7 Ways to Finally Declutter Your Home

When you take time to let go of clutter, you will feel lighter!

Aug 18, 2020

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A clean space can improve your mood, center your energy, and make you feel more accomplished. It also allows you to concentrate on the task at hand. As A.A, Milne said: “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”

As busy as we all are, we accumulate a lot of stuff and over time, some of it may even lose its purpose. Every few months, look over what you have and decide if it still has a reason to be in your house, then reorganize. Your freshly decluttered rooms will let you reclaim your space. Here are seven effective ways to part with unnecessary items, give you a boost, and help calm your mind.

Start out with easy tasks

Before you begin a cleaning deep dive, complete some simple chores. This may include making your bed, putting away clean dishes and clothes, emptying out the dishwasher and sink, and even just folding the blanket on the couch. Once these areas are organized, you will feel like you are already on the right track.

Arrange five main bins

When you are ready to organize, designate five bins that can be labeled: throw away, recycle, donate, put away, and fix. This will give you a clearer picture of where each item should go. Choose a certain space (such as your kitchen cabinets) and remove absolutely everything. Once you can look over all the items, try placing them in the corresponding bins.

Ask yourself, “does this item spark joy?”

This is the ultimate  KonMari Method™ question. Before you begin donating or throwing away your belongings, imagine how your dream space will look and create a vision board. If, for instance, you place pictures of completely clean surfaces and minimalist furniture in your bedroom, it will be easier to work off of this idea and stay on track. 

Take pictures

If you come across an item that is hard to part with, take a picture of it. Emotions attached to the piece of clothing or souvenir may be more related to the good memory than the object itself. Instead of having your baseball trophy from fifth grade taking up valuable shelf space, refer to the picture of it; a flood of positive feelings will come back to you when you look at it.

In fact, if you take a picture of the item, you may end up giving away more! A 2017 study found that people who took a picture of the give-away items, donated 15 to 35 percent more objects. According to Rebecca Reczek, coauthor of the study and associate professor of marketing at Ohio State University toldundefined, "We found that people are more willing to give up these possessions if we offer them a way to keep the memory and the identity associated with that memory."

Donate items instead of throwing them away

After taking pictures, you should consider donating the item in question. As nonprofits depend on revenue from donations to run their operations, you can feel that you are contributing to others when you get rid of unused items. Donating is a win-win!

Consult with a friend or family member

A second or third opinion can help make tough decisions easier. A loved one is a great sounding board and typically, they can see the bigger picture better than we can. If there are certain things you are having trouble parting with, a friend can talk you through why it’s important to keep the item or get rid of it. 

Consider the emotions attached to different items

Although a tennis racket is, in fact, just a tennis racket, it may spark significant emotions. It is important to understand how the item makes you feel and which emotions are connected to it. According to Real Simple, “After openly exploring the emotions that were holding you back from decluttering, you'll likely find it much easier to part with the items themselves.” Support from a family member, friend, or even a trusted therapist will help you process why you feel a certain way when it comes to specific items.

JACKIE SCHINDLER, CONTIRBUTOR
Jackie Schindler teaches EFL to students between the ages of 5-15. She is passionate about making English relevant, fun and memorable. She always tries to look on the bright side in every situation. She is an avid reader, writer, traveler and always on the hunt for the best iced coffee.