Do you watch those TV shows about hoarders in extreme, not realising that you cling onto things and you can seriously benefit from decluttering? The medical profession links hoarding with indecisiveness, perfectionism, procrastination, avoidance behaviours and difficulty organizing tasks.

Some key questions that may be helpful in deciding when to keep something:

  • When was the last time I needed it?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • How likely is it that I will use it in the future?
  • What is my track record of using items like this?
  • What is the impact of keeping this item?

Now a few tips to help you to not become a hoarder:

  • Make immediate decisions about mail and newspapers. Go through mail and newspapers on the day you receive them and throw away unwanted materials immediately. Don’t leave anything to be decided on later.
  • Think twice about what you allow into your home. Wait a couple of days after seeing a new item before you buy it. And when you do purchase something new, discard another item you own to make room for it.
  • Make a decision about whether or not to keep an item within 30 seconds. The longer you keep something in your hand, the more likely you are to not want to part with it.
  • Set aside 15 minutes a day to declutter. Start small–with a table, perhaps, or a chair–rather than tackling the entire, overwhelming house at once. If you start to feel anxious, take a break and do some get some exercise.
  • Identify an area in your home to clear. This could be a box, a cupboard, your car, or one room. Small, achievable goals will help you see the progress you’re making.
  • Work on the same area consistently until you get it the way you want.
  • Dispose of anything you have not used in a year. That means old clothes, broken items, and craft projects you’ll never finish. Remind yourself that many items are easily replaceable if you need them later.

Only handle an item once. If you pick something up, make a decision then and there about it, and either put it where it belongs or discard it. Don’t fall into the trap of moving things from one pile to another, again and again.

Advertisements