Look around and what do you see? If you see piles of paper, mounds of clutter, and items gathering dust in corners, it may feel overwhelming to tackle the process of decluttering your home. Decide once and for all you're committed to decluttering your home, one room at a time. The next four steps are simple and easy enough to get you started on making your home comfortable and clean for the long term.
Step One: Declutter in Bite-Sized Chunks
Declutter your home in baby steps. Small steps make it easier to start the decluttering process. But you don't want to make the steps so small that you aren't motivated to finish the project. Here's what to do:
- Choose a small room to begin your decluttering process.
- Do a quick and easy clutter sweep of the whole room first to build momentum.
- Then choose a small area in the room to concentrate on tackling, such as a closet.
- Declutter the area any order you'd like; if it's a closet, start off with shoes and accessories in the morning then move to clothing in the afternoon.
- Take on another small area of the same room (such as organizing your dresser) and follow the same steps.
Step Two: Distract Yourself While Decluttering
Do you find decluttering a dreadful, drudgery of a task? Decluttering should not feel like punishment, it should feel good to finally accomplish a cleanup. Try to make the process fun by distracting yourself while you're tossing items. Here are a few ideas to make cleaning up go faster:
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Listen to podcasts you've been meaning to tune into for months.
- Turn on the television and stream something light so you won't need to be glued to the screen.
- Grab a nice cool drink to treat yourself while making the tough decisions about what to toss or keep.
- Learn how clearing clutter is good feng shui and strive to bring in positive energy during the process.
Step Three: Decide What Stays or Goes
This is the toughest step. But if you reframe the process of decluttering, you may find it easier to handle. Instead of thinking about how you have to throw things out, think about what deserves to be kept or passed on to others who could make good use of the item. Here are questions to help you decide what items to eject or embrace:
- Does using the item make your life easier or more difficult?
- Will you be inconvenienced if you give up the item?
- Does the item add beauty to your life?
- Is the item damaged, falling apart, or in need of replacement parts? If so, are you willing to fix it or find missing pieces so it can be used again?
Step Four: Have a Donation Plan in Place
Choosing a place to donate items may make decluttering a happy process. If you're hoping to donate gently used clothing or toys to a specific charity that's dear to your heart, the process of decluttering will take on a positive meaning. Instead of tossing items into a box that doesn't have a clear destination, then the process of cleaning up and organizing may feel meaningless. Always contact the place where you hope to donate; some places have criteria for donated clothing items while other places may no longer accept toys. Here are some options to make you feel like you're doing a little good by decluttering:
- Send used linens and small toys to a local animal shelter, an animal sanctuary for rescued wildlife or farm animals, or your local zoo.
- Send gently used toys to a specific charity that handles toys for needy kids or to a local shelter that houses families.
- Take items to a shelter who may be able to use quality items and clothing, but call first to see what your local shelter may need.
- If you have brand new toys in original packaging that you'd like to donate, consider contacting Toys for Tots during the holidays.