Decluttering Tip: Do Nothing

Decluttering Tip: Do Nothing

Abby Stone
Apr 13, 2010

What? We know what you're thinking: Ridiculous. It's not like I'm Mary Poppins and I can clap and the room will straighten itself out. If I do nothing, this home will become even more of a disaster than it already is. We know it sounds crazy, but trust us.

There is a practice in yoga called mindfulness. It is the process of observing, without judgment, what your body is doing and feeling. Dieters are often counseled to keep a food journal for a month before they begin a regime, observing what they eat and what they were feeling at the time. In the same way, the process of decluttering begins by doing nothing.

Before you clean out a drawer or trying a new filing system or buy a set of baskets, observe yourself and your habits. Where do you open the mail? Do you open it immediately or does it sit for days before you get up the courage to look at the credit card statement? Where do you put the bills? Do you put your clothes away at night when you take them off or let them pile up on your bedroom chair? Are you always finding half drunk cups of coffee on a certain table? Watch your behaviour and notice your resistance and the random thoughts that come up for you.

Personally, I often balk at putting my clothes away. I realized that I procrastinated because my closet was so stuffed that it called for a whole lot of rearranging to be able to put something back. My decluttering would have to start with a trick or two to figure out what to toss. My to file pile kept getting bigger until a professional organizer taught me a trick for simplifying it down to a few categories, making that task a whole lot faster. Once you know your habits, you can work with them to develop a consistent system of decluttering that takes your natural tendencies into account.

[image: Dana's Yellowtrace Sydney Apartment]

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