You're not alone if you find yourself overwhelmed by the task of decluttering your office, bedroom or other spaces. The Clean Slate method takes away the emotional aspect of decluttering and makes it a practical and easy exercise.
Photo by schleicher.
How many of your things do you use on a day-to-day basis? Probably very few of them. Yet there they are, strewn about your home, cluttering up your desk, piled in your closets. Hundreds of items waiting for the day you might need or notice them again. Most of those items will never get used again. If they were in daily use would they be shoved at the top of a hall closet or under your bed? At Zen Habits, a blog focused on simplicity and personal growth, they've put together a guide to starting your decluttering efforts with a clean slate.
Step one: Take all the clutter you're facing, useful or not, and put it away. All of it. Put the pile of clothes in a box; put the old emails in a hidden folder. Now you have a "clean slate" to work with, but you don't have to throw anything away. Yet.
Step two: Go about your business as usual. As you discover a genuine need for something (genuine being the operative word), take it out of storage with a clear conscience. No more agonizing over what to keep. Life will show exactly which things you actually need, and which things you only thought you needed.
Step three: When you're ready, sell, donate, or throw away the stuff in storage. It's easier now, since you've had weeks or months to overcome your attachment to it.
Many of us don't have the space to just take all our stuff and shove it in the basement or the spare bedroom. To adapt the technique to a smaller space empty a shelf or a drawer, and use that to store items after they get used. You'll quickly see which items are being stored in the "daily use" zone and which are languishing in their original location. Check out the full article at the link below for ideas on how to apply the technique to your spaces and collections of stuff. Have a tip or trick you want to share? Let's hear about it in the comments.
The Clean-Slate Guide to Simplicity [Zen Habits]