Clutter is defined as anything you keep that adds no value to your life. Making space in your home for the things that truly matter is the goal to declutter your home.
Clutter can be an energy drain for many people, as well as a huge waste of time spent looking for things they can’t find. When a person’s consumption extends beyond “stuff,” he or she may experience depression or obesity. Aside from that, if mold and dust are present in more serious hoarding situations, other health issues may arise. A cluttered home can even pose a fire hazard, though this is a rare occurrence.
Many people find that organizing and decluttering a home relieve stress by giving them a sense of control and accomplishment. Others consider that getting rid of junk frees up previously unused space in their homes. Some people may only need to declutter their homes before moving. Whatever your reason for decluttering your home and, by extension, your life, this incredibly detailed guide will walk you through it.
How to Begin Decluttering & Organizing in Three Easy Steps
Create a Timeline and Objectives to declutter your home
Make a strategy before you begin. Starting with specific goals will help you reduce frustration and roadblocks, regardless of how much clutter you have to sort through. Here are a few things to think about as you begin to declutter:
Make a list of all the rooms and “clutter hot spots” you want to tackle or draw a map of them.
To help you prioritize your time, assign each space a grade based on the severity of the clutter. A particularly cluttered room or closet, for example, would receive a 3 on a scale of 1-3 (3 being the most cluttered). One room or one space at a time should be tackled.
Make a System for Sorting
You’ll need to set up a system for sorting the items you find as you go through the rooms in your house. You can devise your own method or employ the well-known Three-Box Method. The Three-Box Method forces you to make decisions item by item so you don’t end up with a bigger mess than you started with.
Label three boxes or storage bins with the words “Keep,” “Get Rid Of,” and “Put In Storage” on them. Sort your belongings using these decluttering tips:
Keep: Items that you use on a regular basis.
After you’ve finished each space, empty this box and place items in their new locations. These items should be labeled and neatly stored in a container or drawer.
Get rid of: Things you don’t need any longer.
After you’ve finished each space, empty this box and decide whether to donate or throw away each item. Any items you’re giving away or selling should be kept outside the house, either in the vehicle, they will be transported in or in a garage storage bin.
Put In Storage: Seasonal or sentimental items
After you’ve finished each space, empty this box into storage containers. Label storage containers with labels or an inventory sheet, and stack them neatly in a designated storage area.
Get Rid of Clutter in Your Home
You have a few options for getting rid of items from your “Get Rid Of” box:
Donate or Freecycle
You can rest easy knowing that something you no longer need will find a new home with someone who does. Clothing, shoes, and other household items in good condition can be donated to a number of local charities. Check the charity’s guidelines for accepted items before dropping off donations. You could also try posting on a Facebook resale group to see if anyone in your area is interested in picking up the items.
If your neighborhood offers curbside pickup, recyclable glass, plastics, and paper can go straight into your recycling bin. If not, place your recyclables in bags and take them to a recycling drop-off location near you.
Have a Garage Sale
If you’re up to it, you might be able to make some money by having a garage sale. Check with your neighbors or homeowners’ association to see if your neighborhood has a designated garage sale date.
Rent a dumpster
Renting a dumpster is a good idea because not everything will be in good enough condition to donate or sell. If you have a lot to get rid of or larger household items to throw away, renting a dumpster is an affordable and stress-free option. We can assist you with this as well; we’ll deliver the dumpster to your driveway, you fill it up at your leisure, and we’ll haul it away. Request a free dumpster rental quote for your decluttering project.
10 Tips for Getting Rid of Clutter and Organizing Your Home
Follow the 80/20 Rule in decluttering your home
We typically only wear 20% of our clothing 80 percent of the time. This rule applies to a wide range of items, including video games, computers, electronics, books, DVDs, toys, and more. You have 80 percent of the time to get rid of the things you don’t use.
Ignore Sunk Expenses
Sunk costs are expenses that have already been paid but cannot be recovered in economics. Consider most items to be a sunk cost unless they have increased in value, which is rare.
Because you won’t be able to get your money back for each item, you should only consider the future value that item will bring to your life. This concept can assist you in making more rational decisions about what to keep and what to discard.
Check if the item is usable
If a treasure you found in a hidden location isn’t working, get rid of it. Fix it right away if you want to (and are confident in your ability to do so). Otherwise, it will continue to collect dust as it sits unused.
Consider the last time you used it
You should probably get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last six months if you come across it. You should probably get rid of the item if you pulled it out and said, “I’ve been wondering where this was!” And if you had no idea you still had the item in question, you should get rid of it immediately. You didn’t miss it enough to keep it in your possession.
Keep track of what you actually use
For clothing, books, and DVDs, use this helpful decluttering tip. When you use or wear an item over the course of a year, put it back facing the opposite direction of the others. You can see what you’ve used and what you haven’t by doing so. Get rid of anything you haven’t worn or used by the end of the year.
Examine if you actually love it
This tip may seem self-evident, but we all have things in our homes that we don’t love. Consider a time when you paid for something you didn’t like but didn’t return to the store. Add an item to the “Get Rid Of” bin if you don’t like it and haven’t used it in over 6 months.
Try to sleep on it
After you’ve decided to get rid of all the clutter in your home, give it some time to sink in. By the morning, you’ll know if there’s anything you can’t live without. You can take it out of the trash and place it where it belongs.
Begin with small projects that have a big impact
Are you stumped as to where to begin decluttering? Start with a few small projects that will give you a sense of accomplishment when you’re finished before committing to decluttering an entire room. This will boost your motivation to take on longer projects and, in turn, reduce your clutter.
Remove any debris from flat surfaces
Clutter attracts itself to counters, shelves, and other flat surfaces. It’s fine if you need to keep a few things on your counters, but you should make it a goal to clear all surfaces of the majority of clutter. Make room for paper items in drawers or on shelves with small boxes or bins. Small appliances that are frequently used can be kept on kitchen countertops, but those that are rarely used should be put away or donated.
Keep things that are similar together
It’s crucial to categorize items as you go through them when decluttering your home. Keeping like-items together encourages you to organize your home and makes your life easier. Keep each category of item close to where it will be used so you can find it when you need it.
Always begin by creating a mental picture of your ideal lifestyle. Consider what it’s like to wake up in the morning. What is the state of your surroundings? What do you see when you open the cabinet to get a mug for your coffee, for example? Consider every detail as you walk through your home, imagining how it feels to be in a well-organized environment. This vision will serve as inspiration and guidance as you design a home that accommodates your ideal lifestyle.