You know all the signs of the cluttered home. Take my brother’s house, for example. They have four fine boys, but the 21st century lifestyle had simply overwhelmed the family. Does this story sound like your situation?
As you approach the front, you can see several cars in different states of repair in the driveway and overflowing from the garage. Car parts everywhere. The intention is to fix up a couple cars and use the rest for parts, but they just don’t seem to get around to finishing any of the cars, and get them off the property.
Then, when you enter the front door and walk into the living room, there are books, CDs, DVDs, homework, clothing piled on every flat space. In fact, there is not a single flat space to be seen – every desktop, countertop, and most of the floor space is covered with things that should have been put away long ago, but are now just making their lives miserable. Does this sound familiar to you?
I would dearly like to help my brother’s family clear out their house, but where to start?
Start at the beginning. Make a plan! First off, pick one room to start de-cluttering. Trying to deal with the whole house all at once is overwhelming, so take it in little chunks. As the saying goes, you can only eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Decide which cleared space would make the most immediate impact. If clearing the kitchen would make the home a place where you could finally cook decent meals without wasting lots of time trying to find all the utensils you need, you would make an immediate impact by saving time three times a day.
Then prioritize which part of the house would next greatly benefit all the members of the household. For example, if the laundry area is so cluttered that the laundry is not getting done promptly, you should work on that area next. Think of how everyone will feel if they get clean clothes on time!
Try to estimate how much time is involved in clearing each part of the home. If you can make a great impact without much time involved, do that area next.
Then, it’s time to make out a schedule. You know that everyone in your household will say, “I’m too busy”, but explain how much better they will feel with a de-cluttered home. Commit the schedule to paper, and turn it into a checklist.
Concentrate on the tasks one at a time! You should mark them off your list as you go, and you will experience a sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated to continue.
Then, you should begin to clean! This part will consume a lot of your time. Start by organizing your things. Sort out…