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  • Writer's pictureJohnathan Miller

Decluttering Success

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

While there's no magic formula for decluttering success, these practical tips will help you get more done and get rid of more stuff.

START TODAY! It is a holiday, after all!

Excuse the pun, but the timing has never been riper to celebrate National Clean Out Your Fridge Day on November 15! This is the perfect opportunity to tackle that science experiment growing there. Of course, ideally, we’d all clean out our fridges far more often than once a year, but let’s be real: Making it an annual occasion provides everyone with the reassurance that at least the horrendous situation with your roommate’s long-forgotten “homemade kombucha” will be rectified eventually, and marking it as a day on the national calendar gives you plenty of scope for getting passive aggressive in the preceding weeks. Learn more about this holiday here.

Stop waiting for someone else to take care of the abundance of clutter in your home. Here's how you can start strong and get it done.

Schedule time. Clutter cleanses don't spontaneously happen, so commit to the process by blocking out 30 minutes on your schedule for three consecutive days. Friday-Saturday-Sunday works for most people, but your ideal time might be the first thing in the morning or late at night. Tell your family you'll be organizing (working) in your home ahead of time, and they will avoid you all weekend, so you don't ask them to assist. Which will give you total peace to get the job done.

Get Your Supplies Together-

Have the following items on hand.

• Markers, index cards, sticky

notes, and clear packing tape

to make quick labels

Cardboard boxes and plastic bags

to sort and store items to donate

• Trash bags for items you

want to throw out

Scissors or a utility knife

Dress the part. Wear comfy

clothes and shoes. If you'll need to

try on clothing as part of your

decluttering project, wear a tank or

fitted T-shirt so you can change

garments quickly.

Put on a podcast or some music you enjoy. Have a

favorite beverage, a box of wine, and a pre-order dinner, so you have no excuses to work hard and fast. Set a timer (or create a playlist with a specific number of songs) to complete areas. keep sessions focused. Complete as much as possible in the allotted time and finish the task you're working on. Take a 5-minute break to clear your head. Do another timed session if you have more to go and feel up to it. If you're tired, wrap it up. Nothing succeeds like success. Here's how to avoid getting bogged down and keep your decluttering sessions moving. Touch once; decide once; the main decision in purging is to keep or to let go.

Simply picking up or touching an item and asking, "Should I keep this?" will often yield

your answer. In most cases, you know instantly if something needs to go or stay. Once it is in the go pile, there are no takebacks. While purging, don't fret about what to do with stuff you are not keeping. You can either sell it, give it away, donate it, or recycle/dispose of it. That's it. Work like a machine.

Feeling Overwhelmed? Hire A Professional Organizer


Some professional

organizers will propose a

project fee, others an hourly

rate. The most important

the thing is that you know your

assigned tasks, a range of

hours potentially required

from the pro, and the best

fee structure.


Realize that any estimate of

a project's length depends

on you-how quickly you

make decisions, how much

stuff you have to physically

sort through what options

you have to get rid of

items efficiently.


Most pros will work with

your stated budget, but

they're unlikely to adjust

their fees. Expect a smaller

budget to mean less face-

to-face time and more

homework assignments.


Review and sign a service

agreement before starting

any work. Look for details

about confidentiality,

payment terms,

descriptions of the type

of work to be done, and

cancellation policies.

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