Saturday, November 22 is National Declutter day!

De-cluttering is a habit. It needs to be a lifelong habit, because it's never finished. You will always have new things coming into your home, and you will always have to make decisions about what to keep, and when things are no longer worth keeping.

The reason some people seem to manage to keep clutter free homes, is that they have made it a habit. If you don't make it a habit then you end up with a big overwhelming pile-up that you just can't seem to imagine cleaning up!

De-cluttering involves sorting and organizing things, and making decisions about them. Making decisions is hard. It's hard because we doubt ourselves and don't trust our own judgment. It's hard because we are often not in the habit of making certain decisions on a regular basis, but we are in the habit of putting those decisions off, lest we make a bad one. It's extremely hard for the overly sentimental person. When your emotions are tied to "stuff" it can be like giving a part of yourself away.

There are many ways you can approach your de-cluttering, depending on the volume of stuff you want to shift, but they all involve making decisions. Depending on your situation, you may have a number of categories into which your stuff may fall, but the basic ones are always the same:

- Throw away - garbage, broken items, trash, recycling, no good to anyone
- Sell or give away - good for somebody else, but no good to you any more
- Keep and put it where it goes, or find a place for it

These three things may have sub categories, but that's basically it.

If you need to, you can add a fourth category for items you're undecided about. But you should really push yourself to stay away from the "undecided" category. After all, isn't that why you have a big mess in the first place?

Now, given that de-cluttering needs to be a continuous, ongoing and a never ending habit, you may as well set in place your own systems for where to put each item when you've decided which category it belongs to.

I keep a little space in my garage for items I plan to donate. I visit my local food pantry about once a month. Even if I personally do not have anything to donate, I take donations that have been dropped off at my church and deliver them. Knowing that I am going to the food pantry monthly helps me be diligent about de-cluttering. And knowing that someone else will use my unneeded stuff is a great feeling, and helps with any attachment issues I may have.

A huge part of gaining control of your environment and getting organized is LETTING GO. Let go of your "stuff" and make room for the wonderfully free feeling you gain from no longer being bogged down! Start your habit of de-cluttering today.

Need a jump-start? Call us at Simply Organized because we can help!

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