Let’s face it, no matter if you own a home or rent an apartment, you likely have excess “stuff” and clutter lying around that’s taking up valuable space. No matter if it’s a little or a lot of lying, we can all benefit from the simple act of decluttering their living space.
Experts like Marie Kondo, as well as a great number of psychologists, say that when people surround themselves with excess junk it can contribute to a feeling that life is unmanageable, chaotic and confusing. A simple rule to keep in mind is that “mess causes stress”. As such, if you’re neglecting your living space, it’s a good bet that you may also be neglecting yourself.
Having a clean, decluttered home can help you focus on what matters, give you a sense of pride regarding the state of your home and living area, and can help you stay organized and in control.
In this “How to Quickly Declutter Your Home” guide, we’ll help you understand how to best organize your home in a way that will always make decluttering an easy, and daresay fun thing to do. We’ll also impart on you some organization ideas and time-saving tips that will make clutter a thing of the past.
Let’s dig right in…
Why Decluttering your Home is so Important
For most of us, clutter is a big issue that we all face at some point in our lives. Over time things get messy, out of place, unorganized and strewn about. Not to mention we tend to buy and get more stuff with each passing year, exacerbating the problem.
Clutter sucks away our energy, and wastes our time when searching for something that we can’t find due to the amount of junk that surrounds us. In extreme cases, some people may even suffer from depression or anxiety from increased clutter and messes. When clutter gets way out of control it can even cause health concerns and fire hazards. That’s the bad news. The good news is that no matter how bad your home is right now, we can help you get back on track.
What is Clutter?
To properly take care of your clutter, it’s important to first understand exactly what clutter is (and is not). A great definition of clutter is anything that is taking up space in your home that is not adding anything of value to your life or that is otherwise out of place and not where it belongs. Decluttering a home is the art of making space in your rooms for the possessions that matter most to you.
What clutter is not, is actual garbage. Those items that are broken, spoiled, inoperable or actual trash should simply be thrown away. Once that is done you can then begin to assess your actual clutter.
As difficult as it may feel to throw away your excess “junk”, many individuals feel much better after they declutter because it fosters stress relief in the way decluttering gives them a sense of accomplishment and control over an unruly situation. Likewise, throwing out that excess stuff also frees up much-needed space in the home for the things that truly matter most to you and your family.
Lastly, some individuals need to declutter in order to successfully move into a new home without dragging all that excess baggage from their old house with them.
How to Declutter Your Home
Step 1: Set Yourself Realistic, Timely and Achievable Goals
Fail to plan and your plan will fail. Preparing yourself for the task at hand, be it big or small, will help you both mentally and physically get ready to make your efforts a success.
Setting goals will help you to craft a plan that will cut down on frustration and will help you to not feel overwhelmed. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Each of your goals should help you take small progressive steps towards the finish line.
Step 2: The Strategy
Some things to keep in mind as you are decluttering your home:
- Make a map of all the rooms and cluttered areas in your house that you want to declutter.
- Assign each room a grade based on the overall severity of the mess. For example, out of a scale of 1-5, an extremely cluttered room would be assigned a 5. This may seem silly, but it will help you prioritize your time.
- Tackle one room or space at a time and don’t try to do everything at once.
- Schedule blocks of time each week to a lot to your decluttering efforts.
- Assign end dates for each phase of your decluttering. Pick dates that you can easily achieve in order to cut out frustration.
- Along with end dates, also plan extra time to work on areas that will take a few hours longer like the garage or basement.
Step 3: Make Sorting into A System
As you’re moving through your home’s rooms, you will need a way to sort the items that you find. Using the “Three-Box Method” will force you to make tough decisions for each item so that you can quickly get rid of the mess. In the “Three Box Method”, you gather three boxes or storage bins and label them “keep,” “toss”, and “store.” The rest is self-explanatory.
Step 4: Don’t Forget About Recycling your Electronics
It is estimated that fewer than 25% of household electronics, ranging from old cell phones to MP3 players, DVC players, headphones and more don’t get recycled. Not only that, they often don’t get thrown out at all, cluttering up homes and desk drawers.
Nowadays there is no excuse. Companies such as Plunc make it easy for individuals to recycle and sell their old, unused or unwanted personal electronics such as iPads. Also, from smartphones to laptops, tablets, watches and game systems, you can not only declutter your home, but make a few bucks in the process.
Step 5: Show the Clutter the Door (or trash can)
There are lots of options to deal with the items that have made it into the “toss” box. You can choose to recycle, donate them to local charities, or freecycle – or offer it for free online, have a garage sale, or rent a dumpster. For those items that have no value or use for anyone, the trash can is the next best stop.
Putting it All Together
Regardless of which methods you use to remove junk from your home, recycling, selling, throwing away, the most important thing is that you take the time to declutter it. In doing so, not only will you breathe a little easier, you will have more room to move in your home without the excess stress and frustration that clutter causes.