5 Ways to Get Back on the Decluttering Wagon

On February 4, 2010, in Guest Posts, Motivation, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Studies have shown that most New Year’s resolutions are forgotten soon after the new year begins.  Certified Professional Organizer®, Helene Segura, shares a few tips on how you can keep your resolution to stay organized.

As December was ending and January approached, you were excited about the prospect of your New Year’s resolution: Get Organized!  When the after Christmas sales started, you ran out and bought every container imaginable: huge bins, tiny boxes, and those cute little containers that just looked absolutely perfect in the display.

You dove head-on into your first project.  You tore up a room, spread stuff out everywhere – and then got stuck.  So you moved on to another room.  And spread stuff out everywhere.  Before you knew it, you had more clutter in more places than before you started.  Sound familiar?  Don’t worry.  You’re not alone.  You were in the state of inspiration and then crossed the border into the state of overwhelm.  If you want to leave this state and jump back on the decluttering wagon, here are five ways to help yourself get back on track:

1. Take a deep breath. While the task ahead may seem daunting, it is not impossible.  Relax as much as you can and stay positive.

2. Acknowledge the fact that your organizing projects will not be complete overnight. It took time for your clutter to build up, so it will take time to declutter.  Decide if you want to devote a couple of long weekends to your project or if you want to work in small chunks of time each day.

3. Pick one room.  And stick to it. If you hop around from area to area, it will seem like you’re not getting anything done, and that will deflate your enthusiasm.  If you concentrate on just one area, you’ll see visible progress.

4. Divide your room up into sections. Either mentally (in your head) or literally (on paper) draw dividers in your chosen room.  Create a clock pattern and work your way from 6:00 to 7:00 to 8:00 – and so on – all the way back around to 6:00 again.  Or, divide the room into a checkerboard and work on one square at a time.  Cover the room with sheets if the sight of the rest of your stuff distracts you.  Just chip away slowly but surely.

5. Reward yourself at the end of each session. So many times we focus on what we didn’t get done, and that negativity brings us down.  Instead, focus on what you did accomplish and celebrate that progress.

Rome wasn’t built in a day…or two…or even three.  It takes time to build solid foundations.  Pick yourself up by your boot straps and hop back up on the decluttering wagon.  The road to organization might be a bit bumpy at times, but the end destination will be worth the journey.


About the Author

Helene Segura is the owner of LivingOrder® San Antonio.  She teaches clients how to understand their core issues causing disorganization and thereby prevent it in the future.  She also conducts organizing workshops for larger groups and is a member of the trailblazing team providing expert organizing help online at The Clutter Diet.  Helene writes an organizing column for ezine Concierge and has been a featured organizing expert in articles in the San Antonio Express-News, as well as on Great Day S.A. on KENS TV. To get more information, visit her website at  www.LivingOrderSA.com or follow her tweets on Twitter.

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