When it comes to excess clutter, people have different perceptions on what clutter really is. To some it is a collection of memories or useful items but to others it is simply junk they haven’t cleaned up. Before starting, decide what you want to accomplish by decluttering your home and what the benefits will be for you. For example, it will be easier to keep clean, people can come by any time without you worrying about the mess and things will be easy to find. This will be your motivation!
Make sure you have time to organize your home without unwanted interruptions and be realistic about not getting the whole house done right away. You did not clutter it up all at once and you can’t expect to clean it in one day. Set realistic goals and do a little every other day or on the weekends.
How to get started when decluttering your house
You will need some boxes or containers to sort things and a trash can.
1. Only do one room, area of a room or closet at a time. Only pull out what you can put away in an hour or less. If you have enough energy to do another area, you can move on to it after you have finished the one you are working on.
2. Grab the trash first. If you see items that can be discarded without hesitation, do so right away.
3. Use the box system. As you remove things from the area you are trying to declutter, place them in either the keep, donate or trash box. Don’t worry about putting each item in the right room or place for now.
4. Clean or wipe down the area you have just decluttered and only put back the items that belong there. Stand back and enjoy the view.
When you are done for the day
5. Place donation items in your car. After a few cleaning sessions, when you have enough to fill your trunk, take a trip to the thrift store or to friends and family to deliver the donations.
6. Put the trash out.
7. Take items that need to go elsewhere into the room where they belong and don’t worry about putting them in place right away. You will get to it when you declutter that room.
How to make decisions on what is clutter and what is not
The reason we keep things is because we need them or we want them. We need plates and cups. Do we need three different sets that don’t match? As you start decluttering your home you will find many items that require decisions. The longer we own an item, the harder it can be to discard it. Ask yourself these questions:
Do I need this item or do I wear it regularly?
When did I use this last?
Does this have an emotional value to me?
Does this have a monetary value, can I sell it?
How many of these do I own?
Is this thing worth not having a clutter free home?
If you find yourself having a hard time letting go of things, it may make you feel better to know that not all is going into the trash. You can donate things to pet shelters, schools, churches and food banks. Many organizations will pick up your donations and you may even get a tax write-off. Think about why you are doing this and keep the goal in mind. When you declutter your home you may also find a lot of items that you can sell. You can take that money and treat yourself to a spa day because you deserve it after doing all that work.