It can be hard to get rid of clutter in the home. Many of us start an organizing project with good intentions, yet we wind up making less progress than we would have liked. Try the easy three sweep method, which removes the stress and allows you to make progress at your own pace.
The Set Up
Before we get started on any purging or decluttering project, we need to make sure that we follow three guidelines:
Before we get started, we'll need a few bags, boxes or bins. One should be for trash or items that are beyond hope. When this bag or box is filled, out into the trash it goes. The next should be for items that we wish to give away or sell. We could split this second container into more, such as one for items to donate and one for items to pass to friends, but be careful about splitting it out into too many containers. That just gets confusing and makes it less likely that we'll actually get the stuff out of the house. When the donation or sell container is full, place it in your car until you can deliver it to its destination. Our third container should be designated for those uncertain items.
Make sure to take a break between sweeps.
The First Sweep
For the first sweep, we are going to concentrate on just removing the easy items of which we don’t have a great deal of attachment. If we have to think about it for more than 30 seconds, then we'll leave it alone or place it in the uncertain container and move on to the next item. This first sweep should be done as quickly as possible.
The Second Sweep
Concentrate only on those items in the uncertain bin. Take a little more time to determine if they are good enough to take up space in the home. Good questions to ask ourselves about each item are:
If we come across items that need more research, we'll set them back in the uncertain box for now. This might include clothing that needs a try on or an antique in want of a value appraisal.
The Third Sweep
By now you know where this is going. We will finally address the remaining uncertain items. Take the time to try on, try out or repair anything that was in the uncertain pile. Make a decision whether it is a keep or toss/donate.
We are in the home stretch, but these final bits of clutter can be dangerous. It is too easy to procrastinate and never complete the third sweep. An easy way to keep ourselves accountable, if we find ourselves putting off the third sweep, is this: Close up the uncertain box and mark it with a date three months away. If we haven’t made the time to deal with these items, chances are we never will. Donate or toss the entire thing without opening it.
Now we can enjoy our more organized homes.
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