Whether you’re relocating to a smaller space or simply tired of living amid so much stuff, decluttering your home every once in a while is a must. In fact, clutter has been shown to have a negative impact on the human psyche, fueling procrastination, stress and an overwhelming feeling.
So, whether you want to corral a few articles of loose clothing or finally muck out that spare closet, there’s no time like the present to manifest a more organized household. Here’s how to get started:
1. Start Small
The more square footage and sheer stuff you have, the more daunting the decluttering process might seem. So, whether you choose to declutter for one hour each week or work room by room, begin with intention. It may help to schedule out your work and ensure you meet each goal as you go. Once you start to see some progress, you’ll have more motivation to carry on and the pace will likely pick up.
2. Get Aggressive
To effectively declutter, you’ll almost certainly need to make some tough decisions. It can be tempting to keep something you might use in the future, but make a point to get more cutthroat about what stays and what goes. Some people have found success with the KonMari method (KonMari, 2021), where you only keep items that “spark joy,” while others just opt to get rid of anything they haven’t used in the past year. Either way, you’ll want to get serious about decluttering any duplicates, no longer your size, broken or otherwise past its prime. Your future, more organized, self will thank you!
3. Trash, Sell or Giveaway Excess
Once you’ve determined what makes sense to keep and what needs to go, divide the ‘no’ pile into three separate sections: trash, sell or giveaway. Big ticket items or those in good condition could be great candidates for resale, whether you opt for Facebook Marketplace, Etsy or another avenue. Furniture and decor pieces that are still in decent condition but may not be worth the energy of listing and haggling can be transported to local thrift stores or donation centers. Then, anything that doesn’t fit into either category should go straight into the trash, unless there’s an emotional value attached or you’re serious about giving these items new life.
4. Find a Home For Anything Left Over
Once your ‘no’ pile has been disbursed to buyers, donation centers or the landfill, you’ll want to return everything you plan to keep to its proper place. Invest in drawer organizers, storage furniture, boxes, and bins to cut through the clutter in each and every room. This is your opportunity to get creative! Utilize hidden storage solutions, vertical space, and every nook and cranny if necessary. Tags, labels or other organization management systems don’t hurt at this stage, either.
5. Create A Maintenance Plan
Of course, you don’t want all of this work to be done in vain. Reaching this stage is simply the first step in a lifelong process. Moving forward, you’ll have to work to maintain a decluttered lifestyle. Schedule out regular reorganization sessions to address clutter before it becomes overwhelming and implement any necessary policies to cut down on disorganization. For example, perhaps you mandate shoes in the new boot bench, or dirty dishes going straight into the dishwasher, no exceptions. No one will manage this perfectly, especially overnight. But if you work on shifting your mindset to incorporate more regular organization, you can find success as you go. And, when in doubt, you can start at step one all over again!