I was amazed and gratified that I used this system so that in one and a half hour we cleared an amazing amount of clutter. It is so simple, yet effective. You can try it yourself, or get a friend (or me!) support you in this process. It really helps to have someone else around for moral and physical and emotional support–but using this system, you can work by yourself without getting discouraged because you will get a lot done in a short amount of time.
I recommend this system because what it does is help you organize a large cluttered space in a short amount of time and make it so that you can continue the sorting process while being able to have at least one area–even one room– feel really clear and uncluttered.
Step one: Collect lots of boxes–preferably banana or other large boxes which can be easily stacked. Also, if you get a variety of sized of boxes, then you can be more flexible.
Step two: Put the boxes in one section out of the way–even put them on a couch or furniture so that you can easily see them.
Step three: Label the boxes clearly. One way is to cut white paper in half and use a magic marker with large letters.
Here are some suggested categories:
Keep: find places for
Keep: Put in their place
Papers: high priority (small box)
Papers: low priority-(probably throw away
Papers: medium priority (sort later for filing or throw away)
High priority items (deal with immediately)
Undecided items–probably give away)
Storage (in a storage place or bins or shed or closet)
Give to specific people or places (like library)
Create boxes for specific needs you might have–like memories, store, etc.
Go through every cluttered space in the room. Put items in the correct boxes.
Step five: if you are worn out, stack the boxes in another room or in the same room or
If you have a particularly small space, you might want to purchase large plastic bins so you can store some things outside to be sorted later when you have time, or to store permanently. If you get the right bins, and keep an eye on them, they will remain waterproof for years.
Ideally you will allow time to put away the high priority papers and items, and the item that have homes and need to be put away. Put the stuff to give away, put in storage unit and deliver to people in your car.
Stack the bins or boxes somewhere out of the way where you can sort, making a goal of finishing most of it within the week. Paper work takes the longest, so I advise that you make that the lowest priority.
I will be sharing a system of dealing with paper work at another time.