Decluttering…. What does that mean, exactly? By definition, it is the process of removing things you do not need from a place in order to make it more pleasant and useful. We all accumulate… things. Take a look at your countertops, tables, shelves. Peek in your cabinets, the draws of your desk, the back corners of your closets… do you have stuff everywhere? Now, imagine what all those areas would look like without all the stuff. Pretty great, right?
Spend a little time decluttering and you’ll be amazing by how wonderful it looks—and how good it makes you feel! Here are some tips for making that free-of-clutter dream a reality.
Do This 10-Minute Decluttering Exercise
Starting a massive decluttering project is a massive undertaking—one we’re likely to forego if it seems too big or unmanageable. Instead, try this easy decluttering exercise. All you need is two trash bags and 10 minutes. One bag is for trash, the other is for stuff you want to donate or sell. Take 10 minutes to walk around the house putting stuff into bags. That’s it.
Make it a daily habit, and you’ll definitely start to notice a difference.
Designate a Place for Incoming Paperwork
There’s a reason you’ve got mail on the counter, papers on your desk, receipts on your bedside table… it’s because you don’t have a designated “spot” for paperwork you need to deal with. So make a spot. If you’ve got the room, give yourself the ability to sort your paperwork into bills, correspondences, school papers, and other categories or priorities.
Clear a “No Clutter” Zone or Two
Got something cleared out? Good! Now keep it that way! Designate this area your “no clutter zone”—in other words, nothing can be put there that’s not in use. And once it’s no longer in use, it must be put away. The goal is to slowly expand this no-clutter zone.
Stop Being Sentimental About the Stuff
A lot of us feel like we should keep stuff if it has some sentimental value, even if we don’t like it, use it, or even know where to put it. But if you really want to cut down on the clutter, you’ve got to separate emotions from practicality. If it’s not in use, if it serves no purpose in your daily life, it’s time to let it go. End of discussion.
Find Out What You REALLY Use
Are you holding on to stuff just because you aren’t sure if you need or use it? Here are some tricks to sort out the in-use from the all-but-forgotten:
- Turn all the hangers in your closet so the hook opens towards the front. For the next six months, when you wear something, switch the hanger around so it faces the correct way. After a few months, you’ll notice there are quite a few hangers still hanging backwards!
- You can do something similar with kitchen utensils, or really any space full of… stuff. Put all the stuff all in a cardboard box. When you use something, put it away on a shelf or in a drawer. If it’s still in the box after a month, it needs a new home.
Avoid Adding to Clutter by Knowing Your Clutter-Type
Cleaning out the clutter is only half the battle! The real challenge: keeping it clear. To do this, figure out why you hold on to stuff in the first place using these three clutter types:
Too Busy: You are too busy to sort through or organize (or clean) what you’ve already got so you tend to buy duplicates.
Constant Worrier: You think you might need something in the future so you save everything.
Overwhelmed: You just don’t know where to begin or have the energy to sort through it all so you live with it.
Once you understand why you hold on to stuff, you can work on combating your excuses and avoiding weak spots!
Decluttering to Sell?
Are you working on your home fitness because you’re thinking of selling your home in Johnston County, NC? Then it’s time to contact the Tina Barletta Team! We’re all about all things homes—home fitness, home selling, home buying, pricing, staging, and everything in between. We’d love to help you out!