I gave a talk to the lovely people at Bhoomki Home in Brooklyn last week, and at the event I gave out a flyer with 10 Spring de-clutter tips to get started. Here they are now, for you:
1. Breathe! See the Big Picture: Be grateful that you have so much stuff that you need to get rid of some of it.
2. Start by tidying up, as much as possible. I make my bed, do the dishes and clear the floor first, even if it means stuffing things in the closet, as I need that floor space (read: head space) in order to make clear decisions when sorting through my stuff.
3. De-clutter by category, not location. (Marie Kondo ‘‘Konverts’’ will recognize this piece of wisdom).
4. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need when starting a de-clutter project. Rule of thumb: double what you think you’ll need. Chances are you’ll use it.
5. Finish the job! If you’re sorting through and discarding clothes for example, build in time to donate, throw out, or sell your clothes (e.g. time to photograph and put them
online) as part of your session.
6. Materials for the Arts, an organization that works with two NY State Departments - Sanitation and Education - will take your donations to provide free materials to
performing arts groups, theatre companies and schools in New York City. Their most wanted items include art supplies, jewelry, fabric, folding tables, chairs, ladders,
musical instruments, working computers and office supplies, and lots more besides. You can learn more about becoming a donor, pick-ups etc at www.mfta.org
7. Only keep paperwork you actually need. The I.R.S. recommendations for keeping tax-related documents (7 years) can be overwhelming, but if you shed the documents
you don’t actually need, it’s a lot easier to keep track of what you do need!
8. Be kind to yourself. Many people beat themselves up before and during de-clutter sessions. Be conscious of your thoughts and do not beat yourself up for ‘‘not having
done this before now’’ or ‘‘keeping this for so long’’. Instead, celebrate that you’re doing it now!
9. Learn to trust your instincts. Friends or relatives nearby, saying ‘‘but you love that! You look so great in it!” or ‘‘but what if you decide you do need an ice cream maker?
It’s nearly summer!” can undermine your process. This is YOUR de-clutter, not theirs!
10. My tenth tip was to take a photo of the tip sheet I'd given and then throw it into the recycling. Remember when you are given a flyer for something, to can just take a photo with your phone and then let the paper go. This helps reduce paper clutter entering your house.
You can do this!