Decluttering 101

By Kristina Duke, Decluttering Diva

What are you procrastinating???

Are you: folding a basket of laundry? Booking your Pap smear? De junking the junk drawer? Taking your charity items to the op shop? Organising your paperwork?

Big or small tasks, we all procrastinate. Why? There are several reasons:

  • We believe that the job is too big for now, so if we can’t achieve it all, why bother starting. 
  • We don’t know where to start
  • It doesn’t excite or interest us, so we get easily distracted

Sound familiar?

When working with my Decluttering Diva clients, I like to challenge their thinking because our brains hold more power with our clutter than the basic stuff.

Try this challenge:

  1. Think of a task such as folding your laundry and putting it away.
  2. Estimate how long you think the task will take.
  3. Set your timer on your watch or phone and do the task.

More times than not, the task takes less time than anticipated. 

We then set up new pathways in our brain to tell us we can get things done by challenging our thinking.

Here’s another strategy to try when you think the task it’s too big. Break it down into smaller tasks. Sounds too easy, but it works.

For example, you are looking at that giant pile of paperwork – unopened mail, bills, school notes, receipts and more – let’s attack a little at a time – pull out all the receipts and put them in one pile, clip them together and walk away. Next time, open the mail and put the envelopes in recycling, find all the bank statements, put them together, etc. 

If you can’t, think of how to break it down, ask a friend or support worker to help make broad categories or tasks.

BONUS TIP: If you’re worried, you will get lost in the task and lose hours (I’m speaking to those of you with ADHD tendencies) 

Set a time for 15 minutes and stop when the timer is done. If you still feel fresh, do another 15 minutes. Please make sure you stop after that because we want you to feel optimistic about decluttering. This way, you are rewiring those negative thought patterns with new ones that say, “I can do this!” “This is achievable!” and “I can get more organised over time”.

Setting up the systems and making plans are great, but you often don’t start doing it until the idea is perfect. There is NO PERFECT WAY to organise!

The plan doesn’t need to be perfect; the system doesn’t need to be perfect. I usually find that systems need to be tweaked to suit each client as we go along. Just start! Let’s make progress, not procrastination and rewire our brains into more positive mindsets.

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