Being organized is a skill that catches the eye as soon as you see it. Walk into an organized home and you take note. Walk into a store that is cluttered and items are scattered about and it leaves an impression. Often we associate organized with words like, “clean,” “simple,” “coordinated,” and “orderly.” However, is some cases organized is a forced engagement with our stuff. Sometimes the appearance of being organized is simply the uncluttering of our homes. With all of the clutter just hidden behind a door and can’t be seen by our guests.
While uncluttering may look good, feel good, and if you’re like me a regular practice for the space you live in, it’s not yet a movement toward minimizing from excess. Don’t get me wrong, nothing (that is accurate wording), makes me happier than for everything to have a proper place and for everything to be in its proper place. But in order to move from uncluttered to unowned there are five steps to take.
Set Your Standards. Decide what rules you will follow for an item in your home to move to being unowned. Is the replacement value? Does it need to fit a use frequency? For example, if it’s not been used in six months you might get rid of it. First set your rules. This set of rules will be the structure that you use to evaluate item by item as to whether or not it should be kept or unowned. Write them down so that you’ve got it with you when you begin to unown.
Decide How You’ll Unown. I always prefer simple when it comes to this process. If there are too many steps in place to getting rid of an item than the result may be keeping the item rather than unowning. Each person is different so decide accordingly. Will you donate, throw away, sell to someone, have a garage sale, or give to a friend? Each of these are fine solutions, but choose your plan early on. This will help once your items are collected to be unowned.
Create a Staging Area. It’s often helpful to set aside some space to collect each of the items that you will donate. As you collect them, you might place them in a bag and move them to the door closest to your cars. Two good practices is to keep the items that you plan to unown out of sight and have you staging area somewhere that might be of an annoyance to you. The work of uncluttering is often just moving items we own from storage spot to another. But if every time you see what you’ve decided to unown, you’ll be ready to take the final step.
Work Room By Room. The process of unowning can be challenging and difficult. We often faced with the thoughts that we’ll eventually need this thing, that there may come a time when it’s useful, and that we should actually keep it just in case. These feelings are amplified when trying to tackle our home at once. Start small and start intentional with one room at a time. Look at the shelves, pull out the drawers, and open closet doors. Follow the standards you’ve set and begin moving each item into the staging area.
Unown Your Items. Finally, the last step which can the most challenging but also the most rewarding, is to unown the items. Stick to your plan and get rid of those items. Ask someone to hold you accountable, but move them out of the house. Some people find it helpful to set a deadline and add this event to the home calendar.
Now reward yourself by visiting your favorite pizza place!