The day I wrote my first post Organizing Your Home: The Essential Guide, I wrote it in hopes of providing my readers (the ones I did not have then!) an informational -and printable- guide on how to tackle home organization without being overwhelmed throughout the process. Organizing is not an easy thing to do when there isn’t a plan in place, and the guest star of that plan should always be decluttering.
Decluttering and organizing go hand in hand. Basically, you can’t have one without the other. The key is to understand that you can’t organize clutter, so it is logical to think that decluttering comes first. However, if the idea of organizing wasn’t in your mind first, you wouldn’t be thinking about decluttering at all.
If you feel that you are bad at organizing, you are not alone. I feel that way every.single.day. But also, every single day I push myself harder to get things done so I do not fall into the ‘black hole’ of clutter.
Now, please don’t think that my life is an episode of Hoarders. God, no! But, in the past, I was very bad at decluttering. I had some ‘extra space’ in the house, and I kept saving things for no special reason, and also because I thought I could use it, need it, or wear it ‘one day’.
So, I realized that I wasn’t being a practical person. I was just procrastinating.
How to Become Practical
If you want to be successful at organizing, you must master the art of decluttering. And to master decluttering, you must be practical.
Once you become practical, you will realize that decluttering and organizing is an easy thing to do. Decluttering does not require an entire day -or weeks- of cleaning and sorting, and organizing is a breeze because there’s no clutter.
Practical people are constantly disposing of things they know they don’t need. They make decisions on the spot, e.g.: when they pick up the mail, they open it and immediately file it, classify it (if it’s a bill to pay or an important letter to save) or toss it. Immediately. No waiting. They just do it.
This is a method I adopted a couple of years ago and I feel absolutely liberated. I sort the mail in the driveway and half of it doesn’t even make it inside our home; it goes to the recycling bin.
Practical people live an uncomplicated and clutter-free life, because they make decisions quickly, tackle small chores as needed, and they are not attached to material possessions.
They are able to walk in a room and say: ‘I don’t need this or that’, they are not impulsive buyers meaning, they won’t purchase something if they don’t need it or don’t have a plan on when or how to use it.
How to Stop Procrastinating
In a few words, if you want live clutter-free and an organized life, you must stop procrastinating. Is that easy. The procrastinator tends to leave the pile of mail on the counter, the dishes in the sink, and the clean laundry over the bed. Everything is left for later.
If you don’t take care of things when you are supposed to, like washing the cereal bowl right after breakfast, opening the mail same day it arrives or folding the laundry as soon as the drying cycle is done, then you will have a pile of clutter at the end of the day.
Putting things off just adds to the clutter problem. Now, not only your house (or any given space) is cluttered, but your mind is cluttered too. Because now, you are thinking of all the things you should have done and you didn’t when you could or should have done them.
I understand that you need to manage your time at your convenience but, if you are honest and true to yourself, you will realize that there is absolutely no reason to put off many things in your daily life.
Think about it: if you are doing laundry… you are doing laundry. And there’s no need to jump into something else until that is done. I am not saying you can’t do anything else while the cycles are running, but when it is time to pull out the clothes out of the dryer, then it’s time to fold them.
Whether it is picking up a pair of shoes left in the hallway and putting them away, or clearing the table to get it ready for dinner, if it can be done immediately, take the chance and do it. Whenever possible, avoid letting the small things add up as they could easily become a bigger project to tackle.
5 Things You Can Start Doing Today
Finally, I would like to share 5 random things (and strategies) that make my days more organized and are helping me to live clutter-free. And you can try them too!
- Eat The Frog First. That means, I tackle the task I like the least, first. I use my very own Neat To Do List (a free printable) to help me stay focused on my daily goals.
- 15 Minutes Organization. Three or four times a day, I allow myself 15 minutes to tackle any particular project that needs attention. It could be a closet, the kitchen’s pantry or my desk. I set a timer and stop. It is amazing what you can get done in so little time when you are focused!.
- Plan Ahead (and write things down). My calendar, to-do list, and meal planner; they all help me stay organized. You can find them all here.
- Learn from Peter Walsh. Discover the secret to home organization success. Learn how vision, function, zones, and limits can help you live a clutter-free life. So easy to put them in practice, too!
- Manage Your Time Wisely. One of my favorite posts explains how I manage time at home.
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I hope you learned something new today. I definitely have learned a lot throughout the years, and especially within the last 9 months of blogging. Every time I research decluttering and organization, I do my best to post important pieces of information that will help you: my readers.
If you have a special tip for decluttering and organizing, I would love it if you share it with me!
I will leave you with a special quote:
Clutter isn’t just the stuff in your closet. It’s anything that gets between you and the life that you want to be living. — Peter Walsh