This is the sixth article in a series:
‘PREPARATION OF YOUR DECLUTTERING/CHANGE PROJECT’
CLICK HERE to read all articles.
Now it’s time to get into action:
PLAN FOR ACTION
DEFINE YOUR GOALS AND PREPARE THE DECLUTTERING PROCESS
Decluttering – sorting out what you no longer wish to keep and getting it out of your home – is a strenuous physical activity, is mentally demanding, often gets very emotional and takes time.
Depending on the size of your home, on the number of clutter areas and categories, and on your ability to make quick decisions, it can take several days, or even weeks to get the job done.
You want to avoid feeling overwhelmed even before you start or losing momentum during the process. Thus, it is important to prepare the work carefully and realistically.
You have not only to plan your own time and energy, you might also need support from others and you want to organise all necessary resources and supplies in advance.
Your Declutter-Action-Plan should include:
- Your action goals
- A detailed schedule of the decluttering sessions
- A comprehensive list of the support, the resources and the supplies which have to be organised
- A list of ideas for the disposal of no longer needed items
This article focuses on the first three elements of the action plan, next time we will discuss the disposal of stuff.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DIFFERENT? – YOUR ACTION GOALS
Based on all the work you’ve done so far (see previous articles), you are now well prepared to think about how you would like your home and your life to be different, and to define your action goals.
Start compiling your action plan by determining your goals:
Declutter goal 1 – These are the areas / rooms of my home that I wish to declutter/change:
Declutter goal 2 – These are the clutter hot spots I wish to clear out:
Declutter goal 3 – These are the treasures I wish to take special care of:
Declutter goal 4 – This is how my home will look and feel differently after the decluttering process:
Declutter goal 5 – This is how I will celebrate the success of my declutter project and the positive changes in my home and life:
HOW MUCH TIME, EFFORT AND ENERGY WILL YOU INVEST?
Start and finish of the decluttering project
Plan to invest sufficient time, keeping in mind that any decluttering project usually takes longer than assumed.
Accept that at this point in time you can’t be sure about the exact amount of hours/days you will need to go through the whole declutter/change process from start to finish.
As soon as you’ve finished the work on the first clutter area, you’ll have a better understanding for the process and you’ll feel more confident (and realistic) when you plan the time for the other areas to be tackled.
However, you should fix a broad schedule and determine the maximum time frame before you start.
Take your calendar out and add to your action plan the starting and finishing point of the project.
This is the broad time frame of my declutter / change project:
My declutter project starts on ……………….
and finishes on ……………….
Duration and times of the decluttering sessions
For most people, the ideal duration of a decluttering session is 3 to 4 hours.
If we have less than 2 hours of time available, it’s actually too much effort to get out all the supplies, and prepare the working area.
And after 3 or 4 hours of decluttering, our fitness and energy resources are usually depleted. In that case, it doesn’t make sense to continue working – we risk to lose focus and might start to make hasty and ill-considered decisions.
Are other family members involved in the project? Are they going to participate in the work? Arrange suitable times with them!
Now make a realistic commitment:
Times and duration of my decluttering sessions:
Each week, I’ll work ………. times on my project.
These are my declutter days: ……….
These are my working hours on each declutter day:
start at ……….
finish at ……….
These are my decluttering partners/supporters: ……….
WHAT SUPPLIES DO YOU NEED?
You can expect to produce lots of piles of stuff that have to be discarded. You will likely fill numerous bags and boxes during the sorting / decluttering process in Step 4.
Get your basic kit ready: rubbish bags, carton boxes, plastic tubs, bins, tape, tape gun, sticky labels, marker, notepad, pens, scissors, packaging paper, gloves, cleaning supplies.
Any type of container should be suitable to collect and carry discarded stuff without tearing. Boxes should be sturdy enough to contain heavy items like books. Invest in large heavy-duty rubbish bags.
Gather some cleaning supplies, such as a bucket with a mixture of water and white vinegar, and some cleaning cloths or paper towels. Plan to put on gloves if you have to clear up very dirty areas or places where spiders and cockroaches and other little ‘friends’ love to gather.
Also important: Plan to wear comfortable clothing and to have soft drinks, coffee/tea and snacks on hand.
PREPARING THE WORKING AREAS
The activity of decluttering tends to create its own mess, at first, and it needs space.
You need empty areas / rooms to spread out your belongings and sort them, and then you need space where you can collect and store the give-aways until you carry / drive them away.
Folding tables can be used as working areas during the sorting phase of the decluttering process. Regular tables such as your desk or the dining room table are suitable as long as you don’t need them for other purposes for the duration of the sorting session.
If you don’t have any free flat surfaces available, you could place an old blanket or sheet on the floor and use it as your working space.
That’s it, for today.
The next article in this series will focus on HOW DO YOU ORGANISE THE DISPOSAL OF ITEMS.