If you are a pack rat like I am, then you probably have a lot of random “stuff” (I won’t call it junk) scattered around your home, cluttering every available surface. The counter clutter spills over onto the table. The table clutter spills over onto the chairs. The corners of the bedrooms are piled high with things that you are going to use, or get to, or fix, or whatever. The closets – don’t even go there unless you are completely serious about making a commitment to do something about this problem.
The bad news is that it won’t go away by itself. Unless your piles of “stuff” contain items of food (ugh), it’s unlikely that they will degrade or disappear in any other fashion. The cold hard truth is this. You are going to have to go through it. All of it. You are going to have to lay your hands on every single item in your home and decide if it is something useful, or just more “stuff.”
The good news is that you don’t have to do it all at one time. All you have to do is commit to cleaning up the clutter for good. Then make a plan and follow it, step by step. It doesn’t matter if you only do a little each day, as long as you continue to work toward your goal. The trick is not to go back and add more clutter to the areas that you have cleaned up.
Divide your home into rooms. Conveniently and coincidentally, this has already been done for you. You may begin in any room. Divide that room into workable areas, such as “corner”, or “under sink.” Just start in one area, and work your way around the room until you have gone through the entire room. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you think it should to work through an area. This is probably a huge project that you are taking on. Continue to chip away piece by piece and soon you will have clean, uncluttered living spaces.
Arm yourself with a large trash bag and a large box. The box is for things that need to be put away, and the trash bag is for, well, trash. Start with one area, like a corner or bookcase, and look at each item in that area. All broken or damaged items should be thrown away, and not saved to be fixed later. If you haven’t fixed it by now, you probably never will. If the item is in good condition, consider getting rid of it. Try to think of more reasons to part with an item than to keep it. Your goal should be to keep no more than half of the original items in that area.
The sooner you can get rid of what you are not keeping, the better. You can sell your items on Craigslist or eBay, or hold a garage sale. I find that the longer I hang on to an item, the more likely I am to keep it, so I take my discards to the drive through donation center right away, and I get a tax deduction in return. The important thing is to get the stuff out of the house fast. Keep working your way from one room to the next until you have de-cluttered the entire house. Once you begin this project, you have to be careful about what you bring into the home. For every new item you bring in, you must get rid of an additional item.
Getting rid of the clutter your home might seem overwhelming at first, but if you work your way through it little by little you can regain control of your cluttered rooms in no time and convert them into enjoyable and relaxing living spaces. Your home will be more organized and easier to clean, and you will know where everything is. You might even find a real treasure in the process.