There are two schools of thought when it comes to decluttering:
- Touch everything only once, and
- Declutter in steps, moving piles around until it’s done.
When you touch everything only once, you pick up an item and put it in its rightful place immediately, even if it means going to the other side of the house. Sometimes you can maximize the effectiveness of this method and pick up several items going to the same room, using a basket to take your goods with you. Then you stay in that one room, reshelving everything you brought, and when you’re done, you return to the room you started in and continue on your work.
When you declutter in steps, you essentially make piles. If your dining room table is cleared off, you pile everything together that’s going to your daughter’s room, then the bathroom, and so on and so forth. When all the declutter has been transferred to their appropriate piles, you focus on shrinking the piles until they’re gone. When there are no more piles, your place has been decluttered.
Most home organizing “experts” advocate the Touch Everything Only Once method, but it doesn’t work for me. I get too distracted. If I crate up just a few items for my bedroom, before I know it, I’m perusing the magazine on my nightstand, or I’m organizing the shirts in my wardrobe by sleeve length and color (I’m a bit sick that way – ask my husband or my college roommate). The original room I started in has long been forgotten.
My method is to stay in the messy room and pile its misplaced belongings in one central location, then move on to the next room and add to those original piles. After I’ve gone through the whole house and decluttered, I should have only one big pile for each room. Now all I have to do is empty a pile at a time until it’s gone.
What do you do? Have you even thought about it before? Just wondering if I’m in the minority or the majority here.
I’m off to make some piles.