I have to admit, I kind of like having rules—as long as I’m the one who’s made them! Rules make it easier for me to get things done faster and have fewer decisions to make. Since I find decision-making tiring, the more rules I have about certain things, the better.
Here are some of my personal rules:
-The day must start with a good cup of coffee
-Never check email, Facebook, or Twitter at the start of the workday
-The dishwasher gets run at night and emptied in the morning (preferably by someone else)
-Sundays are always for relaxing, and never for working
But enough about me! Here are some simple rules to use when decluttering that will help you have less decisions to make and more action to take:
One Extra is Enough
Set your ‘stocking up’ limit at one extra. One extra dish soap. One extra hand cream. One extra package of toilet paper…You get the idea! As soon as you use up something and open your ‘one extra’ you can go buy another one!
When you’re decluttering, this helps eliminate decisions about what to keep. Make sure you keep the best ‘one extra’ and let the rest go. Oh, and that’s not ‘one extra’ in every scent! Just one extra will do.
Your Name and Address are Not Private
Clutterers are very diligent about protecting their privacy. If this describes you, you’re not alone! BUT… remember that your name and address are public information. You do not protect your privacy by shredding every envelope with your name and address on it. You just make more work for yourself and wear out your shredder faster.
When you’re sorting through papers to get rid of, if your name and address are on it and there’s no other identifying information, just drop it in your recycling bin and move to the next paper.
After Decluttering, Do Something Fun
If you’re the type of person that finds decluttering really tiring or stressful, always finish a decluttering session by doing something fun. Relating a reward to the process of decluttering is a valuable step in shifting your mindset and being able to tackle some decluttering again tomorrow.
Follow the Flamingo
This is my FAVORITE tip EVER (so far!). It was shared by a lovely lady on a message board and I LOVE it!! Do you have trouble staying focused when you’re decluttering? I know how it is, you find something that goes in the laundry room so you take it there, and then you remember you meant to start a load of laundry, so you go to your bedroom to get a basket of laundry, and then you see the gift you meant to give your friend so you take it to the dining room where the wrapping paper is…. Yep. It can be hard to stay focused!
So, how about this? Get yourself a night bright inflatable flamingo (or something else eye-catching) and put it down where you plan to declutter. Then, if you happen to get distracted all you have to do is go back to your flamingo to get back on task! When you’re done with one thing, more the flamingo (and yourself) on to the next thing. I love this tip so much I’ll be including it again soon.