Decluttering Essentials

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I moved to a new house recently and I wasn't even around for the move. I know, cue the interesting story. I was out of the country on a mission trip and visiting family. My family decided to move without waiting for e to return. What a great move. The corona virus epidemic was in full swing when I landed back in American soil.

I arrived at a great home. My husband made sure the kids were settled and the kitchen was unpacked. He also made sure I could find my running essentials. Oh, another essential that I quickly found: my coffee pot. Life was good. Except that I was back at work full-time and the kids were out of school.

What to do? Get angry and break the stuff that did not break during the move? Heavens no. I decided instead to grab my decluttering essentials. These five tools have helped me get organized over and over again. I'm sure you want to know what they are. 

Music or Podcast • I always declutter better when I am listening to good music or an interesting podcast. I believe these audio cues help me think less about the mess around me and focus on something else. I also believe that if I save a certain podcast only for decluttering times, I get back to that project over and over again - until I'm finished that is.

Cleaning Supplies • I often need some type of cleaning supply when I'm decluttering. I gather whatever I think I will need ahead of time. Having all the supplies next to me cuts down on distraction. Because I don't have to walk back and forth to get the supplies I can actually spend all my designated time decluttering.

Trash bags • It is inevitable that I fill have to throw things away when I am decluttering. I decided to have a few trash bags at hand just in case. Some bags double as recycling bags. The goal is not to keep all of the reasons why my space is disorganized. I created the habit of immediately going to the trash can outside of the house and getting rid of what I don't need.

Donation box • I developed the habit of having a donation box in the same space I am decluttering. I try not to think deeply about what needs to be donated. I haven't repented yet of making a donation. If it's still good enough to be reused and if it can be a blessing to someone else, I let it be. The only time donating hurts is when the item was not used properly. I have a few things that should have stayed in the store. Personally, this type of pain of regret is the only one I feel when separating things for donation. Much like the trash, the donation box goes immediately to the back of my car. My car goes quickly to the donation spot as soon as I can.

Timer • I start my decluttering process by setting my countdown timer for 45 minutes. I have learned over the year that 45 is a great number for me. It is not too little or too much. I can get a respectable amount of work done in 45 minutes. The 15 remaining minutes are all mine. I can use them however I want. I can browse my favorite social network. I can have a cup of tea. I can write a quick blog post. Those minutes are a reward for the focused work I did. Setting a timer also gives me the mental encouragement that there is an end time to that hard work. I even use it with the kids and they enjoy it.

I still have a lot of work to do in our newly moved home. Things slowly get in place as I use these five essential decluttering tools to keep my home organized.

P.S.: I recomend my own Podcast if you want to listen to something while you are cleaning.