What is the Best Decluttering Strategy to accelerate your efforts & reduce Decision Fatigue?

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If you have read Marie Kondo, Peter Walsh, or Swedish Death Cleaning, they all give the same advice: GATHER AND SORT SIMILAR ITEMS before deciding what to keep and what to toss.

So how does that work exactly?

Step One: Pick one room to declutter

Choose one space to work in so you do not get scattered trying to organize your entire home.

Step Two: Look at all the objects in that room and make a mental note of all the types of things in the space.

For example, in your bedroom, you may have clothes, cosmetics, books, linens, and electronics.

Step Three: Gather like items together

Do not think about what to keep or toss (we will get to that in a bit).

Step Four: Look at your first category and ask yourself:

Does it belong in this space OR Does it live somewhere else in your house.

If that category does not “live” in that space (like dirty dishes to return to the kitchen). Move the items to another room but (this is important) do not get distracted by now organizing that other room! As you move things out of the room you are working in, you reduce the visual clutter in that space so you can focus on things that really matter. 

Now you should just be left with things that belong in this space. Before you start making decisions about if you want to keep these things, or how you want to organize them, gather everything else from every room in the house that belongs in that same category.

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Pro tip: Work on the biggest category first for a major cleanout or start with the smallest category for a quick pick up.


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Only now are you ready to start the process of deciding what to keep and what to toss. 

So WHY do all those steps before just jumping in and making decisions? You could find duplicates or other things that work better and serve the same purpose. Having too many of one type of thing in your home makes up a lot of your clutter.

By delaying your decisions, you make more informed decisions.

You also reduce Decision Fatigue by making decisions about groups of things instead of individual items. Decision Fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. Decision Fatigue is REAL!

If you pick up individual items and try to make decisions without considering how your house functions as a whole, you may end your decluttering session in total frustration without accomplishing organizing bliss. You know you are experiencing Decision Fatigue when you can no longer make good decisions. I notice Decision Fatigue in my clients when they either try to get rid of everything without any thought OR want to keep everything even when it is completely illogical.

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So remember to gather and sort all the like items in your home before making decisions about what to get rid of – your brain will thank you and your decluttering efforts will be more productive and peaceful!

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Once you have completed your sort, ask yourself the questions listed in the video How to Declutter Your Home | Five Questions to Ask When Clearing Clutter