Clutter has a way of sneaking up on us. The decluttering process is based on five classic organizing principles. Understand these principles and you can declutter your house, your apartment, your office, or even your garage.

Removal:
Probably the most difficult part of decluttering. Remove what you don’t need. This can mean throw it in the trash, give it away or sell it. You need to be brutal with this, or otherwise you will only be rearranging the clutter. The old rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used an item for two years you can safely let it go. The very brave can cut that down to one year.

Grouping:
Take the survivors of the removal process and group similar items together. This is the very basis of organization itself. It helps you locate everything you need for a particular task in one place. Mail items should be together, working out equipment in the same area, etc. Imagine if your cookware was all over the house, how much do you think that would slow down your cooking?

Deployment:
You need to have easy access to the things you use in your house. This means thinking about the workflow of the space and where you want things to be placed. If you use something often, then it will need to be in the space that you use it and be as close to at hand as possible. If something is hardly used, then it can be placed further away; on a high shelf, in the back of a cabinet or even in the garage.

Containers:
This is the basic unit of organization; they contain the chaos by keeping your stuff grouped together. You cannot organize without appropriate containers; bookshelves for books, closets for clothes, drawers for underwear.

You can declutter house and home armed with these principles, though it may take a while to get your clutter completely under control without some guidance. Professional organizers have developed decluttering systems that allow you to declutter quickly. Using these professional decluttering methods can cut the time you spend organizing in half or more.

 

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