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We all have something extra that we don’t need lying around the house. But, there comes a point when the extra things we don’t need become a problem. The things that we may not need pile up, and soon enough our living space becomes a mess.
Living in a mess is not considered healthy. It can lead to stress, which can lead to all sorts of different problems. Moreover, your mess can grow and become a perfect breeding ground for cockroaches and other insects. Clutter can also become a fire hazard, so bear that in mind while you ponder whether you should sell your old magazine collection.
Fortunately, you are here because you want to avoid the worst outcome. We will teach you the best ways to declutter your home, why you should do it, and what to avoid.
Before we can explain why you need to declutter your home, we need to explain what clutter is. Clutter is everything you keep in your house that has no intrinsic value. Clutter is everything that doesn’t matter.
Take a look at your bookshelf now. Notice all of the books that you have read 10 years ago and haven’t picked up since. Do those books have any value? Unless they are a sentimental gift from your husband or wife, you can agree that they hold no value.
Better yet, take a look at your clothes. Do you see that dress that you’ve worn on one date five years ago? Why do you still keep it? Wouldn’t it be better if you could do away with everything you haven’t worn for ages? We will help you find the answers to those questions, and many others you might have.
Basically, clutter is junk that slowly eats up your living space. It is everything that you should get rid of to make space for things that matter.
So, why should you declutter your home? The first feeling you are going to experience is one of accomplishment. Nothing feels better than finishing a task you’ve been putting off for a long time. You will also feel like a ton of pressure has disappeared out of your life. Finally, you will make space for the things that matter. You will make your home more open to new things that are going to make you happy.
Decluttering makes you take back control over your living space. It allows you to welcome new things into your life. It gives you a chance to start life anew. If you’ve been feeling down for a while, clutter might be the main cause. So, do yourself a favor and start working on decluttering now!
Just like with any time-consuming task, it is important to make a plan. Your plan should focus on what you are trying to accomplish. It doesn’t matter how much clutter there is in your home. Every big task starts with the first step. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
You know the best how much free time you have during the day. Reserve an hour or two every day for decluttering. Don’t let anything distract you. Turn off your electronics and focus only on the goal in front of you.
If you live a busy life, it would be best if you could do decluttering during the weekend. It is not a problem if you can’t start doing it now, but be sure to start doing it!
Once you start, it might seem like it will take you forever to make any progress, but take baby steps, don’t lose focus. Always keep that one important thought in your mind; you are doing this to make your life better.
You need to set realistic goals that you can attain. You don’t want to set unrealistic goals which, upon failing to attain them, will make you feel worse. You can make your goals into a game. Reward points to yourself for every goal you complete. After you gain a certain amount of points, treat yourself, indulge in a hobby, or simply rest.
So, if you have a big kitchen filled with clutter, but you don’t have enough time to finish decluttering in one day, start small. Open up a drawer, and declutter it. Do you only have time for one drawer? No problem! Finish working on it, and do the second drawer tomorrow. After a few days, you will finish decluttering your kitchen. Then you will understand the power of small steps, which will push you to work on the rest of your rooms.
There are plenty of sorting systems out there; you might even have a system of your own. But, if you don’t know of a sorting system, you could try out the “Three Box Method”. It is a simple organizational system that will force you to make a decision item by item.
Basically, you should grab three boxes or storage bins and put three labels on them: keep, store, get rid off.
You don’t have to be strict. If there are some items that you are not sure about, put them in a fourth “maybe” box. Store that box, and come back to it after some time has passed. If you remember the box after a few months of not realizing it exists, the things in it probably don’t hold any value.
After you have sorted everything in its designated box or a container, you need to do something with the things you don’t need.
Now that you know how to prepare for decluttering, how to sort items, and what to do with the clutter, you can learn how to declutter.
The reason why you should make a list of the rooms in your house is that not all of them have the same amount of clutter. Some of the rooms will take you longer to declutter than the other rooms.
Walk through every room and take notice of the clutter. Think about how long it will take you to clean each of the rooms. You should start with a room that will take you the least time. Once you have cleared one room of clutter, you will realize how easy it can be. You will receive a boost of confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
It is very easy to get sidetracked into doing something unrelated to decluttering. So, if you notice an old coloring book you loved as a child, don’t sit down to reminisce about it. Keep your focus, and do your best to not waste any time.
If you are serious about decluttering your home, you will do it the right way. The right way entails taking everything out of the space you are trying to declutter. Once you have taken everything out, take some time to do a thorough cleaning. Clean the bookshelves, dust the video game collection, vacuum the dirt and get rid of cobwebs.
Take a look at everything you have taken out, and sort it in the three boxes we have mentioned. Put back the things you want to keep, but remember to come back to them after some time. You might realize that you could do more decluttering.
Remember to break your space into smaller sections. If you are decluttering your living room, start with one shelf, and focus only on it. After you have taken care of the shelf, you can move on to other parts.
