Decluttering 101: 5 steps to get started from “organizing doc” Ronit Zweig, PsyD
1. Toss the trash. Do a walk-through of your entire home, and throw out all of the garbage, even if you do no other cleaning. You’ll be amazed how much that can help.
2. Tackle what you can see first. Don’t worry about organizing closets and drawers right away; focus on countertops, desks, and chairs.
3. Figure out what you need and use. Do another walk-through, and gather items you haven’t used in six months or more. Toss what’s broken or donate what still works. If you can’t quite bring yourself to do that yet, put the items in a box and store the box somewhere of the way but not completely out of sight. “This way, it’ll remain just annoying enough for a rainy-day activity,” says Zweig.
4. Set up organizing systems. For example, if the area near your front door is a dumping ground, create a “station” with baskets for various items, such as shoes and mail. If your “stuff” is organized by category, it’ll be easier to bring some order to it later.
5. Take baby steps. You might not be able to see a huge change in the way your home looks right away, so remind yourself that every little bit counts. It’ll help you keep a positive attitude.