S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E. S is for Start Over

Decluttering is a growing trend – everyone seems to be on the journey one way or the other. For those of us already living a life of less, there is always room for improvement – less plastic, less food waste, less stress. Others are at the beginning of a life less cluttered, feeling overwhelmed, not knowing where to start.

Wherever you are in the process, you might find the STREAMLINE method useful to make a start or to continue your quest. 

Decluttering expert Francine Jay has devised this method to ultimately free yourself from your stuff so you can get on with living your life.

What does STREAMLINE stands for?

S   –   Start over

T   –   Trash, treasure or transfer

R  –   Reason for each item

E   –   Everything in its place

A  –   All surfaces clear

–   Modules

L   –   Limits

I    –   If one comes in, one goes out

N  –   Narrow down

E   –   Everyday maintenance

In a series of 10 blogs, I will look at each category in more detail – combine decluttering theories with my own experience as a professional, hoping to give you an insight into what I do and how I help people, as well as give you tips and pointers on how you can start or continue your journey.

S – START OVER

Remember the day you moved into your new home? You had a blank canvas and envisaged the way you would decorate and design the interior. In your mind, it would be amazing, perfect as well as practical for you and your family. But before you had the time to unpack the first box, life had taken over. Work was calling, kids had to go back to school, spare time was precious and you started to unpack boxes at random. Rather than sorting and making decisions whether items had to stay or go, they were stuffed into drawers, back of cupboards or in the loft, for decision to be made at a later stage. The task of sorting and clearing was becoming a thought of overwhelm and things were left where they were deposited. 

Where to start

Moving everything out again onto the drive and start again is not an option – so we have to work with what we have got. Let’s start small, a drawer, a cupboard or a corner in the loft. Where ever you decide to start – clear it out and start again. 

Allocate time to complete the task you set out

If you have an hour spare, don’t empty out your wardrobe – you will not be able to finish and this might leave you with a feeling of failure, which won’t fill you with the incentive to go on. Be realistic – dealing with sentimental items will take longer, so you might want to start with something that is easier to get into the mindset.

Designate the area to something specific

Once you have cleared the area, think of what the best purpose is for the empty space. Collect all relevant items of this category from all over the house to place it in your newly created space. Now you will have it all in one place and will never need to search where this item could possibly be. I don’t advocate to buy storage solutions until the job is finished. During the process you often end up with solutions purchased in the past at a previous attempt to organise or you change your mind whilst decluttering about what storage solution serves you best. 

Old shoeboxes are a good interim solution – but make sure you label the box before you store it.

Next up: T – throw, treasure or transfer

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