It never fails that I get the decluttering bug between the Fall and Winter semesters. You know, the sudden urge to wander around your house and get rid of the JUNK! I’m afraid that even with an 8-month sabbatical earlier this year, I did not manage to get around to decluttering the house (too busy) but now I just can’t stand it anymore.

Here’s the busynessgirl-style solution. First, make a list of every place in the house that needs decluttering. Each item on the list can take no more than one hour, so if there are particularly bad spots, you’ll have to break them down into “bite-sized” chunks. For example “declutter loft” would take 4-6 hours. This got broken down into:

  1. Loft clothes closet
  2. Loft linen closet
  3. Dresser drawers in loft bedroom
  4. Surfaces and shelves in loft bedroom
  5. Bathroom closet in loft
  6. Desk drawers in loft

Walk through every room of your house until you’re sure you’ve listed EVERYTHING (even the drawers of that incredibly daunting file cabinet, one at a time).

Write each item on the list on a scrap of paper (or print the list and cut each item out separately). Put all the paper scraps in a jar, hat, or box.

Every day Joel and I pull out ONE item and deal with it (no matter how bad it is). We approach the offending location with a garbage bag and a box for Goodwill. So far we’ve decluttered the couch in Joel’s office, a strange little room in our garage, the bathroom closets, and the bedroom closet. It’s a great feeling to just deal with the clutter in a manageable and systematic way. It’s also really interesting to see what you find! For example, I found all the Christmas presents I bought in India earlier this year that I had forgotten about.

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