We always welcome guest bloggers at OrganizingU.com! This week’s guest blogger is Bri Lords of Garage Storage New England. In this post, Clutter Be Gone, Bri offers some helpful tips to help you declutter.
Clutter. Everyone has it in their homes. I know I do! Whether it be the papers on the counter, coats over chairs, or shoes strewn about, clutter is everywhere. But did you know it can be unhealthy? I didn’t. There are some pretty simple steps to cut the clutter from your home.
One Step at a Time: It’s important to take the decluttering process slow. You don’t want to get overwhelmed before you even start. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Focus on one area then move on to the next area when you’ve finished.
Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go: One of the hardest thing for me to do is let go of stuff. Like many people, I tend to hold on to things, thinking that they will be useful in the future or some other excuse. These last few months, I’ve discovered that I don’t need to hold on to everything. Throwing things away or donating items is not a bad thing! Figure out what can go with these simple questions:
- When was the last time I looking at or used this? If you haven’t seen this item in months and you haven’t thought about it at all, it’s probably safe to throw away or donate.
- Do I have all of the pieces to make this functional? If you’re missing pieces, you can try selling what you do have online or just throw away the item all together.
- Would someone else be able to use this more than I? If you know that this item won’t be used or loved in your home, donate it to your local donation center so someone else can.
- Is this broken beyond repair? Would it be worth it to pay for repairs?
- Do I have multiples of this item? We all have more pens or pencils than we know what to do with. Throw out or donate the extras.
Don’t Put Off Donation: I know how easy it is to get your donation bag all put together and leave it at the front door. If you’ve decided to donate your items, it’s best to take those items straight to Goodwill as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will simply add to the clutter with bags of donations next to your door. Don’t rationalize that you will worry about your donation bags later because something else will always come up. Before you know it, the donation bags will have sat at your front door for months.
Clean As You Go: When you clear a space of clutter, dust, vacuum and wipe the space down. It’s always better to replace your items on a clean surface. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to clean with the space is organized and cleared of clutter.
Maintain With A System: Maintaining a clutter-free home is easy if you create some habits. There are a couple that have been known to work for families.
- One In, One Out Rule: This rule is pretty simple. When you buy a new item, an older item must go. For example, you love books and have multiple bookshelves full of books. Because of this rule, when you bought a new book, you would have to choose an old book to donate. This works for pretty much everything, books, shoes, clothes, toys, you name it!
- One-Touch Rule: Imagine you come home and take your shoes off by the door. Only they belong in your bedroom. Instead of touching the shoes only once, you now have to touch them twice (once when you took them off, once when you picked them up to take them to your room) to put the shoes where they belong. One touch would mean you put the shoes away in your room right away.
Don’t let decluttering intimidate you! It might seem daunting, but it gets so much easier when you break things down to smaller, more manageable bites. You can do it!