The Procrastinator’s Declutter Action Plan

Thursday February 28, 2019
if your home looks like this, you might need to declutter

If you’re one of the many people inspired by the Marie Kondo Method, you’ve likely attempted to declutter your home. Maybe tidying up was your New Year’s Resolution, or perhaps you decided to start “spring cleaning” a little early after catching Marie’s new Netflix show.

You’re not alone. One in four Americans has a “clutter problem.” Eighty-four percent worry their homes aren’t organized.

The need for help with the insurmountable task of “decluttering” has exploded so much that the National Association of Professional Organizers has grown from 400 to more than 4,000 members since the 1990s. If you’re struggling to tidy up your life, you’re in the same predicament as countless Americans.

Before we go any further, here’s a quick caveat: If your home looks like a magazine photo shoot and you’ve succeeded in tidying up using the Marie Kondo KonMari Method, this article might not be for you. If you’re more like the average person, who has good intentions but maybe doesn’t have time to declutter the 300,000 items in their house, then The Procrastinator’s Guide to Decluttering Your Home is likely right up your alley. Here’s your five-step guide to decluttering, the procrastinator’s way.

Step 1: Stop Procrastinating

Okay, maybe you aren’t procrastinating, per se, but are just really overworked. But regardless of why you’re not starting on your decluttering adventure, you must make the conscious decision to finally check this task off your list (insurmountable as it may seem). Imagine how great it will feel to come home when your place is clean and you don’t have a large to-do item hanging over your head.

Here’s a word of advice to help you get started: Find a time when you have nothing else going on and schedule an appointment on your calendar to go through some things you don’t need in your house. And yes, actually putting it on your schedule is key.

Get your phone out, open up your Gmail, Outlook, Apple or Android calendar, and literally make an appointment. Set a notification so there’s no excuse to forget, and don’t ditch your plan if something more exciting comes along. Then, invite your roommate, husband, wife, parents or friends to join you.

Whether you realize it or not, letting other people know you’re going to be decluttering will make you more likely to stick to your plan. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), which knows a thing or two about the topic of accountability, found that if you share your goal with someone, your chances of completing it are 65%, which isn’t too bad. They’re even higher—95%—if you set up an accountability appointment with that person.

Step 2: Get Help

If you’re a seasoned procrastinator, you’ve probably learned that getting others to help you can move mountains—in this case, mountains of clutter. As you embark upon your tidying up journey, don’t be afraid to enlist others to help you.

If you’re a parent, start with your kids. Although that rare angelic kid might help voluntarily, most will likely need some extra motivation to get moving. Try making a game out of organizing, or allow your kids to have friends over once the work is done. (This doubles as the perfect opportunity to show off your clean home to their parents).

If you don’t have kids, ask your partner, your friends or your extended family to help you clean house or even a professional declutterer. After all, the money you spend will be worth it for the peace of mind and freedom to enjoy your space.

Step 3: Do the Minimal Amount Required

This may sound confusing, given that you’ve been struggling to declutter for so long. The idea here is to “work smarter, not harder.” The Marie Kondo Method might be life-changing for some people, but most of us don’t have time to painstakingly review each item we own and decide if it “sparks joy.”

This is one case when you should take the easy way out. Do the minimal amount required to become a minimalist.

Step 4: Start With One Room

Go room by room, but start with just one, likely the room where you—or your guests—spend the most time. Then, beeline for the trash. If you have a good deal of actual trash or items that should really be tossed out, you’ll be surprised how much this can help with your decluttering.

Once you’ve taken care of the low-hanging fruit, focus on the things you know you don’t want anymore. Put those items in boxes, organize them and get them out of the house. Don’t pull everything out of your closet and put it all in one pile; simply grab the things that aren’t on hangers, or the shirts in the very back that you never wear, and box them up to leave the house

Step 5: Rent a Storage Unit

If your decluttering feels like an insurmountable task, or if you have a real reason for holding on to certain items, consider getting a mini storage unit. Renting affordable self-storage units gives you the extra space you need and allows you to declutter and organize without throwing out things that do hold value—whether sentimental, monetary or in a way you can’t put your finger on but is keeping you from tossing them for good.

Step 6: Share Your Progress

Maybe you’re not a bragger by nature, but don’t feel ashamed to tell your friends about your accomplishment—especially the ones who involved in holding you accountable. While the Procrastinator’s Guide to Decluttering Your Home isn’t quite the KonMari method, it is a practical way to make progress toward paring down those countless items cluttering your home. And that’s no small feat.

If you do decide to tell everyone you put your things in storage, let them know about the clean, premium, top-notch security storage units in Houston that Big Tex Storage has to offer. We have locations in, River Oaks, Montrose and Garden Oaks.

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