What NOT to do when de-cluttering ..!!


I lived a care-free life under the protection of mother’s wings. I always wondered why mum meticulously did certain tasks in a certain way. I’ve learnt valuable lessons of life observing my mother. Her actions always spoke louder than words. Usually, weekends were spring cleaning at home. All that i did was read comics and watch mum do all the chores and think with my small mind that she must be crazy. It never dawned onto me that one day, as i spread my wings to explore the world, have a home of my own, i would be in mum’s shoes.

Self-realisation is the best teacher to the experiences in life. I lived in all kinds of accommodation one can possibly reside owing to the nature of my travel and stay. Over a period of time i’ve turned out to be an organising and de-cluttering guru with some organizing wisdom that i have gained moving houses, living in two suitcases, shared accommodation and what not.

A week ago, the termites decided to infest a marathon in my house which needed a pest control. My house turned out to be a mini-circus, things strewn all over and it was chaos. After a week, i have a strategy in place in setting up my home all over again with the immense experience from the past. Hence, i though it would most helpful to share what NOT to do when trying to harness chaos in our homes.

Some of this advice is hardly new or shocking. But i believe that these five missteps are the most common and most likely to derail even the best efforts to conquer clutter. Here’s what i have to say out of my experience:

1. Organize First; Buy Second. Do not go out and buy a ton of storage pieces and supplies before you sort through your home. All of those pretty bins, boxes and baskets at The Retail Store are very enticing, but they won’t do you any good unless they fit the space (on the shelf, under the bed, in the closet); hold what you need them to hold, and function properly for your particular space. I recommend cleaning out first, assessing what containers you REALLY need, and then buying a few bins to start. You can always add later, but you don’t want a bunch of empty containers cluttering up your home while you figure out where you might use them.

2. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew. Do not set aside an ENTIRE day to organize your WHOLE house. Very few people have the energy and/or focus to spend 8 hours organizing. You’ll likely become frustrated and less efficient as the day progresses. It’s much better to spend a few hours — 2 or 3 — on one project or space. This way you’ll feel motivated to do more, not burned out by the process.

3. Complete Each Task — Completely. Of course you will need to sort things into categories (e.g., toss, recycle, donate, give to friend, put in the store). But here’s the crucial part: Once you have decided where something is going to go — take it there. Never keep bags for charity or boxes for friends in your home to deliver later. Do it now. Finish the process. Take the bags and boxes out to the trash or recycling immediately. If you’re donating something or giving something to a friend or family member, put the items together or make arrangements for dropping them off. You’ve done so much work getting this stuff ready to take out, complete the deal !!

4. Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day. Do not think that once you’ve organized your space, that you are done. You’ll feel like a failure when you have to clean it up again in a month. Realize that while you have created a new, efficient, and logical system for processing and managing incoming and outgoing items, you are not done. There is no autopilot. You should expect regular upkeep, but just be glad that the new system is far more efficient than the old one.

5. Good Enough is Enough. Very few people have closets and drawers that resemble those in catalogues. Trust me. I’ve been in a lot of houses and apartments and even after we’ve totally reorganized a space, it doesn’t look like an ad for The Retail Store. It looks great and works properly, but it is a space that is used by an actual human being, not one that has been carefully staged by a team of stylists and marketers for a non-existent resident. You will ultimately be disappointed if perfection is your goal. The goal is to set up a space that works well for your needs. That is success.

With these few tips that i have observed and experienced over a period of time should help you. It’s a never-ending process but a constant endeavour. 🙂 🙂

2 thoughts on “What NOT to do when de-cluttering ..!!

    1. What an awe-inspiring Limerick, Aunty GORGEOUS 🙂 You are a star, an encourager and my role-model. 🙂 I wish to be like you when i am your age. 🙂 You are such an inspiration to me Aunty. 🙂


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