Have good intentions but don’t know where to start?

The “flittering effect” might send us from room to room, taking on one mess only to dart off to try another — so we don’t see tangible results.

Reorganizing rooms and de-cluttering them before you start cleaning is a good idea, as dust and dirt will inevitably get whipped up when you move items from room to room. The simplest way to get rid of a lot of accumulated clutter is to use the ‘three box’ approach:

  • Sort all your ‘miscellaneous’ items into three boxes:

1     –        To keep

2      –       To get rid of and

3         –    Undecided

  • Find appropriate homes for the items you want to keep.
  • Consider donating your unwanted items to charity, selling them online, or recycling them. It might motivate you to get rid of the more sentimental items, knowing that they will get a new lease of life somewhere else.
  • For those items you are unsure about, put them in the box and store it away for six months. If you need to break back into the box to reclaim an item, it means that you need it – if, after six months, you haven’t touched any of the items then they can safely be given away.

Some items come with hidden emotional baggage – we are unwilling to part with otherwise useless items, because they remind us of something from the past. Be prepared to identify underlying emotional ties, which will make clearing out the clutter a lot more effective and refreshing.

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