Declutter Time? Start from Zero to Win Big!

Start at Zero to Declutter

Declutter by starting at zero!

Spring brings the call to declutter. Is that true for you?

As you open windows, let in fresh air, and enjoy the returning light (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), do your thoughts turn to the dusty piles of papers, the old clothes, and the unused gadgets that have accumulated in your life through the winter months?

Or maybe it’s your schedule that you want to declutter. How about your to-do list? Your garage? Your e-mail or your computer’s desktop?  Whatever you want to declutter – whether it’s your physical space, your virtual space, or your schedule – this is an excellent time of year to do it.  So if you’re starting to gear up for a springtime ‘cleanse’ I’ve got a tip for you!

I came upon this tip in a very brief post titled Letting Go and Living: One Quick Tip to Reevaluate Clutter and it’s actually quite elegant in its simplicity. The author, Kim Lucian, writes:

Don’t start by taking things away; instead, clear the decks and add them back in.

No matter what you’re aiming to declutter, this method works like a charm.

Think about it: rather than having to make one painful decision after another about letting go, you remove everything at once. Then you make the more positive-feeling choices about what you want to add back in.

If you’re someone who tends to hold onto things, this process creates mental (and physical) space that is otherwise hard to come by.

I add another step to the process – it helps me move toward decluttering when the choice is particularly difficult. Create a ‘holding area’ for things you’re not sure about.  This ‘place’ will vary according to the items it holds.  For example:

  • Create a “Let Go” category in your e-mail, calendar, or to-do list for tasks or reminders that you are nearly ready to let go of.
  • For printed material, I use my recycle bin to help me let go.  I usually wait for @ two weeks before recycling the contents of my bin, so if I’ve put something in there and I don’t need it in that time-span, I let it go.
  • The same concept applies to clothes for me.  When I declutter my closet, if I’ve got some clothes that I might or might not want to keep, I put them in a recycling bin that I have for cloth. This one I let sit longer – often several months.  And then, if I haven’t revisited that bin, I either recycle or give away those items.

When I declutter I always feel clearer, freer, and lighter – no matter what area of my life I am working on. How about you?

If you’re ready to do some letting go, I recommend starting from zero.  And I’d love to hear how that works for you!

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