Facebook Live: Handle Paper Like a Boss

Facebook Live: Handle Paper Like a Boss

Handle Paper Clutter Like a Boss: Create (and Use!) a Paper Organization File

Time and again in our Clutter Free Academy Facebook group, one subject keeps rearing it’s ugly head: “HOW do I handle all of the paper?!?” In July, we talked on Facebook Live about Kathi’s amazing, you’ll-really-use-it paper system to keep your paper clutter in check. Check out this Facebook Live to get the scoop on tackling this, our biggest clutter headache.

How to Declutter Your Home Fast: 3 Clarifying Questions You Must Ask

How to Declutter Your Home Fast: 3 Clarifying Questions You Must Ask

Standing in front of my closet that is packed like one of those Pillsbury biscuit cans (careful…careful…), yet magically contains nothing to wear, I think to myself, “This is it! I’m going to totally become a minimalist, have a capsule wardrobe and never be stuck in this kind of indecision again.”

You want to know how to declutter your home fast. I get it. So do I. So I start to dig in and declutter. I ready myself with donation bags and an attitude that says, “Get out of my way. I’m DECLUTTERING!” And away I go.

The first shirt is easy. It’s my camo shirt and I wear it anytime it’s clean. (For me, camo is the new floral.) No brainer. It stays.

The next shirt – well, that one’s easy – for all the wrong reasons. It was a promo t-shirt an acquaintance sent me for her book launch. (I’ve noticed one thing about giveaway t-shirts: people order Smalls through Extra Large to send out. If you are bigger than an XL, well, you get an XL—and you’re gonna like it. Friend, next time, save the postage.) Out it goes. This decluttering stuff is so easy!

And then, sometimes the decluttering is not so easy…

Shirt number three. It’s my olive-colored tissue tee I bought at Target. I love the shirt, except it hits me in a funny place, making me wonder if my reflection in the mirror is fourteen months pregnant. I can only wear the shirt with a cardigan or a zip-up sweatshirt. I do have another olive shirt that I like better, but this is a perfectly good shirt. And what if something happened to my favorite olive shirt? I would need a backup. I put it in the maybe pile.

Shirt number four. It’s cute, but I don’t have the right pants for it. But I will find them. Someday. Maybe pile.

And in the next 40 minutes, I’ve got seven shirts in the keep pile, two in the giveaway pile, 24 items in the maybe pile and the rest are still hanging in the closet because it’s all just too much.

You want to know how to declutter your home fast, but the problem…

Because you see, the biggest problem with your stuff isn’t space, or time or money. It’s decision fatigue.

I know you want to declutter your home fast, but I also know that you get to a point in decluttering when you are so tired of making decisions that you just…can’t…do…it… anymore…and it’s too hard.

It helps to remember that we are not supposed to own things for the rest of our lives. Yes, it’s great when we have that throw pillow we use and love for 15 years or that pair of PJs you wear every week for a decade.

But for many of us, we love to change things up, and when we do, it’s important to make way for the new by handing down the old.

Because here’s the thing friend: You don’t get any gold stars for having the most clothes.

And this isn’t just a problem for people with a lot of extra money. I remember when I was unemployed and under-employed as a single mom. I still had friends who would give me their hand-me-downs and instead of buying clothes I loved, I would buy clothes I could afford at cheap discount stores.

As a result,  when I look back at my past attempts at decluttering, I’ve finally come to this conclusion: Clutter is indecision.

So how do we get over the obstacle of holding onto things that are crowding our lives? How do we regain the power to make decisions?

Give yourself these 3 Clear Questions if you want to know how to declutter your home fast:

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Do I use it?
  3. Would I buy it again?

 

If you answer No to two of those questions, I’m guessing that item is truly clutter and it’s time to get rid of it.

Shirt #3 The Olive Shirt

  1. Do I love it? No. I don’t want to look pregnant.
  2. Do I use it? Occasionally, when I’m desperate.
  3. Would I buy it again? No, it doesn’t look good on me.

It’s clutter. Time to go.