When you declutter, most of the time you do it alone. There is nobody who can make you feel ashamed, so be honest with yourself.
You don’t really need that old broken vase. You don’t need that torn t-shirt you got as a gift from your ex. You don’t need that collection of old plushies.
Always ask yourself whether something adds value to your life. Relax and be honest with yourself. Try not to let emotions get in the way of rational thinking. Focus on what lies ahead, leave the past behind. The past is the reason why you have to declutter now. Think about the future when you will have a peaceful living environment. A future in which you don’t waste time searching for something you need. Think about how you will be surrounded only by the items that you need and love.
It is hard to let go, but it is an important part of the whole process. Give yourself a chance, believe in yourself, and know that you can do it!
Once you have taken everything out and sorted it into the three boxes, you need to think about the items you want to keep.
The first thing you need to know is how often you use the item. If it is something that you use every day, keep it in front of other items. Make sure that it is clearly visible. Items that you use less frequently can go in the back of a shelf or a cupboard.
Take a look at the space you are trying to organize. Is it a small room without plenty of space? If it is, try to think vertically. Get additional shelves and stack them vertically. Be as creative as you can be, think outside the box. We are sure that you will come up with a solution that is not only functional but also looks great.
You should also remember to keep things simple. Don’t stack storage boxes on top of each other because it will take you a long time to find something you need. Always think about how much time it will take you to find something. If it will take you a long time to grab something basic, you should further optimize your new space.
Organization bins and baskets are useful. They keep everything tidy and clean, but people tend to buy those products before they declutter their home.
Wait until you are finished with the decluttering process, and then think about purchasing organization products. The purpose of those products is to take your item organization to a new level. Their purpose is not to be stacked on top of each other.
Labels are the best way to keep everything organized, especially the stored items. It feels awful to have to pull out random storage bins only to check whether something you need is inside. To avoid problems, label everything. Let your creative juices flow, and think of neat ways to decorate the labels. If you have children, they can help you. Make the organization process a game, and your kids will be glad to lend a helping hand.
If you want to make sure that you have done a thorough job, you will need to take a second look at your living space once everything has been finished.
Does it still look cluttered? Are items hard to reach? Do you still feel as if there is more work to do? If you have answered yes to all or a few of the above questions, then you need to do some tweaking.
Take a look at the items that are in front of other items. Try to evaluate their location. Think about the items you have problems reaching. Try to find a way to make them easy to reach.
You mustn’t give up. Congratulate yourself on a job well done, but be aware that there is a little bit of work left to do. Don’t let yourself get demoralized. Sometimes we all feel as if nothing is going the way we want it to. So, whenever your morale gets low, think of how much you have accomplished, and understand that you will accomplish more.
Getting rid of expensive items is hard. It is even harder to get rid of the items that hold sentimental value. You should know that the feelings some items cause are valid. You shouldn’t feel any shame. But, you are here to optimize your living space. You are here because you can conquer yourself and come out a better person.
We know that parting with certain items can be painful. We understand the struggle you feel inside. It is hard to part with sentimental items, but parting with an item doesn’t mean that you part with the memory.
It can be hard to get rid of certain things. So, if you are unsure, sleep on it. Think about it at a later time with a clear head. You might realize that you actually need something, or you might figure out that you really don’t need it.
Now that you know everything you need to do, you should be aware of the things you shouldn’t do.
Don’t exert yourself too much. Don’t try to do something you know isn’t doable. We have mentioned the power of small steps, so keep that in mind. Trying to do a lot and then failing will only frustrate you. It will make you lose focus, and you might give up on decluttering.
Don’t put things off. If you can do it in a day, be sure to finish what you started. You have done a lot of work, so don’t let it all go to waste. Take the “get rid off” box outside. Recycle the recyclable items. Don’t wait for work to pile up.
Don’t set unrealistic goals. You have probably seen photos of closets online that look like they are out of this world. Don’t try to imitate what you see online. Good enough is enough. If perfection is your goal, then you will end up disappointed. Work on setting up a space that works well for you. Ignore those who brag online. You don’t have a team of paid stylists to do your work for you. So, avoid setting goals that you can’t achieve.
Don’t think that you will declutter your home only once. Decluttering is a process that should be repeated often. If you want to keep living in a harmonious environment, you will have to keep working at it. Explore your home every few weeks and figure out whether you feel comfortable. Think about how your living space makes you feel, and you will know whether to repeat the decluttering process.
Congratulations! You have completed the first step towards decluttering your home. You have managed to stick until the end of this article, and you are armed with knowledge.
You have proven yourself that you can complete a goal, so feel free to reward yourself. Don’t relax yet, the real work starts soon. So, don’t let all the reading go to waste, make a plan and start working on making your home an enjoyable place to live in. We know that you can do it.