We live in an age of abundance, with easy access to household items, clothing, and toys that seem to pile up throughout the year. When birthdays and holidays roll around, it can feel like a challenge to find places for all the new things that are coming through the house. Over the months and years, it is common for clutter to pile up – eventually making it difficult to keep your home clean and orderly.
Not only does clearing the clutter create a more peaceful environment in your home, but you spend less time cleaning. The more you own, the more time is required to care for these things. If you want to simplify your life, then it starts by clearing the clutter.
Here are a few tips to help as you are managing clutter in your living space:
Tip #1: One Step at a Time
It isn’t realistic to think that you are going to declutter your home in one afternoon. When you have years of accumulation, it takes time to sort through items and decide what you are going to keep. Take it one step at a time by focusing on a specific area of your home. For example, choose a closet that needs sorting, and don’t move onto another project until the closet is cleared and reorganized.
If your mind is running through the long list of areas that need to be cleaned, then keep a list of future projects. Write down all the cupboards, closets, rooms, bookshelves, and other areas of the house that you would like to declutter in the coming weeks and months.
Tip #2: Sort and Categorize
You can follow Marie Kondo’s lead by first pulling everything out from a storage space. Then, create piles for things that you want to keep or eliminate. Have boxes for:
Items to keep
Things to donate
Valuables to sell
Stuff to throw away
Just because you are no longer using certain items doesn’t mean that other people won’t benefit from those things. Sell or donate the things that are still useful, then throw the rest away. Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of things that you’ve been hanging on to for so long. But remember that those items served their purpose and you will feel much better by getting rid of the things that are no longer serving your family.
Tip #3: Ask the Right Questions
How do you decide what to keep and what to donate? Asking a few key questions can help you overcome the need to hold onto things that you are no longer using:
Do I love it?
Do I look great in it?
Do I use it often?
Do I have room for it?
Is this item really needed?
If I didn’t already own it, how much would I spend on it?
Tip #4: Create a Place for Everything
Not only do you need to get rid of unnecessary items in your home, but also be proactive about creating a place for everything. Every item that you keep should have a designated area where it is stored. This system means that you know where to put things away, and you can always find specific items when they are needed.
Categorize by creating areas of the home for similar items. For example, personal hygiene, first-aid, cleaning products, and towels can be stored in the linen closet. Organize the pantry by type of food and expiration dates. Use this process through all areas of your home.
Tip #5: Managing the Clutter in the Future
Now that your closets are clean, you need a good system to manage the clutter in the future. Some people like to take a 1-in-1-out approach. For example, every time you buy a new piece of clothing, then it’s time to donate something old that you no longer wear.
Creating healthy clutter-clearing habits is an important way to maintain a peaceful, organized home so you can avoid the risk of things piling up again in the future.