This post was written by special guest author Jackie Waters from Hyper Tidy
Photo via Unsplash
Decluttering is a lifestyle trend that’s taking hold of millennials and baby boomers alike. We’re all realizing that we don’t need as much stuff as we thought we did. In fact, we tend to be happier and more relaxed in a clutter-free environment. But when you’ve been accumulating things all your life, going through it all can be daunting. Keep reading for fun decluttering tips and effective ways to maintain a tidy home in the long run.
Hack Your Household Storage
We aren’t all blessed with large closets, basements, attics, and garages. If your home is short on storage, learn how to maximize the space you have. Furniture and décor can often double as storage space. In the bedroom, for example, use decorative trunks or slide-out storage boxes under your bed. In the living room, install built-in ceiling shelves for storing books and other small items without using floor space.
Tackle Small Sections
A lot of people think decluttering means hauling all of their stuff into a large pile and hacking away at it for hours. While this may be a good method if you have a decluttering expert helping you out, it can quickly lead to burnout if you’re on your own. Instead, break your big job into smaller tasks by focusing on one room or one section of the house at a time. According to Clean and Scentsible, it’s critical to a space that you can finish in a single session. You don’t want to leave a section of a room even messier than it was when you began, so start with a kitchen drawer, a section of a closet, or a corner of the living room.
Take Frequent Breaks
Decluttering can be surprisingly draining. Deciding whether or not to toss something really takes a toll on your mental energy! Avoid burning yourself out by taking lots of breaks. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and take a quick break every time it goes off — this could mean closing your eyes for a moment, grabbing a drink of water, or just stepping back and observing the work you’ve done. After your break, jump back into the same project.
Make It Fun
Decluttering doesn’t have to feel like work. Put on some music to keep your mind occupied while you sort. You can incorporate some fun into your decluttering session by getting your family involved in a decluttering challenge. For example, give each person a small section to tackle, and take before-and-after pictures of each area. Or, make it a competition to see how much stuff each person can get rid of within a certain time frame. When it comes to your children's toys, ask yourself these questions to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
Get Some Help with the Big Stuff
Although you might think you can handle loading that old dishwasher into your truck and taking it down to the local junkyard, this is one area where you might want to bring in the pros. Consider hiring junk haulers to remove large items (e.g. appliances, carpeting, mattress, etc.) from your home and dispose of them for you. This way, you don’t have to worry about hurting yourself or others when you’re dragging those big items out of your home.
Commit to Daily Decluttering
Once the initial decluttering sessions are over, keep the momentum going. A fun method to maintain a minimalist mindset is to play hide and seek with your items. Get your spouse or roommate to hide something of yours. If you don’t notice what’s missing within a week or month, consider getting rid of it. Also, try the reserve-hanger method for your clothing. Hang all your clothes with hangers facing one direction. When you wear something and hang it back up, face the hanger the other way. Over time, this will reveal which items you don’t wear.
Tackle Clutter Sources
Finally, tackle the sources of your clutter. The Washington Post recommends changing your spending habits first and foremost. Avoid buying in bulk, resist buying things “just in case” you need them, and find alternative ways to acquire things, like checking a book out from the library or borrowing a power tool from a neighbor. For other clutter sources — like laundry, children's toys, and mail — develop organizational systems that work. For example, a wall organizer by your front door gives you somewhere to stash keys and bills.
No one should have to wade through piles of stuff to accomplish household chores or enjoy their hobbies. Living in a clutter-free home is incredibly uplifting. As you start sifting through your possessions, you’ll quickly find that decluttering is so rewarding you won’t want to stop!