Thanks for all of the feedback and questions coming in. It’s a great mix. One theme is present, moving stuff out, on, away. It’s a pretty consistent message across The Dreamy Dragonfly, the need to de-clutter before much else can happen.
It’s really the first step in moving forward with your style, space and self. But where do I begin? Starting small will give you a sense of accomplishment. Living in a clear space is a practice that ebbs and flows with your needs and your family needs, honor that. Starting small will help keep your practice moving forward as smaller spaces are often easier to maintain. Here are 6 steps to decluttering a space. To start, you will need a comfy place to sit, a drink, pen and paper.
Take a seat and a sip, get clear on where you are going to start. What space is calling to you - the mudroom, the kitchen pantry, etc. Write the name of the space at the top of the page. Now take a few minutes to envision what you want this space to look like. If you pop over to Pinterest, set yourself a timer as not to get stuck on your exploration. Make a few notes on how you see the space, how you will use it, what you would like to keep and what you would like to change.
Take measurements if needed, make a sketch. This is the most important step so take your time as it sets the intention of your space.
Empty the space, give it a good cleaning to remove dust, cobwebs, random bits that have accumulated in the area. As you empty your space, make piles of like things. As you do so, separate items that will be trashed, recycled, donated and kept. Trash the trash, recycle the recyclables, and pack up the donation items to be donated as soon as possible (these items can be creepers and creep back in oh so easily). For those items you are letting go, give them a little mental hug as a thank you for serving their purpose. For those you are keeping, you should have those items in like piles. For those that go elsewhere in the house, put them away now. Yes, immediately. Otherwise, they will sit in place and you will then have another space to clear. Don’t leave them on the stairs, go, put this pile away.
I think the clearing step is fun but this step is typically the most popular. Create your space that you envisioned. Grab that list and make notes of any items you may need to purchase to create your space. Now head to exploring your current space for items that you can use to create your vision. Your inclination will be to want to run to the store and purchase bins and baskets. Before you do that, see what you have at home. An empty iPhone box, top and bottom, makes great storage for paperclips, lipgloss, etc. Get creative and then head to the store (notes in hand) to fill in the gaps.
Now it’s time to load everything back that you have decide will stay. This is your opportunity to do another check to make sure this is where you want the item. If not, make a pile as you load everything back in. Put away everything you decided not to keep in the space.
Cheers to you for creating your space! Raise your glass!
This space of perfection that you have created will ebb and flow with your life. Share this masterpiece with your family or roommates so that they can also commit to keeping the space clear and pulled together. This is the most difficult step, committing that you will maintain your space, all with no judgement. Life happens, you are up against deadlines, fast paced schedules, people coming and going, using this space that you created. Live in it all with the awareness of having a clear space and what that feels like. It frees up your mind to focus on other things. You and your family will know what you own, where things are and simply be more calm in that space. Even something as simple as your pantry or junk drawer will make quite an impact.
As you live in this space, continue to refine it, straighten it when it gets messy, acknowledge it, bask in its' beauty. Continue to honor your work and your space. It will lead to tackling the bigger, tougher areas in your home. It’s a “if you give a mouse a cookie” moment, you will want to keep going.