Ten Ways To Make Decluttering Easier

Decluttering is a chore which can be fun if done right. This post highlights a few steps to make decluttering fun

When I think of decluttering or see an episode on Hoarders, I mask my inward groans with a smile. You would groan too if / when you have a closet like mine. Or kitchen cabinets like mine. Or a Study like mine.

I am not even going to assault your eyes with the sore details of my closet but let me give you a slight peek.

-Picture 8yr old toys (some of them missing vital limbs / parts),

-10yr old Tops I still wistfully look at, hoping to still fit into them in the ‘nearest’ future,

-Pretty-little-stripy monochrome maternity dress I still cannot bring myself to throw out even though I do not intend to have more babies,

-Tiny socks, blankets, cute onesies with (the colorful) ‘little but loud’ inscription, bibs,

-Handwritten letters dated 20yrs ago from high school friends (I no longer see or talk to),

-The first card I made for my then boyfriend (now hubby) in far away Adamawa State, they are an ‘eye-full’.

I do not want to keep listing the gazillion items I hold on to or you’d think I am a nut case.

Everything thrown somewhere until they are fortunate to be stumbled upon and then I sit with misty eyes, tenderly holding each item close as I reminisce.

Each item has a story and I relive each story all over again as I sniff through each piece.

I know what you ‘re thinking right now. And you are right too.

I am a confirmed hoarder whose hoarding knows no limit.

I think Hubby has given up on me. Or not. (Finally managed to throw out an old pair of shorts I got for him which he stopped wearing and I took over…8yr old striped shorts which slouched on the hips whenever I put them on)

I also remember our last holiday, sitting in our Hosts’ spacious living room when the TV show -Hoarders came on the screen and hubby pointedly made a remark which had us all in stitches…we all had a good laugh. At my expense.

I really do not mind, I hold my treasures dear even as I identified with those women. But I do not need psychological counseling to get over this. Not anymore.

Anyone remembers the scripture about laying up treasures in heaven for ourselves rather than here in our closets and bank accounts?

Well, I do and I try to also remember that rich man who stored up stuffs in his Barn(s) thinking a day would come when he was going to need them. But he died the next day.

I imagined his treasures going to some strangers who did not know how much addicted and attached he was to hoarding!

Strangers who had no idea how much he loved every bit of his well kept stuffs, to the point of using up his energy working at keeping them intact. To the detriment of enjoying the ‘present’ presents he had. Pun intended.

Anyway, I still am not going to throw away dear mum’s small green diary…it is about the only item I possess which has her handwriting on it…

Earlier this year, I had the good fortune of ‘stumbling’ upon this post over at  Life at 139a which talks about 2016 items to be thrown / given out in 2016. I even dropped a comment about trying out that strategy.

And I managed to get out close to 300 (loved) items or thereabouts after reading that post and then I stopped. Because it was unfair to keep turning out or thrashing my well-loved pieces.

Pieces that could still be useful. In the future. (My excuse to hubby when he comes after me, every time)
I mean, if those stuffs are not hurting anyone or encroaching on anyone’s space..(they actually encroaches on ‘our’ space)..then why do I have to throw them away?

But who am I to keep anything for the future?

Refer to that poor wealthy man up there.

Simply enjoy the present and trust in the ONE who holds the future Click To Tweet

I have to give myself a pat on the back because I have indeed come a long way in curing myself, but the finish line is far from near.

I remember how I would go through the ritual of picking an item I thought I would use but haven’t used in months or years, scan it critically and toss it without looking onto the make-shift trash heap. And my heart would lurch as I struggle not to pick it back and return it to the closet or cabinet.

Three Positives of Being a Hoarder

  1. We have an eye for details. Yes, even details of pieces we may not need until 10 years time!
  2. When we love, we love WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Seriously, we will love you to the moon and back..like they say.
  3. We are loyalists, desertion is not a word to be found in our dictionary.

Hoarders rock…but not for long.

Three Negatives

  • It requires too much space and energy…we occupy space that could be put to better use
  • It take ages to unearth missing items. I had been without one of my phones for 3 days…the battery went off so trying to locate it by dialing the number was out of the question. It resurfaced after some sweaty efforts, from under the piles of (my) clothes on the Pressing Board!
  • Hoarding disrupts relationships and robs us of the peace of enjoying the present

The missing phone saga actually happened 2 days ago so I am all fired up, again.

Just how much do we require to be happy per time?

Not much, I guarantee you.

And how often do we have to keep taking a peek into the past?

Do we really need to hold those items physically close to savor the warmth and joys of days gone by?

Now I have decided to tackle decluttering (my life) using a simplistic approach, I hope. Maybe this can also work for you, fellow hoarders lovers.

We hoard because we love and have trouble letting go, yes?

Time to start setting our hearts on what is above.

