One of the toughest things I struggle is finding time to go through things, declutter, and clean. I've been extremely busy lately, and my house is definitely showing the strain. Not only do I have all the usual clutter, I've been adding to it by not putting things away as reliably as I usually do, and I haven't cleaned in forever, either.
I've found a good way to get around the lack of time is to keep a box, bag, or bin in my room or closet where I can stash anything that I run across that I don't want to keep. That way, if I'm putting away laundry or doing some other activity and find something I no longer want, I can just add it to the pile, and take everything in that box or bag to the thrift store when it gets full. It saves me from having to find time to go through my entire closet, or my entire kitchen, all in one sitting.
The problem is that right now I have enough clutter that I don't have enough room for such a box or bag in my closets or somewhere out of the way, so I have to leave it out where it's in my way all the time. When I already have enough other things in my way all the time, it's annoying to add another.
Another thing I think I've learned is that I can't expect to do an entire room in a weekend. I just don't get that much time, plus it's overwhelming to do anything like that for more than just a few hours. After a while you start making bad decisions because you start second-guessing yourself all the time. I start vacillating wildly between wanting to get rid of everything willy-nilly, and wanting to get rid of nothing.
So instead, this weekend I made time to work on one box in my office. As some background, I have a number of boxes and bins stashed in my office of old paperwork, receipts, and other miscellaneous stuff. I have been meaning to go through it all for at least half a year, but finally I decided this weekend to do just one box, and it was the best decision I've made. I put a bunch of things away to get to that one box, and once I cleared out that box, I felt like so much space had been made.
I'm not done with the contents of the box yet -- some of it was added to the pile of stuff to be shredded, some of it was added to a "to do" pile, and some of it is mementos that need to be filed away -- but it's progress! I think if I can do a box or basket of receipts or something every day or every few days, I can file everything at once, recycle everything at once, shred everything at once, and then be done with the entire thing.
Ideally I'd like to do a little more with it tonight, but we'll see if I can find the time -- I have a bunch of other work to do too. Hopefully I'll be able to find some time in the coming holiday week at the very least!