Do find yourself standing, staring, and paralysed in the middle of the kids play space wondering where to start? This week I’m delighted to welcome our first guest blog from the wonderful Sarah at Meco Blue Living. Sarah will be sharing some helpful hints on how to get started on your decluttering journey by setting up systems and reducing overwhelm. I hope you enjoy this week’s guest blog post and if you have any topics or guests you’d like to request for the future, click here to let us know!

Let’s get started!

3 Tips to Kick off Decluttering

If you are anything like me you probably find it really easy to look around, take stock of the size of a job that needs to be done and suddenly become completely paralyzed because you don’t even know where to start. 

I know I’m not the only one – because this is a question I get asked a lot! “Where do I even start??”

You could ask 20 different people this same question and get 20 different answers!  But I’m going to layout for you the things that I do to get me started when I’ve been on a mission to Declutter! 

  1. Set up a sorting system for your house.  You will need a way to process what you are getting rid of and what passes through your house. 
    • Your kitchen or laundry (whatever works for you) is generally a good place for your waste system. I’ve got a basket for recycling, a small tidy bin for rubbish, a corner for glass jars/bottles to donate and a bag to pack soft plastics into (tip: Tip a tall skinny bag so its easier to pack it all in and it stay that way!) I’ve also just set up a rubber band hanging on a clip to collect any bread tags and a bottle to collect any lids – these are both going to specific recycling programs
    • Set up somewhere to collect things to donate (or sell if you like). Personally I use a box or bag to collect and then pop it into the car when it is time to take it to donate OR into a small basket near the door (or box on the porch) when it is pending collection. 
    • Note these systems do NOT have to take up a lot of room. I managed to have a functional sorting system in our Tiny House using a small set of shelves in the bathroom and a sealed tub on the deck (or under the house initially). These systems were actually even MORE valuable in a small space as it was especially important to keep things moving out of our house rather than get jumbled and disorganised. 
    • When you are in the middle of a decluttering session its ideal to be able to have these things beside you! Drag in your bin, recycle basket and a donate box beside you so you can quickly pull things aside! 

2. Next remove some of the visual overwhelm in your vision by collecting up any recycling. For most of us the rubbish generally makes it to the bin – but the recycling has a tendency to take the form of things we read once and put aside to end up as clutter on a desk, table or rack! So quickly walk around and pick up any catalogues, magazines, scraps of paper, used envelopes and papers that you have finished with. This should give you a start at actually seeing the ‘stuff’ that you are trying to deal with. 

3. Get started with some momentum with an easy task that 1) gives you time back and 2) you visibly see the impact from. I noticed that the housework tasks that I struggled to keep up with the most were the areas that made the biggest impact to start with as they made both a visible difference AND really cut down the time it took me to keep up with that task.

 For me this was taking away any surplus sets of cutlery, crockery and drink ware just leaving one set out each. I kept some additional sets in a tucked away cupboard for hosting guests – but the day to day accessible items became just 1 setting each. This meant dishes had to be done during the day and reduced the size of the mess in the kitchen left at the end of the day. For me this gave us a huge boost! 

Maybe for you that one simple thing might be simplifying your wardrobe and thereby reducing the size of your possible laundry pile.  Or maybe its taking the books off your bedside table and giving away the ones you just couldn’t get into. Or throwing our your out of date makeup (or pantry!) items. Or perhaps its actually getting started on the toys scattered right around the house. 

Whatever it is for you – try to make it a simple job that doesn’t bring up too much emotion and you will be able to see the impact. This is the start of your momentum that will get you started! I doesn’t even matter much what you start with as long as you can see that you made progress quickly. But if you cannot work out what to do next, jump over to my instagram to see when our next free 30 day challenge begins!

Sarah is a mother, mentor, DIYer and advocate. She is passionate about all things simple, minimal and sustainable. Sarah and her family designed, planned and DIY built their Tiny House on Wheels and it was their full time home for 2 years. Now she spends her days helping families build a life of purpose and intention. 

You can find Sarah hanging out on Instagram here and find her free resources as well as her “On Purpose” membership on her website mecoblue.com