By:Samia Anwar

Studies show that clutter creates stress that has three major biological and neurological effects on us-our cortisol levels, our creativity and ability to focus, and our experience of pain.

We know how clutter negatively affects our mental and physical health. But we all have struggled with clutter at some point in our lives. The simple solution to this problem is decluttering.  

Before you start decluttering, create a plan of what you are going to do with the stuff and when you will be working on your plan. Set aside some time every day to work on your plan. Ask yourself the following questions to initiate a thoughtful conversation to your concise to help ease the process. 

Do I use it?

Do I love it?

Do I need it? 

Does it fit me?

Can someone else utilize it?

Would I buy it if I missed it?

If I keep it, where would I store it? 

Next time you take on a decluttering project, try this four-step plan to declutter and organize efficiently.

1. Take Everything Out

It might sound scary but believe me, emptying it all and assessing what you own is very crucial for this process. You tend to realize the situation better when you see everything together. This first step will make the rest of the project much easier.

2. Sort Them in Four Major Piles

Label four bins/boxes as keep, garbage, donate & sell/pass on. Then start sorting your belongings. Anything that you don’t use, wear or love can go to the donation center. If you feel not ready to part with any item at all, try to store them away from your sight. If you don’t use it within a specific time, donate it or pass on to a family member. Keep only related stuff in any given space. Store items that don’t belong to the closet somewhere else. The keep pile will go back in the closet. 

3. Organize in Categories

Keep likewise items together. Gather all tees and put them together. Hang all tops together. Sweaters can be folded nicely in cubbies or drawers. For a more cohesive look, organize your clothing by color(from lightest to darkest). This way you don’t have to go through all the shirts just to find that black shirt to get dressed in the morning. 

Likewise store all handbags, purses in one space. Designate a bin for this purpose or if you are a collector designate a whole shelf for it. The same applies to shoes, jewelry, lingerie, and other accessories. You will see that the organizing process is now easier because you have created significant space. 

4. Label Items

Labeling seems to be an unnecessary thing for many but it is essential to keep the system in place. To maintain the system you just created for your belonging, I highly encourage you to label items so they are more likely to go back in its place. You may buy those fancy labels you have been admiring for a long time or it could be created using some simple supplies i.e masking tape and sharpie. Use your creativity with a basic printer, tape, and your imagination.

A bonus? If you have a young child at home, you will help him/her become an early reader by using all those labels. 

The more you declutter and get rid of clutter, the more momentum, and confidence you’ll gain to keep going. Start small, from a junk drawer, linen closet, or a pantry. And then gradually make your way up there. 

Happy Decluttering!

What decluttering tips do you have? Let us know! 

About the Author:

Samia Anwar is a work from home mama turned into a Professional Organizer by choice. Her passion to help other women makes her write some useful tips to stay on top of clutter now and then. For ideas and inspirations, find her at Organized Habitat on Facebook and Instagram