How to deal with clutter quickly

The question I asked myself over and over again this morning was: What shall I do with all this clutter?  I was faced with the task of sorting out the spare room in my house, otherwise known as the study or guest bedroom, which has been a mess for a while. 

Clutter filled every corner, surface and most of the floor.  Having been on ‘holiday at home’ this week, my plan was to tackle just one room a day so that I could spend the rest of each day relaxing and being with the family.  I started the week with the ‘easier to tidy’ rooms, but today this particular room finally got to me!

Putting off tackling the clutter

Whenever I take time off I’m faced with this scenario – same clutter, different room.  I knew that this time I wanted to tackle it differently, not shuffle things around putting them in a neater pile or different box AND I wanted to do it quickly. 

Yesterday, I sat in the room and had a look around, remembering a conversation that I had with my parents that morning.  We were talking about how long it takes to sort through belongings that have ended up in the spare room (or junk room) and how each item needs a decision.

It suddenly hit me (I love ‘ah ha’ moments) – I was putting off this onerous task because I didn’t know what to do with the stuff (which is mostly mine I might add – I’m a bit of a hoarder).  I also find it hard to make decisions about whether I want to keep something or not.  I decided that I had two choices: do it the short way to get the stuff out of my space, or do it the long way which I knew I didn’t want to face right now.

The short way – I would pick up each item and ask myself one just question:  Do I want this item to stay in the house? If the answer was no, it would go in a box marked ‘garage’ (unless I had the confidence to throw it straight in a rubbish sack).  I would also put a date on the box(es) one year from now and if I end up not looking in them in that time, I would get rid of the items somehow (that scares me just writing it!).

The long way – I would pick up each item and ask myself four questions.  Do I want this item in the house? Do I want to sell this item?  Do I want to give this item to charity? Does this item need fixing?  (Obviously the rubbish bag is present for things I know I don’t want).  I’d then deal with each category accordingly.

My goal

To have a tidy and uncluttered room by the time I picked the kids up from school. Scenario one seemed achievable in the two to three hours that I had allocated.  To go with scenario two was a much bigger beast.

I went with scenario one.

The result

Within one hour I had boxed and bagged up so much stuff and before I even had time to think about it, I took it all to the garage.  This motivated me to do the next step – to reorganise the remaining items.

Making the decision to go with scenario one helped me get started and allowed me to achieve what I wanted to do in just 3 hours (before and after pictures to be added at a later date if I’m brave enough!).  I now have a clear space and a clear mind.

What clutter challenges do you face?

Until next time…


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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer
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4 Responses to How to deal with clutter quickly

  1. Well done you!!!!! 🙂

    Most of my clutter is books and art stuff, which I don’t want to get rid of, but physically don’t have anywhere to put lol. So I end up decluttering one space, to move that stuff to another *sighs*

    Any ideas? Lol


    • Thanks Vikki :-). I know the feeling – I’ve got stuff that I just don’t want to part with but needs to be in my space somewhere to appreciate it; however, the space is limited and it ends up in a cupboard or box. I think it’s important to have your space which inspires you with all the things you love right there and accessible. I know this advice isn’t an instant fix, but do you know exactly what you would want and how you want everything displayed? What I tend to do is imagine how I would like my space to look and dream of converting the loft in order for it happen. One day I’m going to get there, but at the moment it’s just a corner in the spare room, but I do have a picture on the wall (from a magazine) of a lovely office with a settee, bookshelves, desk and nice view (alternatively you could sketch something). If I think of any other tips I’ll let you know.
      Sandra 🙂

  2. Thanks honey 🙂

    I think I just need a bigger house! Lol


  3. Pingback: Clutter Castles in the spare room | Sandra's space

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