Ok, I get it, you're ALREADY overwhelmed - whether it be by your stuff, your schedule, who you live with, or all of the above - and knowing you need to declutter but not HOW just makes it worse.
Well, take a moment and breathe. I got you.
Here are some truly simple tips for decluttering when you're overwhelmed. Baby steps. Rome wasn't built in a day and your space wasn't cluttered in a day, but you CAN have a space that's peaceful and calm. Let's take a look at how we do this.
1. Start with a small thing, like a drawer, corner in a room, or a desk top. Don't go big, go small to start. Take everything out, sort into what you want to keep and what can go, and then put back what you want to keep. Use the motivation you get from accomplishing that task and move on to something else!
2. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes to help you focus on the task at hand. By using a timer, you remind yourself to stay focused on the task, you have more energy doing the task since there is a time limit, and you have motivation to complete a lot in a short amount of time. I recommend a timed timer, or visual timer, like this one so you can glance quickly and see how much time is left.
3. Set a number of items to get rid of, and go around the house with a donation bag. I like the day of the month method - if it's the 10th day, find 10 items, if it's the 11th day, find 11 items, and so on and so forth. This includes trash, too!
4. Pick one category to declutter and set aside 30 minutes each day to work on it. For example, kid's shoes, books, toys, kitchen drawers, etc. Repeat each day until it's done. It might take you a week, but you did it! Reward yourself with a treat, food or otherwise.
5. Stop clutter before it starts! Before bringing any items into your home, ask yourself if you really need it or will it just contribute to clutter? If you enter into your home through the garage, consider putting a trash, recycle, and donate bin near the door, so you can easily dispose of items before they even come in.
6. If you have children, involve them in the process. Help them decide what they can get rid of, and find a local cause to donate gently used clothing and toys. (Hint: if you're in the Austin area, check out heartening.org, or nationally check out this list). Children love being included, especially if you can make a game out of it.
7. Start a nightly reset. Before going to bed, use a laundry basket to pick up any trash or items that don't belong, put away the dishes, and set out items for breakfast/coffee the next morning. You'll rest easier knowing your home has been "reset."
I hope that was helpful in your journey to becoming more organized. If there was a tip or idea that you especially connected with, let me know in the comments below!