Everyone has a bit of clutter in their home. Well, actually, most of us have more than a little. It seems harmless enough but coming home and seeing yourself surrounded by clutter makes you feel stressed, like your life is out of control. Clutter can also cause you to waste your time and energy looking for things.
The good news is that decluttering your home and your life doesn’t have to be as difficult as many people believe. Plus, it brings significant benefits. It will be easier to clean because you won’t have to keep cleaning around things you don’t really need. It will also be easier to find the things you do need.
But the best part has to be that you get to go home at the end of a hard day, lay down on the sofa, look around and feel relaxed and comfortable, instead of stressed out and embarrassed by all the clutter.
Take It Easy
Decluttering is usually seen as a tedious, unpleasant activity, so most people try to find ways to do it as fast as possible. And that’s where the problem starts. They try to declutter their whole house in one day, which is a very ambitious goal, so of course, they’ll find it stressful. The next time they need to declutter, they’ll remember how stressful it was in the past, and they’ll keep procrastinating. Since they’re procrastinating, more clutter is piling up, making the process more difficult and tedious. It’s a vicious circle.
Getting rid of the clutter in our homes and our lives shouldn’t be rushed. You don’t have to do it all in one day. It’s actually better if you turn it into a mindful experience rather than a bothersome chore you need to power through.
Do it in stages. You can start by focusing on one room or one corner of a room. Even if you do it in 10-minute intervals over the course of a weekend, you’ll see that as you build momentum and confidence, it starts to feel less difficult. It can even become enjoyable. Something easy you can do while you’re listening to your favorite music.
You Need a Sorting System
You won’t need any fancy equipment to declutter your home, but you will need a sorting system. You can use boxes or baskets to sort items into different categories. How many categories will be up to you.
You’ll definitely need a box for trash. If you haven’t decluttered in a while, you most likely have items that you no longer have any use for.
You’ll also need a box for things that don’t belong in the room where you’re cleaning – clothes in the living room, a pair of shoes in the bathroom or trays in the bedroom.
For bulky seasonal items or things that have sentimental value, you can find cheap storage, so you’ll need a box for them as well.
If you want to donate some of your things, you can set up another category with its own box. It feels great to know that you can help someone else by giving them things you no longer need. Having said that, remember that these things have to be something you can imagine someone else needing or wanting. You can look for charities in your area and read their guidelines.
Start With the Living Room
This is usually the room that gets the most use. This is where you watch movies with your family and where you receive your guests. That’s why you should start here. Because once it’s done, you get to go home and walk into a neat and tidy living room which will motivate you to keep going and finish the rest of the house.
However, we have to warn you that this is also the most challenging room to declutter because there are more people who use it and less storage space. Like we said, take it easy! You don’t have to do it all in one day. Grab your boxes and pick a corner where you want to start. For example, you can start with the coffee table, move on to the side tables, console, and entertainment center.
You’ll probably find a lot of things that don’t belong in the living room, which you can put in their designated box. It’s also possible that you’ve over-decorated with items you got on vacations or as presents from friends or relatives. If your living room still feels stuffy even after you’ve decluttered, take some of the decorations away and put them into storage. If you don’t miss them, then it means you can either donate them or sell them online.
Move On to the Bedroom and Start by Making Your Bed
The bed usually takes a large portion of the bedroom, so if you start by making your bed, it will feel like you’ve made significant progress in just a few minutes. Plus, it’s hard to get into the decluttering mood when you keep having to look at your unmade bed.
Once you’ve done this, grab your boxes and move on to the nightstands. There’s a good chance that you’ll find items here that don’t belong in the bedroom like mail, glasses, pens and paper or books you’ve already finished. If you have any other flat surfaces like dressers or vanity tables that are covered in scattered items, go over them one by one and then move on to the drawers.
The last stage is also the most difficult one: decluttering your closet. Most people start with the clothes hanging in the closet, but it’s better to start with the bottom. That’s where it’s most likely that you’ve stored things you forgot about – presents you don’t like and never intend to wear or things you bought for yourself at a sale but that you didn’t like as much once you got home.
You can also go through your shoes and get rid of everything that you never wear because it’s too uncomfortable. If you’re not ready to throw them away because you regret the money you spent, put them in storage. After a few months of never missing them, you’ll be ready to let go.