Thursday, November 13, 2014

Making Clutter Vanish

Keeping it real before photo of my cluttered guest room.

I wish I could tell you that what is pictured above was the work of evil fairies but I have to admit, it was all my fault.  You see, instead of dealing with the clutter as I've been renovating or redecorating various spaces in The Cabbage over the last year, I've been putting everything I wasn't sure what to do with in our guest room and this was the result.

Not very pretty or calming, is it?  Wouldn't you like to see all that clutter vanish?  Okay good, here we go:

I feel so much better now.  Don't you?

Of course, I don't recommend you getting yourself into a similar predicament, but in case you ever do, here are my six steps to making a room full of clutter vanish as quickly as possible:

1. Get Mad

The worst part of dealing with a huge amount of clutter is how emotionally draining it can be. You really need to be extra motivated to even get started and this is one case where looking on the bright side or writing in your gratitude journal is not going to help you. Instead, write down or think about all the ways clutter is disrupting your life or keeping you from reaching your goals. Let yourself get really fed up with it and let that fuel your determination to do something about it.

2. Get A Vision

Getting rid of clutter isn't just about what you don't want anymore but also about the lifestyle you will be able to live without it. Get really clear on what that could look and feel like. Imagine yourself walking through a space without having to step over things, see a room full of light and air and enough space for you to do jumping jacks in. Give yourself a vision to aspire to. Again, this is going to give you some much needed motivation as well as help with making tough decisions later.

3. Get Prepared

Obviously you will need some empty bags and boxes. Gather as many as you can find. Another thing you are going to need is a sanctuary, a place of relative calm that you can escape to when the chaos of sorting through clutter starts driving you mad. For me that place is my bedroom and master bath. I always make sure those two rooms are in order before I begin any kind of big project around the house. Having a couple of prepared meals in the freezer or the Chinese takeout menu handy helps as well because you are not going to feel like cooking after a day of dealing with clutter.

4. Get Going

Now comes the hard part: the physically and emotionally demanding process of actually figuring out what to do with all of this stuff! Make the easy decisions first. Box or bag what absolutely has to go, using your “mad” for extra energy if you need it. Then remember your vision of the space and lifestyle you want and let it guide you in dealing with what is left. If it doesn't fit into that vision, let it go. However, If you find yourself agonizing over anything, just set it aside. The closer you get to making your vision a reality, the easier it will be to figure out what fits and what doesn't.

5. Get It Out

Once you have filled a bag or a box with things you don't want or need anymore, get it as far away from you as possible. We live about ten minutes away from a Goodwill so I just carried my boxes right out to my car. If you are having a garage sale or if you scheduled a donation pickup, just get everything as far away from the space you are working on as possible. You need the gratification of seeing the extra space in your room to keep you going.

6. Get Creative

Once you are done ridding your life of all that superfluous stuff, you can get creative with the space and the things you value. For me that is going to mean completely redecorating the guest room (I can't wait to get started). Another idea would be to hang an attractive shelf on the wall to display some favorite items or turn a now empty corner of a room into a reading nook or a meditation area. It doesn't have to be a big project, just something that brings your vision into reality and rewards you for a job well done.

After photo of my not so cluttered guest room which is also a before photo.

I hope that helps you with your mountain of clutter, if you have one. Also, if you have any tips of your own for dealing with clutter, please share them in the comments as I still have our basement and our garage to tackle and can use all the help I can get!

Update: click here to see the redecorated guest room.

Cool Cat Reading Knowledge Is Power Grocery Bag
Cool Cat Reading Knowledge Is Power Grocery Bag by Victoreeah
Browse more Reader Reusable Grocery Bag at Zazzle


  1. These are great tips on clearing out clutter. I recently had to do the same in our guest room. I had done the same thing as you and used it to store things I wasn't sure what to do with during some of our remodel projects. I wish I would have been more prepared as you mention in tip #3 because after a day of clearing out clutter I definitely did not feel like cooking! :)

    1. Thanks, Debbie. So glad to know I'm not the only one who makes the guest room the clutter holding room! :)

  2. Can you come work your magic in our office/catch-all room?! : ) Thanks for the inspiration & encouragement you always offer when you share your before/after posts, Victoria.

    1. I would send some magic fairies your way, Lisa but they are kind of unreliable. :) Thank you for reading!