I think we hit a wall with uncluttering because we just get so completely overwhelmed. We open the door to the basement, look at the entire basement, and think I can’t do all this! We look at our kitchen, with the cabinets spilling out goods, and know there’s no way I can do all this today, so we do nothing.
Do you hear the magic word in there? The “all” word? We’re making this too difficult. As Flylady would say, “Babysteps.” Let’s break this down for a minute.
Start with ten minutes.
Go to the area bothering you the most. You are not doing the whole thing. May I repeat that? You are NOT doing the whole thing! Pick one little spot: one cabinet, one shelf, one square foot of floor space. Bring a trash bag (for trash), a laundry basket (for things that belong in other places), and a grocery-type bag (for things you’re giving away). And dive in. Keep asking yourself the questions, Will this truly make my life simpler? Is this a need? Can I do without it? Would this be better being a blessing to someone else? God has clearly blessed us with abundant amounts of stuff if this is something we need to be working on; what would He think is the best plan for this item?
Two choices for how to spend those ten minutes: five minutes in the area, and five minutes putting things away. Or ten minutes in the area, and then take the next few minutes to put those laundry basket things where they belong. The bag of stuff to give away goes straight to your car trunk. The sooner you get it out of your house, the better. I promise that Goodwill is just as happy to see one bag of stuff as a truck full.
Look up charities that are near you, or near places you frequent. Goodwill is across the street from our grocery store; on a good week I can empty my trunk and have it ready for groceries in one trip. (And yet there are other times where I drive around with my trunk full of stuff for Goodwill for weeks on end….)
And that’s it. Ten minutes. But ten minutes each day adds up…and often, once you see progress, ten minutes a day turns to ten minutes three or four times a day….and suddenly you realize that if you spend just one more hour, you can knock out that area that used to be your biggest headache. And you’ll do it.
It doesn’t have to be that hard.