Learn how to declutter your home in a few easy steps!
Everyone wants a clean and organized home. The effects of clutter on a person’s mental health are well-documented, and clearing it out can do wonders for relieving stress. The problem is that decluttering can feel like a long and arduous process, and many people don’t know where to start or simply lose steam after 15 minutes. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to declutter your living space that can prove both efficient and fun. If you’re tired of living surrounded by messes, here are some practical tips to help you declutter.
Pencil it in.
Have you watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and decided to start decluttering soon, only to realize months later that you still haven’t started? You’re not alone. One problem many people face is that they desire a clean and organized living space, but they never make the time for it. If you’re really tired of living in clutter, you need to schedule your decluttering sessions, or at least schedule your first session (yes, it will probably take more than one day).
For example, say to yourself and your family that you will declutter two Saturdays from now, and mark it on your calendar app as well as a hard copy calendar for good measure. Then, treat the event like you would work or school. If other people in your family are going to be involved, make sure they save the date, too. Setting aside the time to do what you need to do is the only way you will ever do it. Along with scheduling your session, it can help to set a time limit. For instance, if your strategy is to tackle six rooms on your first day, set yourself a time limit of one hour per room, and don’t let yourself go past it. This will not only help you work efficiently, but it will also bring a sense of fun and challenge.
The first stage of decluttering may be the most fun. This is the part where you let loose and purge your belongings, throwing away everything that gets in your way. Grab a large trash bag (you can get 48 bags for $12.14 online), and storm each room with vigilance. If there is an item that you’re 100 percent sure you don’t want, it goes.
During this initial purge, there is no “maybe” category. There is no time for asking yourself if an item brings you joy or if you have worn it in the last year. The purge is a fast-paced, go-with-your-gut type of activity. Think of it this way: the more you throw out during this stage, the less stuff you will have to sort out for storing, donating, and keeping.
If you discover that you’re having trouble purging some of your possessions, bring along someone whose opinion you trust. This way, you can get a different perspective on the item or items you’re having difficulty purging. Also, having someone hold you accountable for completing this task can help you stay focused and on track. Last but not least, getting a friend or loved one to help can add an element of fun you may not experience otherwise.
If you have items that you want to hold onto but want out of the house, self-storage is the way to go. It could be a family heirloom, a set of furniture, or any other kind of item. Especially if you have large items (or just a whole lot of small ones you plan on storing), it can also be helpful to rent a moving container that you can load as you go, and then have it hauled over to your storage unit.
Check out PeerStorage, which is a unique alternative to traditional storage facilities where you can find low-cost, convenient storage options within your neighborhood. Now you have the option to store things you may want to access more frequently but have no room for, such as stuff like seasonal goods, your outdoor camping gear or kayak, or clothes that you may not need until the winter/summer months. Making the decision of what to store has gotten a whole lot easier with PeerStorage’s convenient and low-cost storage options!
After you purge and put belongings in storage, it will be easier to sort through the remaining items and designate which ones you want to donate. Typically, it’s best to give away items that are in decent condition. After all, would you want to wear a pair of ratty old socks? In other words, if your favorite t-shirt from high school has a four-inch hole in the front of it, you may want to consider tossing it. If you have a computer that hasn’t worked in 10 years, you should probably send it to a recycling center. Take everything you want to donate to a local organization that accepts a large variety of items, such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill. Also, consider schools, libraries, homeless shelters, and food banks.
Keep it tidy.
Finally, you’ll want to keep your home clean and organized once you get rid of the clutter. If you let the junk pile up, you’ll be right back where you started. Instead, get in the habit of doing a few minor tasks each day/week:
- Clean up as you go
- Make the bed each morning
- Put the laundry away immediately
- Assign different tasks to each family member
- Keep cleaning supplies where you can access them
Once you have everything clean, you may decide it’s time to change up the decor or add some color to rooms that are looking a little drab. If you want to spruce up your walls but don’t want to mess everything up by painting, you can try removable wallpaper, which allows you to peel and stick different patterns and designs without a lot of hassle. You can also spruce up existing furniture by having it reupholstered. Search “chair reupholstery near me” to find professionals in your area who can have your furniture looking brand new. Whatever you decide to do with your renewed space, make sure that it’s easy to care for — the last thing you want is to create a cluttered, messy area that you’ll need to clean up on a regular basis.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be painful. Schedule a time to do it, and set yourself time limits for each room. Make the whole process easier and more fun by purging and throwing away the belongings you don’t want, storing the items that you’re keeping but want out of the way, and donating items in decent condition that you will no longer use. Last but not least: keep your home tidy by adopting simple daily habits.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Other storage resources:
Eco-friendly Storage & Moving Resources: