I love to be organized and feel like everything has a place. I truly get an adrenalin rush when I get to clean or organize areas of my house, I wish I got that same rush when I have to wash dishes and do laundry, but I don’t.
I know for some people it can feel very overwhelming to declutter areas that seem “impossible” or you have a hard time deciding on what to keep and what to donate, sell or throw away. I have a few tips on how to not get overwhelmed.
But first did you know there are benefits to decluttering your home? No? Well, there are, which is probably why I get excited about doing it.
Some benefits to decluttering your home are:
Reduce anxiety and stress.
Improves your mood.
It gives you a fresh start which is energizing.
Can improve your sleep.
Makes daily cleaning easier and faster.
And it teaches you to make intentional choices.
There are a few different methods you can use to declutter your home. I like to set a goal for the “project” for me it’s usually to get rid of anything that we no longer need but yours could be to have a yard sale and make money for a vacation, declutter a space to make room for something new, etc. Once I know my intention, I get 3 garbage bags (or boxes) one for actual garbage, one to fill with items to donate and one for items to to give away.
First don’t get overwhelmed and think you need to do it all at one time. To be honest this is probably the worst thing you can do, taking on a project/the whole house, is too much for anyone. What I like to do is make a list of all the areas I want to declutter for example – Kitchen cabinets, laundry room, my closet, kids closet, playroom, garage, etc. I actually put them in the note section on my phone then I only do one to two areas at a time. I like to be able to check them off as I go and see my progress. Yes, this might make the process longer but think, you get the benefits longer too! It helps to do it in sections for one it’s not overwhelming but also it gives you the opportunity to donate, give, and throw away things slowly too, this saves us on trash day because we aren’t allowed to over fill out trash can.
I am personally not a sentimental person; I don’t tend to hold on to things due to memories. I have a couple of bins that I keep some special things in but I can willingly get rid of items. I know other people have a very hard time letting go of things. I read this book, The Joy of Less, by Francine Jay https://amzn.to/3AlUOON and she has some great tips, one of them was about sentimental items. If you have this fancy China that has been in your family for years but no one has ever used it, including you and it just takes up space in your home, why not select the one piece that really stands out to you, put it on display so you actually see it and it can be a conversation piece, then sell or donate the rest of the set. Or see if other members of your family want a piece of it as well. I know this might take you some time but think … do your kids really want that China when you pass? Do you really want it? Probably not if you have never used it.
Let’s talk about your clothes, I have to admit I have a problem with buying clothes and getting rid of clothes. I tend to buy things because they are on sale and never wear them, then to compound the problem I have a hard time getting rid of clothes when I don’t need them. Two things that have helped me declutter my closet, 1. Looking at each piece of clothing one by way and being real with myself, when was the last time I wore it? And did I feel comfortable when I wore it? If I have not worn it in a year (due to seasons I say a year, but if you have year-round clothes I would say if you haven’t wore it in 6 months you probably don’t need it.) or I didn’t really like it on me when I wore it, I know it’s time to get rid of it. The second thing I did was find someone to give my clothes to. This has really helped me declutter my clothes because I like knowing someone else may enjoy the clothes so my neighbor gets all the clothes, and she can decide to keep or donate them.
There is one more method of decluttering you can use, it’s called the 5 second rule. You pick up an item and if you can’t remember the last time you used it in 5 seconds it’s time to get rid of it. This is a quick way to declutter a space but might be overwhelming for some.
Once you have decluttered your home, apply the 1 in 1 out rule to keep your space clutter free. This means every time you buy something new you must donate, give away, or throw away an item. For example, if I buy a new dress I must donate or give away a dress. Same goes with shoes, jackets, leggings etc. This also applies to other areas of the house, you buy new dishes, time to get rid of the old ones, you buy a new pan, you get rid of an existing one.
I hope these tips help you declutter your home without feeling overwhelmed, if you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with others!