The best way to deal with household clutter

There is an old joke which asks…how do you eat an elephant?

The answer is – one piece at a time. As a kid you would laugh at the silliness but as an imaginative adult you might (like I did) imagine how messy and awful cutting up an elephant would be and what a disaster that would leave in your home. Either way, the concept is a sound one that even for the biggest problems it is better to tackle it in manageable chunks to make the task seem easier.

Clutter and unwanted items can sometimes take on a life of their own if left unaddressed and before you know it you are sitting under a mound of junk, confused and overwhelmed and wondering how the heck you ended up in such a mess!

The mound of things didn’t get there overnight and it will take more than a few words of encouragement and a little luck to get it down to a more manageable task.

It is easy to make a task list and tackle a big project one bite at a time.

Even by managing small pieces you will be amazed at how quickly a space can empty out and by taking specific items to task you will be able to see immediate accomplishments which will give you courage to continue on your way. If you are decluttering, take one type of item out at a time and be sure to place them in labelled bags which tell you to recycle, chuck or donate.

Those are your only three options!

If you want to paint a room, start by taking all of the pictures off of the walls and patching the holes with big ugly patches of white spackle.

Many people discuss painting for years but if a room is still functional and together it is easy to pass it off as not a big deal.

Try staring at a wall with spackle patches, I promise you won’t make it more than a few days before you begin the painting project!

It sometimes takes upsetting the balance or changing what you are used to seeing to kickstart a new project. If you have had something in the same place forever, then changing things up will give you a fresh perspective and a new energy for working on projects in that space.

Small bites, everyone, it is the way to tackle a large and overwhelming project and the easiest way to motivate yourself to continue on into more projects inside your home.

Give yourself five minutes to declutter a drawer or closet and then stand back and be amazed at how good that one small task feels.

It doesn’t have to happen all at once, just one piece at a time while you work through various projects in every room of your home. The confidence that you will feel after fully completing even the smallest task will be very uplifting.

It’s time to tackle that elephant everyone.

Make 2016 the year you accomplish as many goals as you set your heart to whether large or small. Do the little things first before you get overwhelmed with the bigger projects and watch as that large list gets whittled away one piece at a time.

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer’.

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