If you’ve been in your home for some time, it’s likely you’re dealing with a common issue most people have: Excess clutter. Things tend to build the longer you stay in a home, and even if you’ve moved and have been in your home a short amount of time, you often take those things with you.
Clutter can be overwhelming, especially if you’re looking to downsize or just feel like it’s overtaken your life. But with a little planning and intention, it can be a fruitful and beneficial process to declutter and put intention toward organizing your home. Here are a few simple ways to make that happen.
Set a goal for decluttering
Whether you’re moving or trying to get your clutter under control, you’ll want to set easy goals for yourself that make the task feel less overwhelming. Break the tasks down to prevent frustration and create a system for how you’ll tackle it all.
Begin planning the areas that need decluttering the most. If you know a space might be a large project, like a basement or garage, you may want to be prepared for a major overhaul by renting a dumpster and taking a week to attack it all.
Otherwise, figure out the spots that make the most sense, and where you should focus your attention. Whether it’s bedrooms, the kitchen, closets, or a bathroom, give yourself a goal of how you want to do it, then follow that plan. Write down the amount of time you want to commit to each space and plan the days in your schedule that you’ll do it. Make sure you’re being realistic about how long it will take to achieve the goal to set a realistic timeline.
Having a plan you can stick to and a goal in mind for what you are trying to achieve can make it feel less stressful of a chore.
Take it slow
It took years for you to collect your things, so don’t expect it all to go away in a day. Depending upon your circumstances, it may take a significant amount of time to declutter. Or it might be a little more contained if your clutter is fairly minor.
The goal is to ensure a timing that you can stick to, especially if you have things that you are emotionally attached to. Give yourself enough time to process the way you want to deal with your things appropriately, so you don’t regret the way you handled it down the road.
Have a plan for your things
Take stock of your things and sort them into piles so you know what to do with them. Be sure to include the following, and be specific about what you’ll do with those things once you’re done sorting them:
· Keep – You may have important heirloom pieces that you want to hang on to or things you use regularly in your day-to-day life. Hanging on to those pieces is okay, as long as you have a plan for them.
· Donate – Do some of your things still have a long life ahead of them, but you’re not sure it’s worth selling them? It may be time to get generous and donate them to an organization that can benefit from them.
· Sell – You may want to make an extra bit of cash from your things. Consider posting them for sale online or having a garage sale on a weekend. Just be sure you have a plan for the things that don’t sell!
· Trash or recycle – If some things are just too worn to keep, you may need to throw them away or recycle them so they can be turned into goods that can be used further down the road.
If necessary, ask for help
Does decluttering feel like a bigger task than you can tackle on your own, it may be time to enlist a bit of help. Consider asking for help from family and friends who can help you sort through clutter and emotional attachment to your things.
There are also companies like 1-800-Got-Junk and Absolutely Clean by Stew, which are dedicated to cleaning and storage solutions. For a fee, they can tackle a room up to a whole house to help you get started.
Once you’re done sorting through your clutter, get creative and organize with smart storage solutions. Bins, baskets, caddies, and cubbies can store clutter and keep it contained in a way that’s beautiful and makes it easy to find the things you need.
Decluttering may seem like a daunting task when you’ve lived in a home for some time. However, it doesn’t have to be. With a timeline and a plan, you can make it a stress-free task to tackle. And it will make you feel better in the end.
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