Decluttering your home and life is one of the most freeing exercises you’ll do in your lifetime, especially if you’ve lived in the same place for a few years. The main reason is that you start feeling less anxious, hopeful, and lighter as you declutter. Psychological studies show that clutter is a leading cause of anxiety in most people, so it makes sense that tidying up will make you feel better.
The benefits of decluttering your home
Most of us have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by the clutter in our homes. Papers pile up on desks, clothing mounds in closets, and toys seem to take over the living room. The constant mess can be frustrating and even stressful. But did you know that decluttering your home can have some significant benefits?
For starters, getting rid of clutter can help to improve your focus and concentration. Studies have shown that a messy environment can lead to distractions and make it more difficult to concentrate on tasks. But when your home is clean and organized, you'll find it easier to focus on what you're doing. Additionally, decluttering can help to reduce stress levels. It can be hard to relax when your home is full of clutter. But when everything has its place, you'll be able to relax and enjoy your time at home. Finally, decluttering can also lead to better sleep. A cluttered bedroom can disrupt your sleep cycle, but a tidy room will help you get the restful sleep you need.
So if you're feeling overwhelmed by the clutter in your home, don't despair! Taking some time to declutter can provide some real benefits. And who knows, you might even find it enjoyable!
How to get started decluttering your home
So, you've decided it's time to declutter your home. Maybe you're overwhelmed by the clutter or ready for a fresh start. Whatever your reasons, decluttering your home can be a daunting task. But with a little planning and some elbow grease.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Start with small, manageable tasks. Don't try to declutter your entire house in one go. Start with a small area, such as a drawer or closet, and work your way up.
Make it a family affair. Enlist the help of your family members or roommates to declutter together. Not only will this make the task more bearable, but it will also help to keep everyone on the same page.
Set some guidelines. Before you start decluttering, set some ground rules. For example, decide what you'll keep and get rid of. This will help to prevent decision fatigue later on.
Set a Timer. Anytime you turn on your microwave for a minute or more is time for decluttering. When a timer has been set, use that time to eliminate clutter in one drawer or one small cabinet.
Turn Up the Jams. Anytime you want to clean up something, turn on some good dancing music. Get a basket and run around the house, collecting things that don’t belong in each room and returning them where they go.
Be Strategic. If you know that each night you want to sit in your chair to read, watch TV, play games, or whatever, set that area up to contain those items without looking cluttered. Get a small decorative trash can and a little shelf to house the items; it will look better and function more realistically.
Set Up Zones. Think of your home in zones. For example, in your living room, you may have a study zone, a game zone, a reading zone, or whatever it is that you all do in that living room. If you set up zones with the right equipment, keeping the clutter down is easier as it’s organized.
Buy One, Give One. If you buy something new, make the rule that you must get rid of something simultaneously. So, if you buy a new shirt, it needs to replace an older shirt, especially if the one you’re buying is similar.
Think Seasonally. If you have not worn clothing or used a seasonal item in a year, you will not use it. Get rid of it. Even if you think you might use it in five years, it’s not worth it to keep it around taking up space.
Containerize It. In your drawers, cabinets, pantry, countertops, and so forth, a lot of clutter collects due to the lack of smaller storage units to contain the things. If you use different types of containers that enable you to better see what you have, it helps. Adding containers to your pantry and removing the items from what they came in will always add more space.
Memorialize It. One way to deal with clutter is to think of new ways to store things. For example, by digitizing the files, old photo albums can take up smaller spaces. A beautiful blanket you use for a couple of weeks in the winter can create an attractive wall hanging. Old artwork can be digitalized and turned into your screen saver for your TV, computer, or phone.
With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to decluttering your home in no time!
Method for decluttering your home
You can declutter using various methods; one of the easiest methods is the Four-Box Decluttering Method or the 4 Container Method. This method is precisely what it says. You use four containers to declutter any room or area.
The four containers should be labeled as follows:
Trash. This is actual garbage. It cannot be sold, given away, or reused.
Give Away/ Sell. This box is for things you will not keep but are in good enough shape to either give away or sell.
Storage. This is for items you do not use daily but do not want to part with. These items need to be put in storage like your attic or basement. It likely includes out-of-season clothing, holiday decorations, and other seasonal items.
Put Away. These are the things you’ve decided to keep. You use them regularly, if not daily. They all need a good home to be put away in, where your home will not look cluttered. For this reason, this box should be the smallest.
Tips for Making the Four-Box Method Work for You
Think Outside the Box – Some items may not fit into the box exactly, so that’s okay; you can use a sticky note to label it on one of the four labels above. Plus, consider alternative storage methods. For example, if you have a lot of artwork from your kids, why not scan it so you can save it digitally?
Set Some Rules – For clothing, if you have not used the item in a full year, you probably never will. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. If it’s out of style, get rid of it. Even if it’s a gift. If it’s something memorable like your wedding dress, consider alternative ways to remember it. Setting some guidelines or rules before you start decluttering will help.
Break Up Sets – It’s tempting to keep entire "sets" of things even when you never use them. For example, if you have a Magic Bullet set with seven containers but typically only use two, why keep them all?
With this method, you do one room at a time, sorting the items into the correct box or container choice and then finally putting it where it will go forever.
When you stop for one room, you’ll ideally want to throw out the trash, immediately donate or give away the stuff, put the items into storage, and then put the other things away in homes that look neat and uncluttered. The trick here is to set a time limit for each room so that you have enough time, in the end, to deal with each box adequately.
How to deal with sentimental items
We all have those sentimental items we can't bear to part with, even though they take up valuable space in our homes. But what should you do with them? Here are a few ideas:
Repurpose them. If an item has sentimental value but no longer serves its original purpose, give it a new life! For example, an old dresser could be turned into a side table or bar cart.
Display them. Whether it's a piece of art or a family heirloom, displaying sentimental items can help you enjoy them daily. Put them in a place where you'll see them often, and take the time to appreciate their beauty or meaning.
Donate them. If an item is too sentimentally valuable to sell, but you don't have the space for it, consider donating it to a local museum or historical society. This way, others can enjoy it while respecting your attachment to the item.
Store them. Consider storing it off-site if you can't part with an item but don't have room for it. This way, you can keep it safe and sound without wasting valuable space in your home.
Any of these options will help you keep your sentimental items close at hand without sacrificing your precious storage space. So go through your belongings and figure out what's worth hanging on to!
Tips for keeping your home decluttered
Now that you have decluttered your home, it's time to ensure it remains this way. Here are tips for keeping your home decluttered:
Set aside time each day to tidy up. Whether 10 minutes in the morning or 15 minutes before bed, taking a little time each day to declutter will make a big difference.
Put things back in their rightful place. As soon as you finish using something, put it away. This will help to prevent clutter from building up in the first place.
Donate or sell items that you no longer need or use. Clothes that don’t fit, books you’ve read, and toys your children have outgrown can all be donated or sold online. This will not only declutter your home but also give someone else joy.
Invest in storage solutions that work for you. Whether it’s baskets, bins, or shelves, having a place to put things will help to keep your home decluttered.
Following these simple tips, you can achieve the decluttered home of your dreams!
So, what are you waiting for? Start decluttering your home and enjoy the benefits! Check out our tips if you feel overwhelmed or need help getting started. And remember, it’s okay to start small – take one step at a time, and before you know it, your home will be clutter-free.
How do you feel about decluttering now?
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