I've been talking about this 40 Bags in 40 Days thing for a few days now, and you might be wanting to try it too, but don't know when to start. When I started this challenge, I started off with the easiest spot I thought would be for me...My Closet! It wasn't too big or too difficult for me to get rid of things. I also made a list of the 40 spaces I wanted to organize and then marked the ones that were going to be "big" projects, meaning the ones that were going to take up more time or days. I then combined my schedule with the kinds of projects I could do those days (because of my work schedule) and marked them on the FREE printable that was offered in the link here. This helped me set the direction of where I wanted to go and what goals I wanted to achieve.
Now, I'm going to ask you....who hasn't started yet because of frustration? I've learned so many things so far by doing this challenge and want to share a few tips with you, just in case you are feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start or where to go next. Hopefully this will give you the boost to find a spot and start there.
1) Condense like items. One thing that takes up the most space is packaging. Taking things out of their original packaging and combining like items together really makes a difference to how much room you can make in a space, along with how clean it will make it look too. Put cotton swabs in a glass jar, take toothpaste out of their boxes and corral all those razors into one place! After you are done, take a step back and see how different your space already looks!
2) Take one thing out from every area. (drawers, boxes, and even your clothes that are hanging should not be an exception.) You will be surprised how all those items will add up and how much space you will be left with.
3) Ask yourself these few simple questions. When was the last time I used this? When do I plan on using it again? Why am I keeping this? Does this answer support the goal I hope to have for this space?
The last one I think is the most important! Never loose sight of your ultimate goal. Also, I would re-evaluate your "keep" choices after 3-6 months. You can do the "turn your hangers around in your closet and see which clothes you don't use" method or just ask yourself those same questions above for any items you decided to keep. You could even take up the "one in, one out" rule to help maintain your space after you have finished decluttering it.
4) Find support! No matter what area you start in, having a great support system is key to reaching your goal. I love seeing all the projects that are being posted on the 40 Bags in 40 Days Facebook group! You get lots of great ideas and posting your pictures onto the group, or even onto your Facebook wall will give you the push to continue.
5) Get rid of your purge right away! Bag up what you have decided to toss/donate and get it out of the house. Put it in your car, on the curb, or throw it in the trash. The faster you get it out of there, the better chance you have of not picking back into it and changing your mind about items and putting them back into your now clean space. There is a lot of donation boxes around my town that make it easy for me to just grab the bag and toss it in. After it's gone, there's no turning back.
**Bonus Tip! When planning to organize a space, clean first and organize second! You don't want to go out and buy 10 plastic shoe boxes to put all your stuff in only to find you only needed 3 after you cleaned! Cleaning first will give you a better idea of what you are working with and will also give you time to group a few things together and start coming up with organizing systems!
And don't forget to celebrate when you are done with each area! Another bag out is another step towards a cleaner home!
What will your first spot be?