Is clutter taking over your home? Do piles of stuff make it feel small, disorganized and stressful? Decluttering may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking some practical steps, you can purge the clutter and create a home environment that feels open, relaxed and functional. Trust me, it’s very doable if you follow a systematic approach. Here are eight tried and true tips for decluttering your home:
1. Visualize Your Clutter-Free Home
Before diving in, take a moment to close your eyes and visualize what you want your home to look and feel like. Picture clean surfaces, everything in its place, and a peaceful, relaxing vibe in every room. This mental image will motivate you to push through the work of decluttering. Refer back to it anytime you feel overwhelmed.
2. Sort Through Items Room by Room
Don’t attempt to declutter your entire home at once. That’s a recipe for failure. Instead, work room by room. Start with a manageable space like a closet, drawer or small bathroom. Remove everything from the space and sort item-by-item into “keep”, “donate/sell” and “trash” piles. Be ruthless. If you haven’t used it in over a year, don’t love it or need it, get rid of it.
3. Purge Closets and Drawers
Closets and drawers easily turn into black holes sucking in anything and everything. Again, take everything out and sort item by item. Toss or donate anything you don’t regularly wear or use. Consider storing off-season clothes under the bed or using vacuum storage bags. Use organizational tools like hangers, shelving and bins to neatly store what remains.
4. Clear Flat Surfaces
Declutter counters, dressers, nightstands and other flat surfaces that accumulate papers, toiletries and random stuff. Put items away or get rid of them. The goal is clean, clear surfaces. You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel.
5. Use Storage Tools
Use inexpensive storage bins, baskets, shelves and hooks to neatly corral items. Labeling helps keep things orderly. Store things near where you use them. Add shelving to under-utilized spaces like the inside of closet doors to get things up off the floor. Consider clear storage bins so you can easily see the contents. Rotate baskets to keep seasonal items accessible.
6. Maintain the Decluttered State
Decluttering is not a one-time project. Make it a habit to put things back where they belong after using them. Set aside 15 minutes per week to stay on top of problem areas prone to clutter like the hallway, office, and toy room. Review your home monthly and purge new unneeded items.
7. Consider Storage Units for Seasonal Items
Renting a self-storage unit from a location near you provides extra room to store off-season clothing, holiday decorations, sports equipment, and other bulky items you only use occasionally. Look for climate-controlled units to protect items from weather damage. Strategically store items you’ll need next together for easy access. This frees up closet space and garage room in your home.
8. Schedule Donations and Curbside Pickups
Don’t let donation piles linger. Call local charities to schedule free pickups from your home for usable items. Use curbside trash services to quickly remove unwanted items from your home that can’t be donated. Stack items neatly on the curb on pickup day. Out of sight, out of mind.
Decluttering your home takes effort, but the payoff is huge. You’ll get rid of excess stuff, have a home that functions better and feels relaxing. Your mind will feel less frenzied too. If you maintain the decluttered state, you’ll reap ongoing benefits. Try these eight tips and you’ll be well on your way to living clutter-free.