As more and more people across the country get confined to their homes for the near future, clutter is going to happen. Parents are working from home. Kids are schooling from home. Stacks are piling up. Before you know it, you’re surrounded by clutter. This week we bring you tips for decluttering your home.
Start with the smallest decluttering project first. It will help you feel accomplished and provide momentum to continue.
Focus on one room at a time. Otherwise you’re just moving clutter from one room to another and never actually decluttering anything.
Start with one or two trash bags and laundry baskets or plastic totes. Put trash in the trash bag and items you are donating in a tote. Items you plan to keep but don’t belong in that room should be placed in a separate basket or tote.
Declutter for 15 to 30- minutes a day. Decide how long you will spend doing this each day and commit to that time. Set yourself a timer and when the timer sounds, you’re done. This keeps you focused for short periods of time and keeps you from getting overwhelmed.
Decluttering can be a very emotional experience. We often hang on to items longer than we should because of their connection to someone or a special event in our lives. Ask yourself if taking a picture of it would preserve the memories it carries. Or maybe donating it to someone who will love it as much as you or your child/family did will help you let it go.
If you’re still struggling to part with something, create a “maybe box.” Once full, hide the box out of site. If you haven’t thought of those items for several months, it’s time to let them go.
Don’t hold on to something because you may need it someday. If you haven’t used it in at least six months, there’s a good chance you won’t ever use it. If you haven’t used it in over a year, you don’t need it.
Don’t hang on to clothes you think you may fit into again someday. While it’s good to work towards your personal health goals it could be donated to someone who needs it now more than you do.
Ditch duplicates. Maybe two of something is useful. Do you really need 5 staplers or soup ladles? Give duplicates to people who can use them.
End the paper trail. Make yourself a simple filing system (i.e. school papers, bills, owner manuals, etc.) Put papers into those folders as soon as they come into the house. Once the folder is full, go through it and discard what you no longer need. Also, consider paperless billing on your regular bills to eliminate mail clutter.
Clutter has a negative impact on our mental well-being, including increased stress levels. Decluttering your home won’t just make your environment more pleasant. It will improve your health – especially during times like today when we need this boost the most!