Shirt #4 The Shirt I like but it doesn’t go with anything

  1. Do I love it? Yes.
  2. Do I use it? No.
  3. Would I buy it again? No.

It’s clutter. Time to go.

For me, the closet is the hardest place to make these decisions. If I can do it there, I can do it anywhere.

So, how do you make the 3 questions work for you when you want to figure out how to declutter your home fast?

  1. Write them down on a Post-it note. Having the 3 questions in front of you while you’re decluttering will help you stay focused.
  2. Give yourself a goal. Recently, I was going through my jewelry. I hadn’t gone through it in years and there were a lot of things I no longer wear. I gave myself the goal of getting rid of 30 pieces of jewelry.  Because I had a goal, I got rid of some pieces that I might have been tempted to hold onto, “just in case.” But the best part of getting rid of the 42 (yes, 42 pieces!) was that I actually rediscovered some pieces I really love and have started wearing again. So not only do I love them (question #1), now I use them (question #2).
  3. Think about the next owner. I think about when I was broke and shopping thrift stores. When I found a shirt I loved that actually fit, I was so grateful to find something in my budget I could wear or that my kids wouldn’t be embarrassed wearing to school. If you are having a hard time parting with something you like but don’t use, picture the person who will be wearing it in three weeks—how that jacket you never wear is now one of their favorite pieces of clothing. Or how that blazer made it so they could walk into a job interview with confidence.

I Promise – You Can Learn How to Declutter Your Home Fast

The next time you are ready to declutter, arm yourself with the 3 questions, a couple of plastic bags, and a prayer of determination.

You can declutter. You can make decisions. You can love your stuff again.

Spring Fling #10: Garage Cleaning

Spring Fling #10: Garage Cleaning

garage

Day 10 and it’s time to get out of the house … and get your garage cleaning underway.

For years, my garage has been the dumping ground for everything. My business, my kids’ stuff, tools, craft projects, out of season clothes, out of season decorations, mid-project projects, suitcases, gardening supplies, games, puzzles, and the bike that never, ever gets ridden.

Garage Cleaning  – The Never Ending Journey

I’ll be honest with you: my garage is still a huge work in progress. The good news? There IS progress. When I went to go work on my 20 items today, I knew the corner I had to tackle: the “Camping Corner.”

garage

Roger and I love to go day camping, so we keep a lot of supplies. But this corner has been overrun by one too many “dump and runs.” There were out of season clothes, decorations (apparently, I’m obsessed with giant fall pumpkins), wrapping paper, books, and the results of too many Costco runs. We’re good on toilet paper for the rest of our lives.

So, I gave myself an afternoon to go through the corner, get my 20 items, and make sense of all of the stuff.

I was done in 30 minutes.

Why did it take so little time? Because after all my flings in the past, there really wasn’t that much to declutter—it just needed to be put away properly.

I know that as a clutterer, I tend to be overwhelmed by projects and think they’re going to take more time than they actually do. Starting off with only 15 minutes is going to help you break things down and get them into doable chunks. You can do this!

Garage Cleaning Instructions

– Set up your three boxes/totes and two bags.
– Pick one area to work on. One shelf. One corner. Don’t get overwhelmed. Start sorting and revel in the space that you are reclaiming!
– Set a timer and go for it. 15 minutes usually can do it, but if you need to put another 15 minutes on the timer, go for it.

Garage Cleaning Bonus

Some bonus things you can do in the basement or garage:

  1. Label storage areas. Make a big sign so everyone in the family knows where things go.
  2. Boy, can my garage get dusty. If there are items you care about, dust them or store them in a storage box.
  3. Speaking of storage boxes, can you get rid of a few now that you’ve flung so much stuff?

garage

Garage Cleaning Share Your Fling

After you fling, either tell us about it or share a picture in the comments. Remember, each day (at the end of the Fling) there will be one winner, randomly drawn from the comments, who will receive a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life from Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. So share below and tell us about your fling.

Spring Fling Day #9: Tackle the Extra Room That’s Driving You Crazy

Spring Fling Day #9: Tackle the Extra Room That’s Driving You Crazy

extra room

Day 9 and it’s time to earn some bonus points … by dealing with that extra room.

