It’s never easy getting rid of certain things, even if you never use them anymore. And the things you do use just seem to gather dust until you’ve got a messy, untidy house on your hands. And when the mess is there, it gets overwhelming to even think about cleaning.
Clutter is a difficult thing to tackle, because we are never 100% sure when we will use something again, or because we have sentimental attachments to things, or maybe it’s a bit of both sometimes. Any way you look at it, clutter can be frustrating and taxing to deal with, especially in smaller living spaces.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you when you de-clutter your home. Get rid of your clutter today!
1. Start at one high-clutter area.
Is one spot in your home more cluttered than other spots? It’s probably a good idea to start there and tackle it, then you can get the feel for what you want to keep and what you’ll want to do away with. Taking your de-cluttering in small steps will make it less overwhelming for you, and you’ll be able to slowly pace any decisions you may make about what you will or will not get rid of.
Take counters, for example – you’d be surprised at how much counter space actually gets covered in clutter. Clean one part of your counter and move on to the rest, and the same goes with shelves, tables, etc. You’ll realize that all it takes is some dedication to getting rid of stuff to get the job done.
Don’t simply shift clutter from one area to another, of course. Deal with it properly!
2. Designate a spot for mail, bills, and other papers.
Somehow, mail ends up everywhere, except for where we actually need it. If this is a problem for you, you’ll want to assign one spot for all mail and flyers to go. Living by this simple trick will surely decrease the a good portion of the clutter in your home before you know it.
Another option would be to go paperless – many banks and utility companies use paperless billing now, so if you are still getting snail mail, it might be work making the full shift to online banking.
3. Find someone to take stuff.
De-cluttering is so much easier when you know it won’t end up in the trash – this is one of the reasons we have such a hard time getting rid of things. It helps to find some friends that will take some of the clutter off of your hands, either for free or for sale. You could always have a garage sale, too, or make a Kijiji posting (or any other online selling forum in your area).
Also, there are always charitable organizations like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and thrift stores and other charity groups. You can also get a tax deduction for donating to a charitable organization.
4. Get better storage for organizing.
The storage space we use (or neglect using, in this case) is another big reason our homes get cluttered so easily. If you’re lacking in storage space for things you need, you may want to invest in some new storage furniture to keep it away from the stuff you don’t need.
Be careful when buying new furniture, though – furniture itself can create clutter. Be sure to buy something that suits your living area, and that does not invade your space. This will both give you a space to keep things in something that is de-cluttered and minimal itself.
5. Keep it or toss it: you can’t have both.
“I don’t know” or “maybe” seems to be the most common thing we think to ourselves when de-cluttering a space. It never helped anyone to be on the fence about clutter, so be hard on yourself – ask yourself “Do I need this?” and respond with a yes or no.
There are some exceptions, for seasonal things and things with sentimental value, so you may want to ask the question as “How often will I use this?” when you deal with things like this.
The trick here is to be hard on yourself – don’t make exceptions unless they’re absolutely necessary to make. Sticking through the goal of a clean house requires dedication, however difficult it may be to throw some things away or give them away.
6. Visualize the room.
Visualizing what you will want your space to look like when it is de-cluttered helps in a big way – that way, you can get a better feeling for what you’ll do with the things you actually use. After you’ve cleaned a bit more and the rooms start coming together, you can start planning how you’ll organize the area better.
Also, it helps to keep your goal of a clean room in the back of your mind to make the cleaning go easier! When you think about all the free space you’ll have, your imagination will run wild with ideas on how to keep your home more organized.
7. Take it one room at a time.
This is the same principle as de-cluttering one small area at a time, though now you do it with a whole room. Take however long you need on one room at a time, and, stretched out over a few days, the clutter situation will improve.
You can also start visualizing each room – if you’re running out of space in one room, you may have made room for that stuff in another room you worked on prior. Be sure you’re not doing this as a cop-out, though – you still need to get rid of things to de-clutter, not just move it somewhere else!
So, there’s always something you can do about clutter – often it boils down to what you want to do with it. We don’t want to waste things, but we also don’t want to keep it around, so we’re often left asking ourselves what to do with things we’re unsure about. Basically, if you don’t overthink it, plan ahead of time how you want to de-clutter your home, and find a new home for the stuff you don’t think you’ll use anymore, you’re well on your way to a clutter-free home.