I have a very simple tip today, but it’s super versatile. You can use this tip to declutter virtually anything in your home. I call this my Post-it Note method. Works to help you declutter everything from clothes to books to linens.
One thing I really LOVE about this method is that it helps you to uncover the treasures that are hiding amidst all the clutter. Then it’s easier to weed out the things that you don’t need or don’t enjoy. And it’s a super easy method to use with all the various categories of STUFF that are currently cluttering up your house.
How to do the Post-It Note sort
Here’s how my Post-It Note technique works with my decluttering methods.
- Get some boxes or containers together for the items you’re going to be decluttering.
- Get an idea of where you want to store them so you have an idea of how much space you have available. If you’re got two feet of space, you can’t keep four feet of stuff, right? And you want to even leave a bit of extra space for new acquisitions.
- Gather your items all together. So if I am doing DVD’s, I’m going to go around the house to make sure I’ve got them from all their little hiding places.
- Take five post-it note pages and number them from 1-5. Here’s how you rank them5 = Treasure! I absolutely LOVE you and would never let you go
4 = Workhorse Items – These are your go-to items that you clearly value and use frequently.
3 = Maybe?? These are items you might use sometimes, but they aren’t favorites.
2 = Regret Purchases – What WAS I thinking? Wrong color, wrong size, doesn’t go with anything, etc.
1 = Junk – Broken, torn, or just butt-ugly!
You are going to get a whole group of like items together. So if you’re doing DVD’s, for example – you get ALL your movies together in one spot. Then working pretty quickly, you are going to sort them out according to your Post-It Notes. The great thing about this technique is that you are always finding these terrific items that you’ve totally forgotten about. And on the 1’s and 2’s it’s a good time to reevaluate some of your shopping choices.
Once you have them sorted out into your 5 categories, the fun begins. Pretty much the 1’s and 2’s are going to just go straight into the trash or the donation box, but you might find a couple of keepers in there. The 5’s and 4’s are going to be mostly keepers, so those 3’s are the real challenging category. You may even have to re-sort the 3’s into their own categories and review them again.
Now just lather rinse, repeat. This technique works great with:
- All the different categories of clothing – t-shirts, jeans, skirts, shoes, socks, etc.
- Craft items
- Kitchen gadgets
- Just about anything
A couple of warnings though. You can’t do this with other people’s stuff (like your spouse’s stuff). It just isn’t fair and is going to cause a lot o conflict because what’s a 2 for you may be a 5 in their eyes. Also, you do have a commitment to the process – you can’t make everything all 4’s and 5’s just to hoard stuff. Although if you had mostly 1’s and 2’s that would be kind of a win!
Two interesting facts:
- There are about 300,000 different items in the average American home – yikes!
- Over the years, I’ll bet I’ve decluttered about a third of these items from my home. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you FIVE ITEMS I’ve gotten rid of. It really is out of sight, out of mind!
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