hidden of course in the fact that due to the yucky condition outside, I was able to release myself from the guilt of being inside (had the weather been nice) working, cleaning and de-cluttering. Before I get on with the nitty gritty spring cleaning, I have to de-clutter; get rid of clothes that don’t fit, magazines I haven’t reread (not matter how pure my intention were) and all of those magazine clippings and interesting ( unread ) articles exploding from my desk drawer (I mean, hello! That is exactly what Pintrest is for!). I was excited to write this post today. I actually look forward to these opportunities when I can dedicate a whole day to rummage through my junk, purging unnecessary clutter, and refreshing my living area. Nothing say ‘satisfactory’ quite like hauling bags of trash to the dumpster, and donating boxes of unwanted items to my Good friend Will’s. My room now can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Here are a few tips that help me stay focused and motivating throughout the task of de-cluttering my bedroom.
5 Tips for De-cluttering your Bedroom
1. Don’t Be Overwhelmed
One thing I’ve learned in my career as a perfectionist is that as long as I am overwhelmed, I will get nothing done. Looking out into your living space and seeing mountains of papers, old clothes, dirty shoes and magazines can be disheartening. But the simple reality is this: There is nothing to it but to do it. This is where structure comes in handy.
First and foremost, what are you trying to accomplish? Have a vision of how you’d like your room to be once you’re done de-cluttering. It helps me to write down some adjectives (e.g. restful, airy, simple, functional, and peaceful) and then to find some images of what I’m aiming for. You’ll never be able to hit the bulls eye if you don’t have a target. Along with having a vision, make a list of tasks; jot down areas you know you need to be de-cluttered. I’ve suggested some common trouble areas below. Lastly, make goals. Set small goals. Maybe aim to do 3 things off of your list the first day, then maybe three more the next day. Not only will you accomplish them, you will likely succeed them, and the relish the victorious sense of productivity and over achievement. Common Trouble Areas:
-Night stand drawers
-Bathroom drawers and cupboards
-Old toys (at the very least, air them out)
-Under the bed
3. Set a Timer
When my mom used to commission us to the daunting task of cleaning our rooms, she would send us with a timer. “Work for 15 minutes, then break for 15 minutes” she’d say to us. Set your timer for 15-30 minutes and devote that time to working in one area from your list. When it beeps, break for 15, then reset your timer and work on another area. Continue to reset and rotate throughout your room until your work for the day is done.
4. Be Brutal
If you’re sentimental, this may be a difficult rule to accept. During the process of purging, it is helpful to me when I ask myself these questions: Do I need it, do I want it or do I love it (don’t confuse ‘love’ for ’like’ on that last one). Then I ask myself these questions: Why do I want it, where did it come from, what will I do with it? Asking myself these questions helps me weigh the real value and meaning in my things. If there is a sad connection or memory attached, chuck it. If it doesn’t fit or flatter you, give it away.
5. Always Have a Giveaway Bag and a Trash Bag Ready
The purpose of de-cluttering is to gather trash and unwanted items to chuck and giveaway. Have the appropriate means ready so that as you accumulate stuff you have a place to put them. As you fill trash bags and giveaway box, put the trash in the dumpster and the giveaway in the car. Getting clutter out of the house as soon as you can contributes to the satisfaction of your hard work.
Your bedroom is supposed to be a place of rest; a peaceful oasis. Living with a lot of clutter can be chaotic and stressful, which in turn prohibits you from having a full restorative sleep at night. While it is true that real peace comes from within, living in a peaceful, clutter-free environment attributes to your serenity.
*I don’t own any of these photos*