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7 Smart Ways to Declutter Your Home

Decluttering Your Home Is Worth It

What better way to begin the year than clearing out all of the unnecessary stuff cluttering your life and home? Face it, most of us have a tendency to hang on to items we no longer need, whether it be clothes, books or random tchotchkes. There’s absolutely no reason to be mentally and physically weighed down by non-essentials.

Getting rid of personal possessions can be a traumatic experience. If you’re having a tough time deciding what to keep and what to toss, we’ve put together some suggestions to help make the process easier and less painful. This article will cover the following 9 ways to declutter your home and lighten your load:

  • What you keep should have intrinsic value
  • Donate items to charity
  • Declutter in small steps
  • Categorize items to help you sort
  • Declutter room by room
  • Take your time
  • Don’t tackle it alone
  • Reinforce positive habits
  • Don’t rag on yourself

1. The possessions you keep should have actual value.

That doesn’t mean each and everything you own will have monetary value. It can also refer to cherished keepsakes or practical items. Here’s a clever way to determine intrinsic value. Imagine you’re preparing to evacuate in advance of a major hurricane. What things would you take with you? The answer to that single question will indicate an object’s true worth.

2. Start by filling up one trash bag.

One of the most satisfying ways to make a dent in household clutter is to donate unwanted items to a local charitable organization. It will make it much easier to part with things each time you donate. Take a large trash bag and plop it in the middle of your closet and fill it full.

3. Purge Your Closet a Little Every Day.

Every morning for one week as you are getting dressed for the day, go through your closet and pull out one or two pieces you haven’t worn in the last few seasons. Chances are if you forgot you had it, you probably won’t wear it again.

4. Sort items by category.

This organization technique is known as the four-box method. Pick a room and bring in four boxes, bins or containers of your choice. Label them as trash, give, keep and store. Go through the room and put each item into one of the containers. Then you’ll know exactly what to do once you’ve categorized everything in the room.

5. Finish each room before moving to the next.

Now that you’ve donated, stored and trashed the things you don’t need, it’s time to organize the keepers. Now’s the time to install a closet or pantry organization system to make things neat and orderly with the help of an assortment of storage baskets, shelves, carts, bins and totes. Once you’re satisfied with results you can move on to the next room.

6. Take your time and do it right.

Clearing out clutter may seem like a quick project but it might take a lot longer than you think. Consider the emotions involved in parting with your possessions. Plan on taking extra time for this task.

Here’s some sage advice: If you start getting wigged out, simply walk away for a while to clear your mind. Keep each work session down to an hour to avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you estimate it will take a couple of days to sort through a room give yourself double the amount of time so you don’t get discouraged.

7. Don’t try to tackle the task alone.

No one says you have to tackle this all by your lonesome. Get the family involved. It may not speed up the process but at least you’ll have moral support. Believe it or not, your better half may even have some input on how to organize the garage and basement.

While it’s probably much easier to declutter without the kids around it is important to get them involved. Your little ones wouldn’t be too happy if you went through their belongings and discarded things without consulting them first. It will also help develop their decision-making process and organizational skills.

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