DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm eager to reorganize and declutter my living space. However, I have tried to do this in the past and have never been successful. What practical steps or approaches can I take to efficiently reorganize, purge belongings and create a more serene environment without feeling overwhelmed by the process? -- Declutter
DEAR DECLUTTER: I will first say that this is a weak area for me as well, but I am happy to share what I have been taught.
Select one room to start. Break the room down into areas to tackle -- areas small enough to manage in a short period of time. Make a list of what you intend to do, one area at a time. As you accomplish a small task, check it off. This will give you motivation to move on to the next task. Give yourself a goal -- perhaps completing five tasks each day. Congratulate yourself as you complete projects. Be sure that throwing things away or giving them to others is a big part of your regular plan. You have to eliminate things from your life to be successful at decluttering.
An expert on the topic, Marie Kondo, has written a dozen books about organization, including her first, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” that provides detailed strategies on creating a healthy relationship between yourself and things that you should let go.
Stop buying things. Once you get your space under control, it’s easiest to keep it that way if you don’t add to your environment. Resist the temptation to bring anything extra into your space. Learn to appreciate less.