If you are decluttering your life, and that cluttered life is getting in the way of big progress, get small. Even with children going back to school, work obligations and long weekends, there is still time to chip away at your clutter.
Limit what’s coming in and quietly, slowly, let things out. Don’t give up because you don’t think you have time, or can’t see the progress immediately. Keep going bit by bit and inch by inch. Soon, you’ll notice more open space and begin to feel the freedom created by your small steps.
1. Make a book bag
Choose 10 books you’ve owned for more than a year and haven’t read yet. Put them in a bag and throw it in your closet or car trunk to donate to the library next time you are out. If you are worried that you’ll miss out on those great books, make a list in Evernote of books you donated, and check them out when you are ready to read them.
2. Hide your junk drawer
If you don’t have time to sort through your junk drawer(s), dump the contents in a bag or small box, tape it up and write “clutter” on the box. If you don’t remember what’s inside in 30 days, toss it.
3. 10 minutes or less
Choose one of these 25 ways to simplify your life in 10 minutes or less.
4. Contribute to your emergency fund
Find $500 worth of items in your home that you would not go out and buy today if you had $500. When you have more time, sell it and use the earnings to pay off debt or contribute to your emergency fund, or vacation fund.
5. Feed hungry people
Donate unexpired, unopened food in your pantry that you probably aren’t going to eat or that you can easily replace to your local food pantry.
6. Lighten up on the linens
How many sets of sheets do you own per bed? How many towels per person? If you’ve been saving up for guests, or other just incase reasons, cut down to one or two sets of sheets per bed and two towels per person. If you are nervous that you won’t have enough, box them up for 3 months before donating.
7. Take 10
Set a timer for 10 minutes and fill a garbage bag full of any expired toiletries, make-up, or food. If you have expired medication, bring it to your doctor’s office or dispose appropriately.
8. Dump a few friends
Unfriend 5 Facebook friends. If you wouldn’t invite them to dinner, why are you sharing your vacation photos with them?
9. Make 3 preventative medical appointments
If you need a dental cleaning, mammogram, physical or other check-up, schedule it now for a simpler life later. Good health simplifies everything.
10. Add a donation run to your schedule
Make a list of places where you want to donate your stuff, like the library, local retirement home, church or homeless shelter, and deliver your bags and boxes the next time you are out.
Pick one of these 10 small ways to declutter on the fly to simplify your life. Small progress is still progress.