Ideas: Feeling too busy to declutter the entire house? Try this instead
Feeling too busy to declutter the entire house? Try this instead
Story: Christine Walsh
The holidays can be a busy time with lots going on in everyone’s schedules. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with household clutter. If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone! But taking on just a little bit to scale back your belongings can help make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone. We asked some local experts for some advice.
“Clutter is the stuff you’ve accumulated over years that you’re keeping ‘just in case’ or was important to you at some point,” professional organizer Maggie Kelly, owner of Organizing CU, said.
“Clutter is a problem when it starts to impact your daily life. If you regularly think, ‘I need to clear out the basement’ and then stress about it, without ever moving on it, then it has become an issue.”
According to Kelly, the biggest clutter spots tend to be paperwork piled up on the kitchen counter, too many clothes in the closet, things thrown anywhere in the garage and kids’ toys without a home.
“Decluttering and clearing your physical space will affect your mental space much more than people believe,” Kelly said. “If you have an organized home, you spend less time stressing over the things in it.”
Kelly said many people are just too busy to bring decluttering up any higher on their priority list. “Some people are too overwhelmed by the task,” she said. “Others just don’t know how to start.”
Kelly cautions not to fall into the comparison trap. “The goal should be to have a home that is relaxing, that you enjoy coming to,” she said. “That will look different for everyone.”
Kelly always recommends starting in a small space if you’re just getting started. “Try setting an hour timer and tackling just one drawer in your bathroom or kitchen,” she suggested. “A few days later, do it again. You’ll get more comfortable with making decisions.”
Kelly advises to take it slow and break down the big jobs into smaller ones. “Don’t tackle the entire garage at once; do just the workbench top, then under, then move to bikes,” she said.
Kelly doesn’t plan sessions longer than two hours. “Decision fatigue is real and exhausting,” she said. “Try to do an hour or two a week.”
Kelly warns not to start in a giant space and pull everything out. “If you aren’t able to finish, it will stop you from making more progress,” she said. “Also, don’t start with sentimental items. Try doing a junk drawer for an easy win.”