Originally Posted by sahmof2girls
When I start my de cluttering I end up making a bigger mess, and get stressed and then hide stuff so it looks like I did something. It drives dp INSANE at times.
1) Let go of the idea that this will be a one-off project. You will not get it done in an hour, an afternoon, a day, or a weekend. And that's ok.
2) Therefore, instead of trying to tackle the whole thing at once, tackle smaller units. "Just this pile." "Just this drawer." "Just this corner." "Just the low hanging fruit that I can easily see and know I want to get rid of, and I'll just ignore the rest that I'm not sure about for today, just so I can make progress."
3) GET RID OF YOUR STUFF FREQUENTLY. So, instead of thinking "I'll have a pile over here of things to donate" and just leaving that pile until you're "done" so you can donate it all at once... yeah, let that idea go. If you're going to spend a few hours on Saturday afternoon working on this, build in time and energy to take your bags in that day. Don't wait until you're about to collapse, just stop at 4pm and take whatever you've got in to Goodwill or whatever. Same with the trash, get it to the dump, get it to the curb, whatever you need to do with it. If you're doing 30 minutes at a time, then put the bags in your car so that after 3 x 30 minute sessions, you get rid of them. And they'll already be in the car and not cluttering up your house.
4) Yes, stop the influx. Don't buy anything else until you've gotten control of your clutter. At least the clothes (sounds like clothes is your primary issue). No doubt you already have all the clothes you need. You just need to know what you have, and be able to find them/get to them.
5) Depending on your personality, you can either attack things in layers (donate/toss things over time, starting with the most obvious/easiest first but keeping things you're not sure you want to get rid of yet, then over time realizing that you don't need/want some of those items anymore, etc.) or do a hardcore purge. With a hardcore purge, you plan ahead of time what you really need (4 fall/winter pants, 4 summer shorts, 4 skirts... whatever), figure out what you must keep, and get rid of the rest.
6) Once you've gotten things under control, control the influx too. If you see a cute blouse on sale, ask yourself which blouse you already have that you'll get rid of to make the space for this new one. And if you can't think of any blouse you already have that you want less than this new one, don't get the new one since you apparently already have blouses you like better anyway. It's ok to buy new things but you have to have the space for them. It's ok to trade in old things for new ones, but you can't just keep adding and adding and adding without making any subtractions.