Living with clutter can get overwhelming fast. And if you’re like many people, it can be tough to know where to start when it comes to getting rid of it.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to begin to declutter.
1. Get Containers
Before you start, set up a system. Some people use piles, but storage bins will help keep everything neat. Get about five different containers, each for a different purpose: trash, recycle, storage, donate or sell, and fix or mend. That way, you’ll have a plan for each item.
It’s also a good idea to frequently empty the bins. After going through each room (or at regular time intervals), make trips to donation centers, fix and put away broken items, and take out necessary trash.
Overfilling the bins can make you feel like the clutter is following you around the house, and that can become overwhelming in itself.
2. Take on One Room at a Time
This is another way to make sure the decluttering process doesn’t become too stressful. By going through each room in turn, you’ll be able to see results faster. Doing this also lets you start seeing results faster, and that sense of accomplishment will give you more momentum as you move through the rest of the house.
3. Focus on Surfaces
Part of decluttering involves identifying the parts of your home when clutter accumulates the most. Desks, shelves, coffee tables, and even kitchen counters are common culprits. These surfaces often take more time than you’d think to declutter. But, by clearing them, you’ll be able to make your home feel much more open and relaxing.
4. Use the 90/90 Rule
One of the tricks of successful decluttering is finding a way to evaluate whether to keep each item. The 90/90 rule is a good one. With each item, ask yourself if you have used it in the past 90 days and if you think you’ll use it in the next 90 days. If the answer to both questions is “no,” you’ll probably be better off getting rid of the item.
Of course, you can use a different time interval to evaluate each item. The important part is giving yourself a framework to help make decisions easier.
5. Ask for Help
Sometimes, decluttering an entire home can be a huge undertaking. You might consider asking friends or family members to help.
If you tend to have trouble letting go of things because of sentimental attachments, having someone around can help. A loved one may be able to assist you in making decisions, especially if you’re having trouble deciding whether to keep a given item or let it go. And if you’re facing a time crunch, having people to help will make the process a lot faster!
6. Sell Old or Vintage Items
Sometimes, decluttering can be an opportunity to make a little extra cash! Some vintage items might be more valuable than you think. Dolls still in their boxes, Robotech toys, vintage musical instruments, and high-end vintage clothing are easy to sell online.
7. Put Everything in Its Place
Part of the decluttering process is making sure your home doesn’t quickly return to its cluttered state.
For every item you keep, make sure you have a designated place for it. For instance, you can make sure you have a hanger for your keys, a shelf dedicated to cleaning supplies, or a designated corner of a room for your musical instruments.
8. Make It a Habit
The more cluttered your home becomes, the more overwhelming the decluttering process can be. To avoid the same issue happening again, try to make decluttering a regular event. You might choose one weekend a month to go through your home and deal with any accumulated clutter.
Alternatively, you can choose one room per week to focus on. This way, the process should only take a couple of hours.
Hopefully, some of these ideas have given you some inspiration to begin your decluttering journey! Once you start, you’ll be on your way to getting rid of excess clutter in no time.