We’ve all seen it, heard it, or even felt it. It’s when you need to use a degree of force to budge the door open to your teenager’s bedroom. It’s when you blindly fish under the couch for your pet’s toy and your fingers touch unidentifiable objects. It’s when you enter the spare room in search for something and have no idea where to start looking. At best it’s untidiness, and at worst it’s just debris. It’s what we call the layer of clutter.
Think of it as all the stuff that’s leftover when you take away the big items in a room. It’s the puzzles pieces, paperwork, soft drink cans. The broken, the mismatched, the unknown. Sometimes the layer might be relatively thin. Other times, the layer might be as high as your knees, or even higher (this is more common than you think).
When we find this layer of clutter, our instinct might be to do one of two things: either shove it ALL into the rubbish without a second glance, or carefully sift through it as if we were searching for treasure. Today we’re going to look a little closer at the latter instinct.
Right upfront we can say with certainty that sorting through the layer of clutter is like panning for gold… without a pan. It’s time consuming. It’s fiddly. And you may be tempted part-way through to just bin the rest. So practically speaking, how does one sift out the treasures and not let the whole layer end up in landfill?
Here’s what we recommend:
You’ll need a comfy spot and a sorting surface (e.g. like a chair and desk). It’s also advisable to wear gloves (especially if it’s really dirty), and have some bags/boxes at the ready.
You need to be able to separate the clutter into categories. These could include rubbish, recycling, keepers, Elsie (things that belong elsewhere) and any other sub-categories you might need. Label the abovementioned bags/boxes into categories (anything to make this process easier!)
Tip a layer of clutter onto your sorting surface (not too much at one time) and simply start combing through it. Pull out the treasures (for keeping or donating) and the plastics/papers/glass/etc (for recycling). Then, when there’s nothing but rubbish left, scoop the remnants into the bin.
Keep repeating this process a bit at a time.
The beauty of sorting through the layer of clutter this way is that it enables you to do as much or as little as you like. If you’ve sorted through one lot and feel motivated to do another lot, that’s great. If you’re drained – physically, emotionally, or mentally – that’s ok too! Finish off the lot you are working on and start another lot later on.
Here’s a tip too: chatting with a friend or listening to a podcast/audiobook is a great way to pass the time with this menial task. Decluttering isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, so choose something that will make this process a little more pleasing for you.
So, what are you waiting for? That layer of clutter is only going to get thicker! If you need guidance and a helping hand, give us a call.