Who doesn’t want to come home to a clean, clutter-free space?
In today’s busy, consumer-driven setting, it’s quite difficult to maintain cleanliness. You often don’t have the time to inspect the drawers and shelves for unwanted items to get rid of. You find it hard to let go of extra clothes you haven’t used for years. You hold onto worthless items stuck in treasure chests that spark childhood memories.
The result? A home filled with huge piles of stuff that prevent the house from breathing – and keep you from getting your peace of mind.
This 2019, give your home a detox. If you’re looking forward to a cleaner, happier home this year, check out these tips to make your decluttering project less overwhelming.
1. Prepare five containers
You need four containers, like boxes, baskets, or bins, defined for different purposes:
- Keep – This container is for stuff you plan to keep. They could be items you want to display, keep in storage spaces for future use, or items you want to relocate in their designated spots.
- Fix/Mend – This container is for items you love that need further fixing, like your favorite bag that needs to be washed.
- Donate or sell – This is for useful items that you don’t want but you think would be beneficial for other people, like old clothes, books, and toys.
- Trash – This is for pure garbage you’re confident of throwing away, like expired and broken items.
Assigning belongings to a pile makes sorting easier. At the end of the day, your goal is to ensure that all items in your home are beneficial for you and your lifestyle today.
2. Don’t start without a plan
Preparation is the key. Buy enough boxes, garbage bags, and rags. After discarding stuff, end the session by cleaning the cabinets, shelves, and drawers. Invest in high-quality storage pieces for items you want to keep.
Don’t let your emotions get in the way too. When you clean your room, you tend to discover items that spark memories, like items you’ve lost and found and some sentimental stuff from high school. Stick to the plan at hand and don’t let these distract you until you realize it’s already getting dark.
3. Trash these items ASAP
For your peace of mind, here are the items you shouldn’t think twice about discarding.
- Expired health and beauty products: Go over your bathroom and bedroom. Discard expired medications, skin care products, and makeup, empty bottles, and overused sponges and bath products immediately. Check with the FDA on how to dispose of it.
- Expired pantry products: Ditch dated spices and condiments, stale cereals, baking products resting for years, and other expired goods.
- Office products: Toss any outdated magazines, newspapers, instruction manuals, and books you’ve outgrown. Dried up pens, old school and office files, receipts, and brochures belong to the trash.
- Outdated electronics: Unless you want to build a museum, get rid of mystery wires and chargers, old phones, cameras, and other obsolete devices.
- Broken and worthless items: Broken dinnerware and vases, rusting utensils, tupperware without lids, and hole-ridden clothing, dead batteries, broken calculators, broken earphones, and malfunctioning bulbs.
Just make sure to segregate the trash accordingly.
4. Donate or sell the “good enough” items
The rule of thumb: If the item is still valuable, in good condition, and can be used by anyone but you just don’t want it anymore, let others have it.
Clothes you have never worn for six months or more, gifts you’ve never used, duplicated items, useful books, toys, art, outdated home décor, and gadgets and appliances in working condition – these are some of the items you can donate or sell.
5. Let go
We tend to hold onto items because of the memories attached to it, making it hard to let go. If you’re serious about your decluttering, you need to ask yourself important questions: Is the item useful in your current lifestyle? Will you use it in the future?
6. Take inspiration from Marie Kondo
If you’re ready for a major purge, you might want to take inspiration from Marie Kondo, a renowned Japanese organizing guru, and bestselling author.
Her “KonMari method” includes gathering all belongings per category, holding each item, and asking yourself: “Does this spark joy?” If yes, it stays. If no, it should be disposed of. It sounds simple, but it takes a lot of physical, mental, and emotional energy,
7. Make it light and fun
Items take time to pile up – so it might also take time to organize them. Don’t try to organize or declutter all in one day. You may start organizing per room, per category, or whatever method you’re comfortable with.
If possible, don’t clean up alone and involve everyone in the process. Assign tasks and let kids clean their own rooms. Make it fun too by playing songs to lighten up the mood and rewarding yourselves at the end of the day.
8. Practice daily tidying
All decluttering efforts go down to the drain without proper maintenance.
Sneak cleaning activities throughout the day. It could be as simple as clearing the tables every morning and disposing of obsolete paperwork every week. Limit senseless buying too.
Having a neat home and keeping only a few functional and joy-sparking things enhance all aspects of your life, including your wellbeing and state of mind.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a resident writer for Wincrest Home Builders, one of NSW’s most experienced and well-renowned home builders aiming at building and designing modern family homes in Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, and the Hunter. She loves writing articles focused in real estate and interior design.