5 Ways You Can Declutter Your Home : If you haven’t seen your floor in weeks (months even,) can barely find your bed without leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way in and out of the room, and you don’t even dare open some of your closets for fear you will be hit with a tsunami of “stuff” overwhelming you, you’re in need of a serious declutter plan.
Declutter your mind first?
Before attempting to declutter your home, you need to first declutter your mind, and figure out how your home ever got that way in the first place.
If your clutter is an occasional thing chances are it’s a sign that you have too much going on in your life, and need to “declutter your schedule.” However, if you are a compulsive hoarder, and are just positive you will need 100 pair of rain boots or 10 years-collection of the Los Angeles Times, then you may have a hoarding problem.
Decluttering your home, even if you have an army of helpers will likely fail if you have a compulsive need to “hold on to things.”
Fortunately, most people don’t have serious compulsive problems. They just need a little help in controlling their clutter.
Declutter tip… tackle one room at a time
The art of tackling clutter is much like the art of dieting to lose weight. Most people decide to lose weight after months and months of procrastination, and once they reach the 30 lb overweight limit or 60 pounds, maybe even 100 pounds, they make up their mind to never ever let a bit of sugar touch their lips, or to cut out all carbs or fats in their diet, going “cold turkey.”
Of course, 99.99% fail to lose weight and quickly return to an unhealthy diet. The same principle applies to declutter your home.
Even if they have the help of family members or friends, most people are simply too overwhelmed with their clutter to make a complete change at once.
Consider tackling one room at a time if you want to have real success in “the decluttering game.”
And while you can decide on your own which room to tackle first, we suggest it be a room that is fairly easy to clean up.
Start with something small like your bathroom for example. Perhaps start with the medicine cabinets. Throw out any outdated medications in a trash bag, actually clean and dust the entire cabinet, and then return the good medications to the cabinet.
Then clean out any drawers in the bathroom in the same way. A typical bathroom declutter will only take 20 minutes or so, you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Learn what a decluttered house actually looks like.
Once you’ve tackled your first room in the house, move on to another room. Don’t try to declutter the entire house because more than likely you will wind up with a still cluttered house overall, but you may be satisfied with just that.
You do not need to become a cleaning fanatic, but it’s important to learn what a clean house looks like.
One way to do this is to take photos of each room in your house with a cellphone (if you can find it) and send the photos to three or four friends. Tell them you want to learn to declutter and ask for their honest opinion of what they think.
Designate a “clean space” in your home for important documents such as your home insurance, mortgage, banking, social security cards etc. Home insurance protects your home from loss, damage and more; find out more at MSIG. Having these documents in one, easy to find place is very important.
Tackle your bedroom next
Of all the rooms in your house, no place is more important than your bedroom and decluttering your bedroom can give you a greater sense that you are “really making progress” than perhaps any other room in the house.
And if you have kids and multiple bedrooms, tackle one bedroom at a time.
The first thing to do is make the bed, and make it a discipline to make your bed each day. We are looking to build “orderly skills” and making your bed each day will tend to keep you from cluttering your bedroom back up once it’s decluttered.
Don’t worry about the closet that’s a task unto itself, but clean your entire bedroom up. First pick up any clothes that may be thrown around, then throw them into a hamper to wash.
Next clean out anything else that you genuinely don’t need in your bedroom such as old books, magazines or newspapers. Finally throw away any needless items in your dresser drawers then vacuum the rug in your bedroom.
A typical bedroom may take only about an hour to clean sans closets, and together with your clean bathroom, you have a real foundation for a clean house. You should be feeling the difference.
Tackle the closets and the garage
After every bedroom has been tackled, and the living room and kitchen have been cleaned, it’s time to take a deep breath and tackle the closets and the garage.
First do the closets, one at a time. Here, it’s highly recommended that you invite a friend or family member to help you get the courage to throw out a lot of unnecessary items.
Unlike a bedroom or bathroom, decluttering a closet may take a few hours.
It is recommended that you have several baskets ready to help you tackle the job. Some experts at decluttering recommend five baskets:
- One for items that need to be put away
– These are ok objects that are useful, but misplaced, such as a kitchen appliance in the bedroom closet.
- One for things that need to be thrown out but recycled
– An example is glass bottles or old newspapers.
- One bin for items needing mending but you want to keep
– Your favorite fishing rod or a pair of your favorite shoes that you love but need repairs.
- A purely trash bin
- A donate binOf course, depending upon the amount of clutter you may need 32-gallon garbage cans rather than just bins, but gradually you and your helper should be able to clear out closets and even garages.
- One for items that need to be put away
Become more social
A prime reason why homes reach the critical stage in clutter is that people don’t invite guests over. Their flawed thinking is that “it’s only me here,” and nobody is coming over so what does it matter what my home looks like.
Sooner, rather than later, the clutter builds up to titanic proportions.
Once you’ve decluttered, show your home off. Invite your friends, your grandchildren, even the next-door neighbour over for tea.
If you feel like you are going to be having guests visit, your tendency will be to keep your home reasonably clean and decluttered.
Clutter is often a habit, one that can be broken by taking small steps which lead to larger steps to declutter your home.
Start small if you have to, but build up the discipline to keeping an orderly home.
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