Box of stuff

What comes first when it's time to clean out?

Professional Organiser Rebecca Mezzino can help you find the best approach with these simple tips on how to get started.

I've copied it below for your convenience.

The most common question I get is “Where do I start?”.
starting blocks
For people with a clutter problem, it’s not a simple problem to solve. It can induce a lot of anxiety and many simply throw their hands up in despair and declare it an impossible task.
You have two ways to start:
1. The cull
2. The sort
If you have a highly cluttered space and no room to sort, you need to cull first. That means grabbing a few boxes or garbage bags and assigning them roles – “Rubbish” “Donations” “Give to friends” “Staying” and “Elsewhere in the house”. Then you start at the pile closest to the door and work your way around the room, putting things in their appropriate boxes. Don’t look at the whole space – focus on ONE ITEM AT A TIME ONLY. This will help prevent you getting overwhelmed. If you find it impossible not to ‘see’ the whole room and get anxious, engage a friend (or a Professional Organiser!) to help. You can be in the other room with the boxes, and they can bring you 1-3 items at a time to make decisions on.
If you have a moderately cluttered space, you can sort first. Sorting first helps you make better culling decisions because you can see where you have duplicated and the total volume of ‘stuff’. Keep the culling boxes as outlined above, but sort your items into “like” groups first, then cull. Once you’ve culled you can then find storage appropriate with the group of items and the space you have for them. Again, just start at the first pile you see and work on one item at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Dedicate a small amount of time every day, one item at a time and you’ll get there.
As Lao-Tzu said (not literally, but this common translation and interpretation is the one most suited to this circumstance!) ”The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step“.