The mess around the house has been piling up for months. You’ve been putting it off and putting it aside for so long, your place looks like the home of a potential hoarder.
It’s time to organize and declutter your home.
Getting in the right frame of mind
In order to truly declutter and minimize the mess, a person must be in the correct frame of mind. The first suggest is set aside an entire day to the task. Don’t try and cram the clean-up into an afternoon with a dinner date on the agenda for the evening or come home from work angry and begin to just toss stuff into the dumpster. Set aside an entire day to declutter. Either a lazy Sunday when nothing else in the world is going on or maybe even take a personal day off from work to get home life in order.
Another trick to getting mentally pumped for personal item dumping is to do an online search of bedrooms, offices and basements to emulate. Try Pinterest. Create a vision board of the home office of your dreams and try and recreate it in your own abode. Just don’t go out and buy MORE stuff. This is all in an effort to minimize and not expand.
The difference between decluttering and reorganizing
Besides frame of mind, the next important aspect of minimizing the clutter is to the understand the difference between decluttering and reorganizing. Reorganizing doesn’t always eliminate the influx of stuff. It just makes it easier to find. Let’s use tools as an example — it’s great to collect all of the multi-purpose tools, screwdrivers, hammers, saws, drills and arrange the battalion neatly next to the work bench but how many flathead screwdrivers are really necessary? Here’s a hint — one! Especially if the multipurpose tools and the drill also have flathead features.
The same goes for kitchen clutter — you don’t need a bottle opener for every single beer bottle in your fridge — office supplies, grooming products and any household elements where similar items tend to accumulate over time.
Once the decluttering is over, THEN the reorganizing can begin.
Ask yourself this question while decluttering…
It’s a simple question a person should ask when eliminating the excess in their life. “Is this item useful or beautiful?” Are you holding onto an item because it comes in handy or because it’s fun to look at. Is it functional or just a conversation piece that taking up room in your home and life?
If the item is useful, and you don’t already own a hundred, hang onto it. If it’s just nice to look at, and serves no real purpose, think about selling it, donating it or just dumping it in the toss pile.
Tips To Declutter Home
There are countless ways to declutter your home but these are a few of the most effective to really get the mess back down to manageable.
Start Small and Finish Small
It’s tempting to walk into a room of the house and just start rummage through all the rough spots. The home office is atrocious and it’s tempting to just start going through all the drawers and the closet but then one discovery leads you into a different room and now you’ve got to find a spot and STOP. One mess at a time. One room at a time. Trying to do it all at the same time just leads to frustration and a larger mess. Start with one drawer. Completely clean it out. Move on to the next drawer. Continue until a room is complete. Move to the next room.
The storage test
Rent out a storage unit (or maybe a parent’s garage if you’re low on cash and they don’t mind helping out) and move EVERYTHING that isn’t furniture, or bolted to the floor, over to storage. Leave it there, untouched, for a week. Take note of the items you genuinely need or went looking for after the move. Those are the items to bring back into the house. Anything else that went untouched for a couple of weeks, dump or sell it.
Enlist a friend
Friends are there to help us in times of need. Right now, you need an outside influence to really take stock of your life. A person who’ll step in and ask the tough questions like “what the hell are you still doing with your fraternity jersey?”
Enlist the help of a trusted friend or sibling to not only help with any heavy lifting but to act as a second opinion on “should it stay or should it go.” If possible, find a member of the opposite sex. Men tend to understand why another guy has seventeen jerseys hanging in his hall closet while women will sympathize with another female hanging onto their prom dress for a decade. This doesn’t help the cause. The opposite sex will be way more realistic during the purging process.
The “I Didn’t Buy It” Rule
Be sure to toss things you’re holding onto just because they were gifts or because you “feel bad” someone paid money. Especially toss items sitting around just to display when the gift-giver happens to come over.
Worship The Almighty Dollar
Having a ton of stuff might feel good but having a ton of money feels even better. Do some online research prior to the big cleanse to find places to trade in your items for cash. Try BookScouter to get the most money for all those books lying around, ThredUp to get rid of newer or never worn clothes and CardPool to ditch any unwanted or unused gift cards. Take all of the money and take a trip or maybe invest in more storage options so this all doesn’t happen again.