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How to start decluttering when you are completely overwhelmed

The "before" picture...

Obviously, this is a time when hiring a professional organizer would be the best option! But when that isn’t possible here is what I recommend:

1-Get someone to work with you. Chose someone who will be supportive of you getting rid of the things that aren’t helping you in your life right now and will help you be objective. You might offer to help them with their own project in return for their help.

2-Focus! Try to get rid of all distractions, make the most of this time! Arrange for the kids to be playing with friends somewhere else, put your phone away, don’t worry about other chores etc. Multitasking gets all of us into trouble with many unfinshed projects and piles!

3-Decide on a specific room or area, like a closet, and when you’re ready to declutter and organize, completely finish it before you worry about anything else. Chose something you can reasonably do in one decluttering and organizing session. Take “before” pictures.

4-Decide on a specific amount of time and start a timer. I don’t know what it is about having a timer going but it can be a great motivator to keep you focused and working faster. It also helps you remember that you won’t be doing this forever. I recommend 1 hour if your working by yourself and 2 hours if you have someone helping.

5-Quickly look over the space and decide what 3-5 items are most important to you and pull them aside. Then think through what needs to happen in this space and what you like about it and don’t like about it.

6-Take everything out of the space (except heavy furniture) and put it in another room or space. As you are taking everything out of the room, sort it into bins, baskets or piles of like things. Example: all electronics together, all paperwork together, all office & school supplies together, obvious trash in the garbage or recycling bins etc. Don’t stress and don’t try to make decisions at this point just pull everything out as quickly as possible.