Living in a tidy, simplified home with generally less stuff around us sounds wonderful to many people. Even if they love their possessions, it can still seem like a dream to clear everything out, and only keep what is really needed. After all, there are many benefits to doing this: there will be less to clean and tidy, there will be more money (if you’re not constantly buying things), and you’ll feel less stressed. So if the decluttering bug has struck, here are some clever ways to get it done quickly and relatively painlessly too!  

Take 5

Decluttering can be done in short, sharp bursts of just five minutes at a time. It works psychologically as well so that it doesn’t feel as though you’re throwing lots of your items away at once. Just pick a room, or even a drawer or closet, and spend five minutes really thinking about the things within it. Anything that you don’t want or need can be removed.

Give Things Away

It’s entirely possible to change the way you live and also declutter your home by simply giving things away, one at a time. If you do this every day, by the end of the year you will have reduced the items in your house by 365 (as long as you don’t buy anything else, of course), which, when you think about it, is a lot! If you can’t find someone to give the item to, then make it a mission to take whatever it is to a homeless shelter or a thrift store. Someone is sure to be able to make use of it.

Fill One Garbage Bag

Give yourself a challenge; take one garbage bag and see how quickly you can fill it with things you no longer require in your home. Keep at it, and you’ll get quicker all the time, so that in the end, the decluttering will take mere moments, and your home will look amazing for it. Take that trash bag to a charity store, or, if the items are not in good condition, take it to the dump, or to be recycled.

Have A Garage Sale

This particular tip takes a little time to organize, but since you’ll walk away with a handful of cash, it is worth it. Set out your decluttered items in your front yard, or garage, and put signs up in the neighborhood inviting people to come and browse. Not only will you remove items from your home, but people will pay you for them. Anything that is left over can be left out as trash, or given away. The idea is that you don’t want to bring any of it back into the house with you, so don’t get sentimental if it doesn’t sell.

The Hanger Experiment

If you’re unsure which clothes you need to throw out or donate to charity, try the hanger experiment. Turn all the hangers in your closet so that they face in the opposite direction to usual – make sure they all face the same way. When you wear something from the closet, put the hanger back the right way round. After six months, you’ll instantly be able to see which items you wore, and which you didn’t. You can remove anything that is still facing the wrong way, safe in the knowledge that you weren’t going to wear it anyway.

Store It

For some, decluttering is extremely hard. It can cause stress and upset, even if it’s for the best in the long term. If that is how you feel, why not organize a self storage locker and put anything you don’t want in your home in it? That way, you can feel at peace knowing that your items are safe and sound, but you can also feel comfortable in your home because they aren’t there anymore. It’s the ideal compromise. It’s also a great place to store sentimental items that are getting in the way at home, but that you really don’t want to get rid of such as baby clothes and toys, or school work.

Plan It

If you’re looking around your home, wanting to declutter but not knowing where to start, then make a list. Plan the event. Start by writing down all the rooms in your home in order of priority. The most important ones to declutter first are the ones that are used the most, so perhaps it’s the kitchen, living area, and bedroom. Everything else can have a lower priority. Then work on one room at a time until it’s done. It’s easy to get distracted or realize that you want to take a quick look in the room next door and accidentally get caught up in decluttering that one before you’ve finished the first. If you stick to your plan, it will be done a lot more quickly.

Look At Things Differently

Even if you think you’ve finished decluttering, take another look. Try to look at your home from the perspective of an outsider, and notice anything you might have missed. Alternatively, because that can be a difficult thing to do, actually invite people over. Ask them to look at your place critically, and not to spare your blushes but to tell you exactly what you think. If you know any small children, they are ideal for this, as they will immediately let you know the truth, and you’ll know whether you’ve still got work to do or not!

Four Boxes

Another clever way to declutter your home is to have four boxes in each room. They should be labeled: keep, throw, give away, and relocate. Every item within the room should be placed into one of those boxes. It may be an easy task, but it could take many weeks to get right. The important thing to remember is that there is no time frame involved; it’s your decluttering, so it’s your rules. Once your items have been sorted, you can do as the boxes say, leaving you with around one-quarter of the items you had before.