Starting Fresh: Rooms Used for Storage

I've seen a lot of clients that have a room in their home that is specifically used for storage. It could be a basement, an office, a bedroom. But it's where everything gets thrown. I think my clients had previously gotten a sense of relief each time they put something in this room because they didn't have to see it in their living area. But there was also a feeling of guilt when they hid their stuff in it. And there was the constant heavy drag of the stuff that was pulling them down. You can't hide from clutter. So here are some tips on how to deal with a room full of clutter.

1. Prep talk. As with all clutter busting, this isn't a do it all in one day operation. It helps to think smart through these letting go tasks. First, you want to be kind to yourself and narrow your focus by selecting an amount of work that you can do in a clutter busting session. How long can you work before you get tired? Reduce it by 15 minutes and set it on a timer. Before you venture into the room, take a You moment. Have an encouraging talk with yourself along the lines of, "Okay, stuff happens. Things built up in that room. Oh, well. I'd like to do something positive about this. I want to do this smart and doable. I'm going to take a piece of the pie and bring it to another room and just work on that. One thing at a time!"

2. The first piece. With this encouragement, go into the room. Every thing there might be glowering at you. Like you are interrupting it in its den. Clutter has a knack for intimidation. But remember, It's Your House! Your things are guests if they serve you, and intruders if they don't. Select a pile, stack, box or bag of something. Bring it to a room where you feel comfortable. Find a space where you can work easily. Sit down with the stuff. Have trash bags by your side. Pick up the first thing and ask, "Do I like and use this, or can I let it go?" Remember, a "Yes" feeling is clear and concise. It uplifts and supports you. "No" feels tiring and heavy and confusing. Immediately put the "No's" in either a trash, recycling, or charity bag. With each "Yes" put that item in the place where you will naturally go to get it when needed.

3. The space. Congratulate yourself on letting go of the first stack! Being nice to yourself with encouragement is the most effective clutter-busting motivator. Take that good feeling with you as you go back to the room. Notice the space from where you took that first stack. That is now your space. You took it back. On some level, the rest of the clutter is trembling from your action.

4. The next piece. With your new-found momentum, pick the next group of things and bring them to the other room with you. Work in the easy space. Go through the same steps as the first piece. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by the thought of all the rest of the stuff that's in the room, "and how will I ever get through all that stuff, and I might as well give up!" take a break and drink some water, and eat a snack. It takes a lot of energy to clutter bust. You need to restore yourself. You are also asking yourself to be mighty. You might not be used to being so powerful. But just because you haven't been for a while doesn't mean you're not. When you're recharged, come back to the stuff.

5. Planning. Continue with the piece-by-piece approach until your timer goes off. Stop. Go into the room and take a kind look at what you did today. Focus on what's positive. Be creative in your assessment. Notice the change. This room is not what it was like before you started. You made a difference. Say something to the room. I remember a client saying, "I'm returning you to me. This is my room. It's for me to enjoy." Set up a time with yourself to work in this room again. It's important to be consistent with yourself on this project so you can use the momentum to your advantage.

Please write and tell me your experiences about clutter busting a storage room in your home; it helps inspire others when you share.

If you have trouble and get stuck, feel free to call me at (310) 903-1041 to arrange a phone clutter busting session.