When it comes to reducing clutter in the home, there are a few simple decluttering rules which will make the process easier to complete.
This simple three step system will make it as easy as possible to complete one decluttering task each day until things are back under control. It will help you decide exactly where to start and what to do when you get there without telling you that on Tuesday you need to clean out your wardrobe and on Wednesday it is time to rearrange the cutlery drawer. Once you understand the steps, you can use the system to make a plan that suits your lifestyle and situation on any given day.
The 3 step S.O.S decluttering rules explained (Space:Object:Section)
Step 1) Identify a Space within your home
Firstly it involves selecting a Space or room that you wish to declutter. Examples may include the car, garage, shed, kitchen, laundry, bathroom, bedroom, family room, games room, essentially any large area that contains clutter.
Step 2) Select an Object within that space
Secondly, choose an Object or item in the room which contains or holds the clutter you wish to remove. This can include cupboards, wardrobes, tables, benches, fridges, freezers, car boot, TV cabinet, bed, pantry.
Step 3) Choose a Section of that object within that space.
Lastly, choose the Section of that object by breaking it down into its smallest manageable parts. For example, in the pantry we have each separate shelf, containers on those shelves and even the floor. Each of these sections can be worked on independently of each other to make the decluttering task as simple as possible on any given day.
The process looks like this:
Let’s say for example that we choose the kitchen (space) and the pantry (object). A pantry has a number of sections. There are all of the shelves, the floor, the different containers of items on those shelves. Depending upon the level of clutter and the time available, if we try to tackle the entire pantry in the one go, we can become overwhelmed, burn out and give up.
The S.O.S system’s decluttering rules direct us to choose one small section of that pantry to tackle each day.
In the S.O.S method we simply spend 15 minutes working on the area of our choice.
I like to choose the spot which is causing me the most annoyance and do that one first. Yes, it is highly possible that using this technique we will spend the entire week decluttering the pantry. This is completely fine. We are focussing on the one place until it is all finished, not scattering ourselves all over the house, hardly making a noticeable dent in anything.
Take for example the solution where we declutter the fridge on day one, the lounge room on day two, the bedroom on day three etc. That is OK, if you have all day to get each thing done but if you only have a limited amount of time you will find yourself in one of two places:
a) Overwhelmed and disappointed that you hardly scratched the surface,
b) Burnt out and unwilling to continue with the process until the whole house is finished.
It is far better to work on one area until it is finished, devoting all of your decluttering energy to getting it done well, than to jump around to a variety of different areas.
A large impact in a small area is better than a small impact in a large area.
Using the decluttering rules in the S.O.S technique, we are creating a snowball effect.
The tangible results achieved by using this method create a sense of accomplishment.
Imagine what it will feel like to get up in the morning, walk into the pantry to grab breakfast, be able to find exactly what you need in the shortest possible time and know exactly where everything belongs the next time you need to put something away.
The obvious success in one area then helps to create the momentum to continue and work on another area.
Inspired by the pantry, you may choose to work on the fridge or cupboards next and who knows where you will end up? Hopefully it will lead you to an entire house free from clutter and one that is much easier to keep that way.
Learn more on the Decluttering 101 Ultimate Guide page.
To help you to use the decluttering rules to create your Clutter-Free Life, download your FREE copy of my S.O.S decluttering system worksheet below.
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