10 Ways To Making Decluttering Easier

  1. Get some cool / lifting music playing in the ‘background’, it makes it easier everytime.
  2. Make a list of things and people that means the world to you, consider whatever is not on that list as things that should find another haven somewhere.
  3. Identify a ‘small’ area to start with or choose a place to start decluttering from -phone, laptop, kitchen, closet, rooms, etc
  4. Tackle one area per time and leave every other area until you are through with the first one. For instance, you want to start with your kitchen, let your room be until you are done with setting aside what you do not need in the kitchen.
  5. Start small, do not try to clean out everything all at once.
  6. Set aside / dedicate a few minutes to this task daily. At least 5 minutes from every 24hrs, not more than 1 hr lest you become overwhelmed and chicken out.
  7. Weed out just 1 item per day rather than having multiple items thrown out all at the same time. That way we get to throw out at least 365 items in one year. Do not restrict yourself, if you have 10 items to throw out, by all means, do.
  8. Separate what is going to the trash Bin from what is finding its way into someone else’ hands or homes
  9. Keep a record of all you want to throw out either by writing somewhere or by taking snapshots.
  10. Celebrate your feat, it is no mean one.

So, there we have it.

I am making small progress, by the day.

Last week Tuesday, I put out two of my heels and asked hubby to just place them by the Bin outside where anyone that needs them could pick them up – before the Waste Truck arrives.

I never could have imagined life without my brown pumps but I am yet to miss seeing it on the Shoe Rack, for a second.

And my happiness cup hasn’t become suddenly half-empty by any means (on account of the missing shoes).

*Hi5*

One item set aside per day as I sift through the clutter to be able to enjoy the present is the way to go (for me).

How do you tackle decluttering?

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Biola Leye

Wife, mother, writer, leader, entrepreneur and lover of all things good.

10 thoughts on “Ten Ways To Make Decluttering Easier

  • April 19, 2016 at 2:39 am
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    I like your 2nd point about writing down what is near and dear to you and then donating what doesn’t fall into those categories! That is a great tip to help people get started on decluttering. Good luck on your efforts! You will keep finding more and more items like your brown pumps. And remember, the memories will stay alive in you, even if you don’t have the physical items any more!

    Reply
    • April 21, 2016 at 3:38 pm
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      Hi Robin,

      The memories really stay alive in my heart, you don’t want to know how many items I’ve found since I started!

      Thanks for visiting, hope to see more of you.

      Blessings,

      Reply
  • April 20, 2016 at 9:48 pm
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    I refuse to label myself as a hoarder, much preferring the title of “Collector of Pretty Things”!!

    I do need to unclutter, but being the person I am, I always feel that I am tossing away valuable memories. I will have to start looking at it as making room for new memories! AND following your tips! Thanks for sharing!

    BTW, I am stopping by from Turn It Up Tuesday!

    Reply
  • April 21, 2016 at 12:40 am
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    Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I want to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account seem to get one thing done.|

    Reply
  • April 21, 2016 at 8:43 am
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    These are great tips – putting on music helps a lot as does making sure you tackle a small amount each day. I tend to set a timer for 15 minutes to keep me focused – it’s amazing what can be done in such a short space of time! I did a big declutter before Christmas and went through each room, listing every drawer, cupboard and shelf that I needed to de-clutter and then resolved to tick off one item each day from the list. It worked really well – broke it all down into manageable chunks and ticking items off made me feel like I was making progress. #coolmumclub

    Reply
  • April 21, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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    I have to say I am in the LOVE decluttering camp. I find it hugely therapeutic (maybe I’m strange) but my mum is the polar opposite. Great tips for those who find decluttering hard! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    Reply
  • May 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm
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    Space is at such a premium I’ve had to be really strict with myself this year – I scanned in all my old penpal letters, etc, and got rid of the hard copies. I never thought I could do it, but I didn’t even twitch too much when the recycling was collected… I always find music helps. Being in a good upbeat mood keeps the momentum going! #pocolo

    Reply
  • May 7, 2016 at 12:51 am
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    I’ve started reading the Kon Mari book and it’s…interesting. It does have some good ideas around how to tackle tidying. The basic premise is around a place for everything (to save clutter and make it easier to tidy) and only keeping things that ‘spark joy’ rather than holding onto things ‘just in case’. We have drawers and a shed full of ‘just in case’!

    Music helps most things and makes it less of a dull experience. One suggestion is to stay away from the sentimental stuff till the end so you don’t get sucked into losing track of time while reminiscing over old pictures and letters.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing your story and tips.

    #PoCoLo

    Reply
  • May 7, 2016 at 6:49 am
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    why do we all have to declutter all of a sudden? I’ve lugged boxes and boxes of things half way around the world of keepsakes of our 5 children and stuff we’ve inherited from grandparents, nope i’m not keeping my memories just in my heart and head, they’re staying in these boxes that are visited when we move and when the kids come to visit, they love rifling through their childhood and ours, looking at real photo’s, selecting some to take home with them for their own box of memories

    Reply
  • May 13, 2016 at 4:09 pm
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    I both love and hate decluttering, it takes such effort but the end result is great. 🙂
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

    Reply

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