Since moving halfway across this country, I’ve taken to heart these decluttering tips that have helped me clear out my home as well as my mind. It’s absolutely liberating to be free of unnecessary and wasteful clutter.
When I had my own apartment, I had to share space with two little ones, but since I’ve recently moved into someone else’s apartment, I had to seriously consider what it is that I really needed and what was just taking up space. I scoured Pinterest for all sorts of moving, downsizing, and decluttering tips, and eventually I made it through without losing my mind. If you’re moving, downsizing, or just spring cleaning, these tips will really help you wrap your head around it all. I’m sharing photos of unorganized makeup that I must sort through, because it’s much nicer to look at than the actual mess that was my apartment, ha! Ok, here we go!
Put your hair up, get into some comfy clothes, set up a play list, grab a friend.
You need to be comfortable when you’re going through a mess, because it helps when your hair and body parts aren’t getting in your way. Also, you’ll be able to plop yourself down anywhere when you take a break, and you will be taking a few of those. The play list helps keep your mind calm and in the right place. It may just be background noise, but it’s familiar and is very soothing. Getting rid of things can be traumatic for some people. Familiarity helps a lot. When I was sorting through my things, my best friend came over to help me as I was becoming extremely overwhelmed. Let me just say that as soon as she started helping me, I felt better, and we hauled ass.
Sort items into organized piles – have a box for each pile.
When deciding what piles you’re going to have, make sure to think that less is more. Less piles, less thinking, less organization later. Most people like to have a donation, keep, and trash pile. That’s what I stuck with, and it was fairly simple. If you’re going to be donating items, coordinate with the donation center to come pick up the items on a certain day, and you can make this your deadline. When sorting items, think about these things:
- Is it expired or still in good condition?
- Do I really need it?
- When was the last time I thought about it or used it?
- Could someone else make more use out of this than I have/will?
- Can I put something else in the space this is taking up?
- If I had the money right now, would I buy this again?
After thinking these things through, you’ll get a better picture of what your current needs are and sort accordingly. I’m not going to tell you what to do with your stuff – you’ll know what to do.
Take breaks, have meals and snacks, and walk away when you need to.
During my move, I had very little time to get my things in order, so I had to move quickly. Essentially, you’ll want to give yourself at least a week or two to sort through things, but some people work better under pressure (like myself). If I had to pick my favorite of all declutter tips, I would choose this one, because decluttering and organizing can become a really emotional time. It’s ok, but you really do need to know when it’s time to walk away and take a break from it all. All of the mess will be there when you get back, and maybe then you’ll be ready to resume conquering the task.
Do not go through the piles again. Don’t do it!
Once you commit to putting something in a pile, leave it there. Trash is trash, donations will be finding new homes, and the “t0 keep” is for you. As soon as you finish, immediately take the trash pile out and dump it. You don’t need it anymore. If you were able to schedule a donation truck to pick up your donations, set that out so that it’s ready for them. Also, you can head to the center and drop off the items yourself. By moving things right away, you’ll have room, both in your mind and your home, to organize everything else.
Repeat every 6-12 months.
Clutter can build up quickly without us noticing until it’s time to clean again. By that time, we’re already tired or overwhelmed. Our lives are chaotic, so it’s important to set aside a date with our home to spruce it up and make sure it feels like home. It’s an active measure that you’ll need to plan and commit to, but when you feel how much easier it is to live with less unnecessary items, you’ll be happy to stick to it.
How often do you declutter your home? Do you have any other decluttering tips for us?
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