Detox Your Spaces- a.k.a.- Declutter!!!
When is clutter a problem? For many people clutter can be an energy zapper or they waste inordinate amounts of time looking for things they can’t find.
In extreme cases, people may suffer from obesity or depression when a life of consumption extends beyond “stuff.”
What is clutter? Clutter is anything you’re keeping around your house that doesn’t add value to your life.
Decluttering is all about making room in your home for the things that matter.
Getting rid of stuff is difficult for everyone, but especially for people who treasure the memories connected with the possessions. Use the phrase “Keep the memories, get rid of the stuff!” as your MANTRA if this is a difficult process for you.
Whatever your reason for decluttering your life and home, this simple guide will help you through the process!
Step 1: Set Goals
Before you get started, make a plan. No matter how many rooms or how much clutter you have to get through, starting with specific goals will help you create a plan that will reduce any frustration as you go. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get started decluttering your home:
Write down or make a map of all the rooms and ‘clutter hot spots’ you want to tackle.Give each space a grade based on the severity of the clutter. For example, on a scale of 1 – 3 (3 being the most cluttered), a particularly messy room or closet would get a 3. This will help you prioritize your time.
Do one room or one space at a time.
Step 2: Create a Sorting System
As you go through the rooms and spaces in your house, you will need a system for sorting the items you find. You can create your own method, or use one of the most popular organizational tips: the “Three-Box Method”- Keep/ Get rid of/ Put into storage. This method forces you to make a decision item by item, so you don’t end up with a bigger mess than the one you started with.
Step 3: Use the 80/20 rule
When it comes to clothing, we generally only wear 20 percent of the clothes we own 80 percent of the time. This rule tends to hold true for other things as well, such as video games, computer parts, books, DVDs, toys and more. Your mission is to get rid of the things you don’t use 80 percent of the time.
Think of the last time you used it. If you haven’t used something you come across in the last six months, you should probably get rid of it.
Six Tips to Help You Decide!
1. Track which items you actually use. There’s a neat decluttering tip you can use with clothing, books and DVDs (pictured below). Over the course of the year, when you use or wear an item put it back facing the opposite direction of the others. This allows you to see what you’ve used and what you haven’t. If you haven’t used or worn something in a year, get rid of it.
2. Ask yourself if you love it. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we keep things we aren’t completely crazy about. Yes, sometimes we spend money on things we don’t love, and sometimes we don’t return them. But if you don’t love it, and you haven’t used it in more than 6 months, add it to the “Get Rid of It” bin.
3. Sleep on it. After you’ve made the decision to get rid of some of the clutter in your home, sleep on it. If there’s something you can’t live without, you’ll know in the morning. You can pull it out of the junk bin and put it away.
4. Start with small. Before you commit to an entire room, start with a few small projects that will give you a sense of accomplishment when you’re done.Tackle one drawer, one shelf, or one corner of your desk. Taking baby steps can eventually lead to a big change in your clutter level.
5. Clear off flat surfaces. Countertops, shelves and other flat surfaces are clutter-magnets. If you need to keep a few things on the countertops, that’s OK, but make it a goal to free your flat surfaces of most clutter. Only keep frequently used, essential small appliances on kitchen countertops – the rest should be put away or donated if you never really use them.
6. Organize by category vs. room. Items that are similar often end up in different spaces. For example, if you have books in every room, it may make more sense to gather up ALL the books, group them my subject or genre, then make decisions about which to keep.
**Special thanks to BudgetDumpster.com