Decluttering your home can be less than fun, especially if you have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. But getting rid of the clutter can be a liberating and refreshing experience, and can help create a more organized and peaceful home.
Clutter tends to take over every part of our lives. Things tend to multiply in our sleep when we are not even looking. These tips will help you get your space organized and keep it that way.
Start with one room at a time
It’s important to focus on one room at a time, rather than trying to tackle the whole house at once. Choose a room that needs the most attention, and start there. This will help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to see progress more quickly.
When you start decluttering, don’t be afraid to take everything out of the room, so you can get a clear view of what you’re working with. Then, sort through everything and make a pile of things you want to keep, donate, or throw away. Remember, it’s important to be honest with yourself and ask if you really need or use each item.
The best rooms to start decluttering your life include decluttering your living room, decluttering your bedrooms, and decluttering your kitchen.
As you go through each room, create piles of things that you want to keep, donate, or throw away. This will help you to organize your things and make the process feel less overwhelming. Be sure to label each pile, so you can easily see what you’re getting rid of and what you’re keeping.
When you’re making piles, be mindful of sentimental items. It can be difficult to part with items that hold special memories, but it’s important to remember that memories are in our minds, not in our possessions. If you’re having trouble letting go of something, consider taking a picture of it, so you can still have the memory without the physical item taking up space.
I like to use laundry baskets to sort out what needs to be decluttered from each room as well as stuff that needs to go back where it belongs to help make cleaning faster.
Use the “one-year rule”
A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything that you haven’t used or worn in the past year. This can be difficult for sentimental items or things that you only use occasionally, but it’s important to be honest with yourself about what you really need and use.
If you’re not sure whether to keep something, ask yourself if you would buy it again today. If the answer is no, it’s time to let it go. To make this easy every year when spring cleaning put odds and ends into a storage container and flip your hangers the wrong way to see what you actually use by the time you spring clean again.
Get rid of duplicates
If you have duplicates of anything, such as kitchen utensils or clothing, get rid of the extras. You don’t need more than one of the same thing, and it just takes up space.
When you’re going through your duplicates, be mindful of items that you use frequently. It might be helpful to keep a spare of some items, like charging cables or scissors, so you’re not caught without them when you need them.
Use storage containers
Invest in some storage containers to help keep your things organized. Use them to store items that you want to keep but don’t use on a regular basis, such as seasonal decorations. When you’re using storage containers, be sure to label them clearly. This will make it easier to find things when you need them, and it will help prevent you from buying duplicates of things you already own.
If you want your space to be organized and look more minimalist than it really is you can use storage containers that are less visible like storage ottomans that have room for storing toys or throw blankets inside to make your living room look neat and tidy.
Don’t forget about digital clutter
Decluttering isn’t just about physical possessions. Take some time to go through your computer and phone, and delete any files or apps that you no longer need or use. When you’re going through your digital clutter, be sure to back up any important files before deleting them.
It’s also a good idea to organize your files into folders, so you can easily find what you need. Clear out old files that make it hard to find what you need and run a defrag on your computer if you know how to do so. You will be shocked how much faster your device will be.
Give yourself a timeline
Set a deadline for yourself for when you want to have each room decluttered. This will help keep you motivated and on track. Set aside time that you do not have other things that you need to do and put undistracted time into your cleaning.
When you’re setting a timeline, be realistic about how much time each room might take, and don’t be afraid to adjust your timeline as needed. Some rooms may take longer than others, depending on how much stuff you have and how organized you are.
Donate or sell unwanted items
Rather than throwing everything away, consider donating or selling items that are still in good condition. This will not only help you declutter your home, but it will also help someone else who might need the item.
There are many organizations that accept donations, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You can also sell items online through websites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. When giving things away it can be really easy to list them on your personal Facebook page for friends and family first. When they come to pick the items up you can spend some quality time with them.
When you’re donating or selling items, be sure to check with the organization or website first to see what items they accept and how to donate. There are some amazing charities that will even pick up your donations right off your porch so you can declutter without even leaving your house.
Keep up with it
Decluttering isn’t a one-time event. It’s important to make it a habit to regularly go through your things and get rid of anything that you no longer need or use. There are some simple tricks you can use to help do this. Try to set aside a few minutes each day to tidy up, and make it a point to go through your things every few months to see if there’s anything you can get rid of.
Keep a trash can or recycling bin by your door to toss your junk mail when you walk in the door. Give your kids a box regularly to clear out some old toys before new ones are added such as around holidays and birthdays.
Get the family involved
Decluttering can be a family project. Involve your spouse and children in the process, and make it fun by setting goals and rewarding yourselves when you reach them. They helped to gather the mess they can help with cleaning it up. Put on some music to make it fun and arrange for a reward for your family after all of the hard work is done.