How to Remove Clutter from Your Home
Where do you start?
If you are being buried in your own clutter, than it may be time to do the impossible – get rid of it!
Most experts (and housewives too) agree that getting rid of clutter is essential if you have any prayer of getting the job done quickly and effectively.
It may be easier said than done to get rid of all the clutter in your home but in reality making the big move to purge can be devastating for some people.
That’s why it's important to start with one small space; even if it is just a desk, drawer or a corner of a room.
Start with a space you can handle. This way you will be able to feel the satisfaction of accomplishment when you are finished and that should give you the confidence to tackle the next area.
So if you’re ready to clean up your messy house and make some sense of the chaos – keep reading! Soon you won’t feel like you’re drowning in “all that stuff”.
We’ll begin the process by sorting every item in the chosen area into one of three piles. Keep in mind – you only want to keep the things that make sense for your space.
Oh, did I forget to mention that there is no shopping allowed. We don’t need to buy anything new and unnecessary. First things first!
The First Pile – Garbage
Trash is really a good thing. You’re taking a step towards seeing what’s under it all. It’s amazing how often we find real garbage shoved in our closets, drawers and cabinets.
Start every purge by getting rid of the garbage first. This includes outdated food, empty boxes, leftover packaging, broken items, half empty cartons, torn clothes, ratty shoes, etc.
Be pleased with the amount of stuff you’re tossing out. You can even make a game out of it if you’re working with other family members.
See who throws away the most garbage. The winner is awarded with a prize or dinner out at a place of their choice.
The Second Pile - Give Away
Many people avoid getting rid of items because they may come in handy some day. Stop living for someday; it’s just cluttering your home. Instead, send those items off where they may be needed now.
Just because an item has no further use in your home doesn’t mean they are useless. Maybe someone else could use them. Let’s get real here, that jumbled up pile of unused kid’s toys isn’t doing anyone any good.
If you don’t have family or friends to pass things on to, think about taking them to a local charity, shelter or even the thrift store where those who need them can find them.
When deciding when to keep or give an item away, ask yourself these important questions:
- Has it been used in the last 12 months?
- Are there any plans to use it in the next 30 days?
- Would you buy it again?
- Does anyone even like it?
- Is it really worth the space to hang on to it?
Don’t hem or haw over any of these questions, think FAST!
The Third Pile – The Keepers
The keep pile is everything that does not go into the first two piles. Sometimes, this pile can be much larger than the garbage and giveaway piles combined – at least at first.
Remember though, a good purge means getting rid of at least 50 percent of the clutter – maybe even more! Don’t waste your time; be honest about everything you’re doing, especially the keep pile (which could ultimately be the hardest pile to go through).
Once you’ve tossed the garbage and sorted everything into the giveaway and keep piles, it's time to go through the keep pile again – this time with the goal of cutting it in half.
Sound impossible? It doesn’t have to be. If you have others helping out with the process, don’t argue. Be respectful of what others have to say.
If you come up against an item and you’re having a hard time deciding what to do with it – don’t spend too much time on it. Set it aside and come back to it when you’re done with the rest.
When you come back to it and you’ve decided it’s too valuable to part with – be glad you have it.
Evaluate - Tips for Deciding What to Keep
Trying to decide what items you should (and need) to keep isn’t easy at all for some people. That’s why you should think about these things when making your decisions:
- If an item just sits around your house going unused, the odds are good it is not needed.
- Sure, there are some things you need only seasonally, and they are okay to keep, as long as you use them at least once or twice a year.
- Would you bring it into your home if given another chance? This can be a hard one to admit, but if there are items in your home that you wouldn’t buy again (for whatever reasons), then get rid of it – it has outgrown its usefulness.
- Do you even like it? Just because you loved that picture or those knick-knacks 10 years ago doesn’t mean you have to like them today.
- Tastes change and so do our personal styles. Get rid of everything you don’t simply adore.
- Is it in your way? Some items seem great when we bring them home, only for us to realize a short time later that they are in our way.
- If you are constantly moving something to get what you really want and need; or bumping into it, it has to go.
- Is it worth the extra money to haul if you were moving? This is a great tip for deciding whether to keep an item.
- Pretend you are moving to another state and every box is going to cost $25 to move. Would you still keep it, or send it on its way?
- Will you miss it if it suddenly disappears? Maybe an item isn’t practical, but you love it nonetheless. Keep it! But, if you find that you wouldn’t even miss an item should it suddenly disappear than why let it continue to clutter your home?
Putting Things Back
Now that you’ve purged the clutter and you’re feeling the excitement of your accomplishments – it’s time to put the things you’re keeping back in the room.
You can use baskets and other decorative containers where necessary and appropriate. Now that you’ve got one room clutter free and organized under your belt, you can move on to the next room.
Congratulations are in Order!
After you’ve cleared out the clutter and uncluttered your mind, look around and acknowledge the room you have, the things that matter most. I’m sure you are feeling much lighter in your surroundings.
Congratulate yourself and the others that have helped for doing a job well done.
Image location: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boltron/3623341152/