One of the best things about a change of address or moving are the boxes and boxes of unused stuff that you pack up and ship off to Goodwill. If feels like you are unloading hundreds of pounds that have been weighing you down without you even knowing it. What if we decluttered before we had to? Not only will decluttering your home make moving easier, it will make showing and selling your home easier, too. But, the best part, decluttering will positively affect your mental and physical health. The Mayo Clinic states that clutter causes a lack of focus, makes your brain less able to process information, contributes to sleeplessness, and can increase cortisol levels which are very unhealthy for your body. Now that you know why you should declutter, here is the how to get you started.
Determine whether it brings you joy
Marie Kondo has built an empire on organization. She has a television show on Netflix and has best-selling books. One of her unique and quite on-point steps for decluttering is asking yourself whether or not an item is bringing you joy. If it isn’t, then say “sayonara sweetheart,” and put it in the giveaway pile. Before you give it away, she also recommends taking a moment to be grateful for the object and thankful to whomever gave it to you before letting it go on to bless someone else.
Bite off little chunks
Prioritize which room you would like to declutter first. You can choose the most difficult room first. This can be the room that has the most clutter, has the most sentimental objects, or is the room that you need or want immediate access. Once you have decided what room you are going to tackle, set the timer for 30 minutes and do a mad scramble to get as much done as possible. Prepare by having tubs for storage, a bag for donations, a bag for recycling, and a trash bag.
Find the surfaces
Find the surfaces in the room that you are trying to declutter. Try to find permanent homes for all the stacks of mail and belongings that are cluttering up your side tables, countertops, nightstands, etc… Find a way to give them a permanent home whether it a hook or a drawer, so that when you have additional items you can put them where they belong rather than laying them on a counter.
Bring something in, take something out
Eliminate the need to do a formal declutter by getting in the habit of removing something old and giving it away every time you bring a new item into your home. If you buy a toy, give a toy away. If you buy a new blouse, find an old one to donate.
Functional = Keep
Look at items in a room and determine whether or not they are needed and serve a purpose. The purpose can be something of use, or it can simply be something that really improves the aesthetic of a room. Just make sure that it serves an important purpose, and if it doesn’t, you know what to do.
Tubs for decluttering
Sometimes it is difficult to get into declutter mode because we don’t have a place to put the stuff we are ready to get rid of. Have open tubs in a storage area or in the garage where you can easily put items that you want to remove from you home. Once you have “built it” decluttering “will come.”
Let it go
Realize that you are going to end up keeping more stuff that you had hoped. First of all, give yourself some grace. You worked hard for those items or likely someone special gave them to you, so it can be difficult to let them go. Also, before you let them stay for good, consider that there may be negative effects for keeping items: 1) it can cost money to keep things in storage, 2) it may cause you more stress by keeping it, 3) you will likely have to pack it up eventually. Try remembering that if you give it to someone (Goodwill, charity, a friend, etc…) you might be blessing someone in a life-changing and amazing way. That could be the motivator you need.
Schedule a weekly declutter
Choose a room a week to weed through some of your belongings. Find five items to donate. If you stay on top of things on a regular basis, you will find your home will take on a Zen-like quality.
Get professional help
If you are just plain overwhelmed and haven’t a clue where to start, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional. Check out your local Google Business pages to locate a professional organizer. They can get you focused and moving in the right direction.
Decluttering is really one of the best self-care treatments you can do for yourself. It will allow you to relax in your home, and it will give you a jump start if you ever start to move. Start today-just 30 minutes-and experience the sensation of freedom.