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Where to Start Decluttering

Am I the only one who puts off a fifteen-minute task for three months? I feel like I need two of me just to keep up with everything, except I know one of me would at least still find a way to sneak a glass of wine and hide in the laundry room. Decluttering is one of those tasks. It feels overwhelming. Where to start- what area of the house, what to get rid of, what to toss, what to keep, what to donate…. I’m stopped before I’ve even started. Where should I start decluttering?

Most are working from home right now so it’s important to create an environment where you’re able to work efficiently, and that means a decluttered home office. I know, I can hear the “Ugh” through the screen, but stay with me. Overall, a cluttered work space leads to a cluttered mind. This takes up mental space that could be used much more productively to tackle the million and one other things you’ve got going on. Trust me when I tell you decluttering your home office will increase productivity.

But you know as well as me, it’s not as easy as just decluttering. I either painfully hold on to stuff with the dream of one day using it, or I put off throwing it away hoping it will disappear down the back of the couch or under one of the beds. You need a system that will change the way you organize forever. Luckily for us, decluttering has become more or less a religion, and people are flocking to the guru of decluttering – Marie Kondo.

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, she and her cult following have dominated and disrupted the decluttering scene in recent years. According to Kondo, decluttering is only part of the system of organizing your home. It’s her unusual and wacky ways that have started a movement around the world of people who are turning their homes upside down. She most recently wrote a book with Scott Sonenshein dedicated to various aspects of your work space and work mentality called Joy at Work.

This journey isn’t easy, but it will completely change the way you work from home. Decluttering your home office doesn’t have to include letting go of that magic eight ball (come on, we know some of you have one). It means getting organized and giving yourself space to work. It will also create positive energy within your work environment, allowing you to focus and maximize your productivity.

The Process of Decluttering

The method Marie Kondo created is known as the “KonMari Method”. A phrase she coined and trademarked as a way to identify her system of minimalist organization. Here we are focusing on creating a positive work environment but this system extends to the entire house. There are six basic rules to get you started on decluttering:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, thank each item for serving its purpose. The point isn’t that the item will receive the gratitude, but that you will be in a more positive mindset to declutter.
  4. Tidy by category, not location.
  5. Follow the right order- clothes (most likely not in the office), books, papers, miscellaneous items, sentimental items.
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

What most people misunderstand about the KonMari Method, is that its focus isn’t on tidying at all, but instead, letting go of the things in your life that no longer serve a significant purpose. It also helps to know that someone else will benefit from it. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!

How to Start Decluttering

First things first, pull it, rip it, get it out. Not out of your house, slow down girl, but into your view. Empty all draws, desks, and closets, so everything from the first category to the last is out in the fresh air. All of your clothes, books from your shelves, paper that’s piled up on your desk, the bottom knickknack drawer, and even pictures. All of it. Now comes the hard part – asking yourself one simple question: when I hold this item, does it spark joy?

It’s a question Kondo uses to determine whether or not something should be kept or swept. She admits that it’s going to feel weird, but it will feel less weird as you move through the categories. This is decluttering your home office like you’ve never done before. It’s not every day you whisper to a box of files, asking it whether it sparks joy anymore. Do this one category at a time, in order, and don’t rush the process. Treat this as a self-care exercise, not a reality TV show where you’re competing against a clock. As a side note please, please make sure to recycle. And get the kids to join in by using the shredder that’s been collecting dust in the corner.

What’s left is a small pile of significant items. Things that won’t clutter your space, but will be used or stored, and allow room for more essential and valuable items. Imagine an office full of things that genuinely spark joy in your life. Positive energy is the key to a workplace that will bring results, focus, calmness, and success. A great place where starting to declutter can spark a movement within your own home.

Decluttering Fun for the Whole Family

You’ve got the whole house to go! Make it a family affair too. It’s a good tool to teach your children the value of all their “stuff”. What do they really need? What truly sparks joy and why? And if you want to get real nerdy and learn about how to fold your clothes properly and store all that joyful stuff, the KonMari Method takes to it a whole other level.

But to start, it will help you create the perfect work environment in your own home, one of Zen and pure positive energy. Give the KonMari method a try.