Got a kids’ room, linen closet, or a space under the stairs filled with clutter? If so, today is the day to tackle the room that’s making you crazy and get 20 things out of there, stat!

It Gets Better in the Extra Room

Oh, this can be so overwhelming. Even those tiny spaces, like the coat closet, can have you slamming the door and praying all the things will magically go away.

And if you are decluttering a child’s room? Well, may God have mercy on your soul.

But I promise you, peace is possible, and the only way you are going to get there is by digging in.

Instructions

– Set up your three boxes/totes and two bags.
– Pick one area to work on. One shelf. One corner. Don’t get overwhelmed.
– Start sorting and revel in the space you’re reclaiming!

Set a timer and go for it. 10 minutes usually can do it, but if you need to put another 10 minutes on the timer to fling your 20 things, by all means.

Bonus

Some bonus things you can do in that extra space:

  1. Label storage areas. Make it look like the aisles of Target where everyone knows where everything goes.
  2. Do an inventory. Do you need new Band-Aids in the linen closet? Or vacuum cleaner bags? A fresh supply of allergy meds in the medicine cabinet? Make a list so you can get it next time you’re at the store.
  3. Would bins be helpful in this space? The Dollar Store has some great bins and baskets for only $1, but make sure they work for your space. (Otherwise, those too become clutter.)

extra room

Share Your Fling

After you fling, either tell us about it or share a picture in the comments. Remember, each day (at the end of the Fling) there will be one winner, randomly drawn from the comments, who will receive a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life from Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. So share below and tell us about your fling.

Spring Fling Day #8: It’s Time to Reclaim Your Bedroom

Spring Fling Day #8: It’s Time to Reclaim Your Bedroom

Day 8 of the Spring Fling and it’s time to get some rest and reclaim your bedroom!

Is your bedroom where all your “stuff” goes to hide? Is this the place where the stash and dash gets “stashed”? If so, it’s time to reclaim your bedroom so you can relax.

I KNOW that I sleep better in a room free from clutter. I’m not distracted by all the things that need to be put away and dealt with. (And bonus! I have a lot smaller chance of tripping and dying if I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.)

 It Gets Better: Reclaim your Bedroom

It does get better, the more you work on it. And you deserve better in your bedroom. You deserve a place to rest and restore without having to look at bags of Goodwill donations every single morning.

reclaim your bedroom

Make this room a priority. I want you to have a retreat — a place where you can close off the door and just be, in peace.

Instructions

– Set up your three boxes/totes and two bags.
– Make your bed so you have a clear space to work off.
– Set a timer for 10 minutes and FLING!

Anything that doesn’t belong in the bedroom, get it out of the bedroom. Don’t use your closet to store your kid’s hockey equipment. I want what’s in there to bring you peace. If you don’t use it, don’t love it, and wouldn’t buy it again, get it out of there!

Bonus

Bring some life into your bedroom.

We share a fence with a neighbor. About once a month, we have to cut back their hedges on our property. This has always been a source of frustration. (We have a hard time gardening for ourselves, much less our neighbors.) But now, I’m turning that frustration into an opportunity. I’m taking the blooms from those hedges and filling up mason jars around my house. Having fresh flowers in my room gives me a sense of peace.

Can you bring something new into your room? A new pillow, a picture frame, fresh flowers?

If you are really going great guns, I would suggest cleaning out your nightstand as well and stocking it with essentials: cough drops, Tylenol, lavender oil, a reading light and a good book.

Share Your Fling

After you fling, either tell us about it or share a picture in the comments. Remember, each day (at the end of the Fling) there will be one winner, randomly drawn from the comments, who will receive a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life from Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. So share below and tell us about your fling.

Join the You Don't Have to Try So Hard Book Club

We'll be conducting the book club through Kathi's Private Facebook Group, Clutter Free Academy. Join the book club to get access to the private facebook group. You'll receive an email with instructions once you submit this form. 

Check your email for more instructions!