Declutter Tips

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Junk The Junk - 10 Tips To De-Clutter

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After the dust has settled from a separation or divorce, and the belongings have been split, it's a good idea to sort through the belongings which remain in your living space and de-clutter. In other words, you should junk the junk.

De-cluttering is important for a variety of reasons. It can help improve your attitude generally (who wants to live in a messy environment where you can’t find your socks if your life depended upon it!). It can help you to live more efficiently (you’ll save time in the morning if you can find clean work clothes which means you can get to work earlier, and in a sane state of mind). Further, after a separation or divorce, it’s particularly important to rid yourself of unnecessary belongings which can evoke painful memories.

Try following the 10 tips below to help you in your Quest to De-clutter:

  • If conquering an entire closet is intimidating, de-clutter in baby-steps. Select 1 shelf in your closet, and Just Do It.


  • Don’t rush yourself. If you feel you are not emotionally prepared to empty your ex-husband’s used golf clubs, re-schedule the de-cluttering session for a period of time in which you feel ready to tackle the task. It took me a year to clean out my garage.


  • Before you begin, help yourself to stay motivated by putting on your favorite music, and a 30-minute timer


  • Schedule the de-cluttering session for a convenient time. For example, if you have 2 young children, you should probably schedule the de-cluttering session for a time in which the children are in pre-school or at a friend’s house.


  • If you are de-cluttering a drawer, you may want to begin by simply emptying the drawer, so that you can see everything that you have to go through. Then, work through the clutter in a systematic fashion. Make executive decisions about each and every item.


  • Have the de-cluttering tools ready. For example, if you are de-cluttering your closet, you should have at least 1 bin marked “Donation” and 1 bin marked “Junk”.


  • Gather your resolution and be strong. You may like that jacket that you haven’t worn in 5 years, but the fact is, if you haven’t worn it in 5 years, chances are high that you will never wear it.


  • Consider your options. If a clothing or sports item is in excellent condition, consider selling it at a consignment shop.


  • Brace yourself for some tears. You may dig up painful memories along with the clutter. Accept that you may experience some emotion, and understand that the de-cluttering is an important process in your healing and journey forward.


  • Plan a celebratory event when you finish the de-cluttering session. For example, celebrate the re-organization of your family room with a specialty coffee (don’t forget to put your feet up on the pillow and give yourself a mental pat on the back).

    Terri Mann is a divorce lawyer and is the founder of where divorced or separated women can find free divorce articles about dating after divorce and more

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