Decluttering Tips for the Naturally Disorganized

April 25, 2014

decluttering tipsI personally hate decluttering and organizing.

De-crapifying  means I’ve accumulated so much stuff that it necessitates having to put them in order. They remind me of aspirational phantom projects that I feel I “should” do but know deep down will never get around to doing. Clutter is really just a physical manifestation of postponed decisions, as Kat Ong puts it.

Here’s how I stay the course when the pull of inertia gets too intense.

1. Start small. Literally work on a minuscule area – the junk drawer, your lipstick collection on your dresser, the family photos on a shelf. Lifehack experts agree that little wins keep you motivated to do more.

2. Organize whatever you can, and then stop. When it starts to feel like a gargantuan chore, do something else. Organizing shouldn’t be the be all and end all of the limited 24 hours I have in a day, because it’s just a means to an end.

3. Keep a small space empty. The Japanese believe that “nothingness is not empty space, but is a space made for potentiality”. There’s a reason why zen gardens and clean visuals make us feel calmer and more expansive. It gives our minds space to explore and prevents us from getting pulled into the visual noise.

4. Quality, not quantity. (But you already knew that, right? Just checking.)

5. The Quick Clutter bust. Still my favorite chore-cum-excercise, because speed is of the essence here. I put on some upbeat, happy tunes to keep me going. (Pharrell’s Happy is my current favorite.)

6. FIFO – First in, first out is just my handy reminder to restrain excessive consumerism, and is not necessarily applied literally. For example, whenever I’m tempted to buy new clothes, I think of one thing that needs to go in my closet first. This accomplishes either of these two things: 1) It stops me from purchasing new stuff, or 2) it makes me savor the new item more because I got it at the expense something I used to own (aside from the cash I used to buy the new shiny object, of course).

Any tips to keep your decluttering and organization mojo going? I’m all ears!

2 thoughts on “Decluttering Tips for the Naturally Disorganized

  1. Carmel

    I’m one of those who are naturally disorganized so I really appreciate these tips! I like the part where you put on upbeat tunes when you declutter so it won’t feel so much of a chore! :)

    I read somewhere that one way for the disorganized to declutter is to spend 10 minutes each day (no more, no less) decluttering. You’ll be able to do so much in a week, and it says it helps in avoiding distractions caused by unnecessary clutter. :)


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