I am one of the laziest people I know, and I'm not ashamed of it. My energy level's been low all my life, so I've learnt how not to run out of juice quickly. You can say that I'm into conserving energy.
One of the reasons why I support decluttering is that it can work very well for lazy people like me. By getting rid of clutter (semi) permanently, you will save so much energy that would be wasted on cleaning and organising otherwise. Wouldn't you rather spend your energy on something you like? Like having fun?
But, when your energy is low, it's hard to start decluttering, right? So, today, I am going to suggest several energy-efficient ways to start decluttering.
1. Declutter on an as needed basis
A thorough decluttering is a massive project that requires at least some sort of planning. You will need to get extra garbage bags, and dedicate a day or more to do the work. That's stress-inducing for some low-energy people.
Instead, why not start small? Why not start decluttering where it needs immediate decluttering. For example, if you're baking cookies this afternoon, and are getting frustrated because you can't find measuring cups and spoons in your kitchen drawers, why not take 20 minutes to decluttering some of your kitchen drawers before you start baking? Get rid of duplicate items and organise drawers a little bit so next time you will have an easier time locating baking goods.
2. Start with obvious clutter
There is clutter that is so obviously a clutter you won't need to ask yourself, "Do I need to keep this?" Maybe you have some old furniture in the basement you've meant to get rid of. How about a pile of junk mail on your kitchen counter? Go after these quick-win items; you will gain confidence to do more decluttering.
Over time, this method works as if you're using sandpapers to smooth out a rough surface. You will start with a very rough sandpaper to get rid of big bumps quickly, and then you'll move on to little finer sandpaper and so on. Take as much time and breaks as needed to complete decluttering.
3. Focus on the output
Instead on focusing on the items and areas to be decluttered, measure your success by the output you produce. So, for example, you can start decluttering with a simple goal of filling one small shopping bag full of clutter. That's pretty easy, right?
You can pick any items from anywhere. It would be easier to have a bag for a different type of clutter, i.e., things to throw out, donate, recycle, sell, and so on; that way, you won't need to sort through the contents of the shopping bag post decluttering.
4. Focus on the time spent
Spend ten minutes every day to declutter anything, anywhere. If that's too much, aim for three to four ten-minute decluttering sessions per week. That's still too much? How about doing a 30-min session every weekend? It's up to you to decide how often and how much time you would spend on decluttering.
Just try to get into a habit of picking up easy-to-spot clutter regularly. If your life gets in your way, and you forget to do this for several weeks, don't beat yourself up. Just pick up where you left off.
5. Get declutter buddies
If you don't mind having people around when you're decluttering, why not recruit some of your friends or family members to help you declutter? I once had a friend who tried to invite me and several other people to his house for a "freezer defrosting party." None of us wanted to go, so he ended up defrosting the freezer by himself.
But, if he sweetened the deal with a copious amount of alcohol and tasty snacks, maybe we could have ended up helping him out. Make this a fun occasion. Perhaps some of your party attendees would be interested in taking some of your clutter?
6. Reward-based decluttering
Are you going on a vacation soon? If so, take some time to put your place in order before you take off. I understand that you need to do your packing, and that can be a little stressful, but you will be having a great time in a matter of hours. Surely, it's not too much to squeeze in half an hour of decluttering and tidying up your place? You will thank yourself when you come home.
Yes, I know that you can't just book a vacation every time you want to do a little decluttering. But you can still dangle a carrot stick in front of your eyes to create a similar effect. Get yourself a nice box of chocolates and eat it only after you've finished decluttering. Go for a nice walk. Go out for dinner. You'd probably want to stay away from buying things as a reward, though; stick to something that can be experienced or consumed quickly.
So, in a nutshell, don't think about starting a massive decluttering project to be finished within a short period, because people with a low energy level will get tired just by thinking about such an undertaking. Start small and slow. Stop and take a break as necessary. And don't let anyone clutter-shame you.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is to be careful not to bring more clutter to your home while you're decluttering. Only bring home something you're at least 90% certain that it won't end up being clutter at a later date. You'll make some mistakes, and that's OK.
There you go, and good luck!
P.S. Are you wondering how I got rid of clutter when my energy level's been low all my life? I've figured it out early that less clutter means less work for me. Here is the mathematical formula: Less clutter = less work = more bang for your energy buck = increased efficiency = license to be lazy.