The very first step in our journey to a spacious, clutter-free home is getting a full, honest picture of the state of your home today.
How to Take a Mindful Clutter Inventory
Choose a time when you can explore your home without being interrupted. Ideally, you would do this all in one go, but if you have young children, or just a very busy schedule that makes that challenging, you can break this up into a few short sessions. Depending on the size of your home and storage areas, this may take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more. Don’t rush it. This is your chance to get (re)acquainted with your stuff.
You may want to bring along a notepad and pen, a camera (your phone camera is perfect), and a cup of your favorite tea. When you’re ready, walk through each space in your home, peeking into every closet, cupboard, and drawer, and simply notice all of your belongings.
Storage Areas and Hidden Stuff
Don't forget the garage, basement, attic, storage shed, and under and behind the furniture — all of that stuff you can’t usually see is important, too!
If you're unsure what's in a box or bin, open it up and take a peek inside. You are not removing anything. You are not organizing anything. Simply be present and accept your home and stuff as it is today.
A Different Kind of “Before” Photos
As part of your Mindful Clutter Inventory, I encourage you to take some "before" photos. The simplest way to do this is to bring a camera (or your phone) along as you are walking through your home to document what you see. These photos are not to share — they’re just for you. What I want you to do with the photos is to take a moment and really look at them. I find that looking at photographs of our home is a helpful way to gain a new perspective and get some distance from our stuff. Try to observe the photos without judging, but without making excuses either. Just see what's there.