A big part of staying organized is not keeping things you don’t want. Unwanted items get in the way of those that are indeed wanted, burying them or taking up storage space.
We’ve all experienced the slow accumulation of unwanted items – or, more accurately, the slow transformation of wanted items into unwanted items: the clothes in the back of the closet, the dishes in the basement, the ancient credit card statement.
One very effective way to kick them out of your space is to dedicate several hours, or even days, to concentrated purging.
But you can also employ some “stealth purging" techniques that take less time and energy. For instance:
- Place a disposable bag or box in your closet to collect items that, during the course of everyday life, you realize you no longer need. A full "donate bag" means it's time to take the whole thing to the donation center, and replace the container to start again.
- When you're retrieving a supply (e.g, Advil, writing paper) and you have two minutes to spare, go through that box or drawer and hunt to collect and dispose of unneeded items.
Decluttering little by little keeps the momentum going without burnout, and builds the muscles that make it easier for us to notice clutter and to deal with it.
It won’t banish a lot of accumulation quickly, so if you’re dealing with rooms full of possibly unwanted items, it’s best to combine “stealth purging” with occasional dedicated purging sessions.
You’ll be on your way to a more streamlined space, and one that will stay that way.
This article was originally published by NAPO Michigan.