Trust us, if you don’t consider this, chaos will unfold before your very eyes. Chaos caused by you. The best way to do this is calmly, like with most things. Some like to focus on an entire room first, not leaving until the overhaul is complete. Then they move onto room number two and so on. Others prefer tackling a type first (all books, then clothes, then CDs). We prefer room by room, Kondo prefers category by category. The choice is yours.
Decide on a start and end time. You want to make the most of this so be disciplined while remembering it is still your weekend. Clocking off at 4pm should definitely be allowed as far as we’re concerned.
Now, time is on your side, so you can afford to tame at least one beast. An attic or garage can be a good option for you full weekenders. They’re often the dumping ground. “Just put it in the loft” is a phrase we find ourselves saying far too often. So bite the bullet and free them of all the stuff you’ve been holding on to just because you can. Suitcases, fine. Christmas decorations, sure. Inflatable dinghies and lilos when your children are now at university, not so much. Indulge yourself in a moment of nostalgia, then bin them.
Talking of nostalgia, any thing or any room that calls for a good amount of reminiscing is a yes for this weekend too. These are the things that perhaps take the longest because you want to allow yourself time to feel. Baby clothes and toys, mementoes from family holidays, folder after folder of essays from university that just might come in handy one day – these are all things bound to emotion and memories that want to be revisited. So do. (This part is best enjoyed with music playing, cushions on the floor, and a pot of tea on a tray nearby.) If at the end of it, you don’t want to remove them from your life then don’t. Box them up, label them and find a place to store them. (Why not in your newly organised attic?) Yes you need to be ruthless but we don’t believe in decluttering by extreme force. When you’re ready to let go of these particularly emotionally-charged items, you will.
Whichever rooms or categories you work through, make sure you’re organising as you go. Decluttering is best done when you improve how you’re storing the things that remain. At the end of the weekend you want to feel like a weight has been lifted and there’s much more space, but also that everything is in order.
Whether you’re still on Saturday at this point, or well into Sunday, take a break and look at how much time is left. Don’t forget you may need to factor in time to go to the charity shop and/or local tip. Then it’s completely up to you to decide what you take on next, if anything. Two meaty jobs may fill up your entire weekend and if they do then that’s absolutely fine. But if you’ve had less to remove, you could still have time to move onto another task. The key thing is to keep going. Stamina, dedication, focus. This is essentially a workout. Stick to your goal and when Sunday afternoon comes into view, you know you’re on the home straight.