Something we are constantly doing in our home is decluttering. But honestly, it is one of those household tasks that we always feel like we struggle with. That is why we turned to expert declutterer, Jackie Waters of Hyper Tidy to give us her top tips for easily decluttering your home.
According to one psychologist, neatness reduces anxiety while enhancing self-confidence and efficacy, perhaps the biggest reasons to get purging, if only it weren’t such a huge chore. Don’t let that get in the way. In fact, the process can be fun and liberating if you go about it the right way — without the help of an expensive consultant (a professional organizer can run you anywhere from $30 – $80 an hour). In the end, you’ll have plenty of items to auction, while donating or recycling the rest. Below are some handy tips to help you along the way!
Before you begin, make a list of the areas that need the most attention. Then, grab a bag and begin packing it with anything you don’t really need or want in the near future (hint: you don’t have to get rid of all your duplicates!). Then, next week (or the next day if you are super motivated) move on to the next room. This breaks it up so you don’t get overwhelmed by going through your entire home in one day.
If decluttering as fast as possible is your goal, then give yourself a time limit. The minimalist mastermind behind Be More with Less suggests one hour to get rid of 100 items. That sounds like a lot, but it isn’t that difficult once you get started and it becomes even more doable if you break it down by room.
Is that ticking clock failing to motivate you? Don’t worry, you just need a little camaraderie from fellow declutterers, and you’ll get that by accepting this challenge from Your Modern Family. It takes a total of 30 days, each day dedicated to a specific area of the house or category of items such as mail and paperwork. There’s even a printout to keep you humming along.
Sometimes, you don’t need a fancy method to get rid of stuff — just the right company. Ask one of your friends to help out. They can remove sentimentality from the equation and offer their honest and objective opinion on just about everything in the house.
Why not invite a few more friends over and make it a real shindig? You’ll have more people to chat with while going through the drawers and closets, laughing at the uglier elements of your wardrobe and enjoying some music. However, save the snacks and drinks for when you’re done; you wouldn’t want to stain anything you could sell or donate.
Don’t worry if your friends aren’t willing to help or if you’re a little embarrassed by a messy home. There’s moral support, as well as good advice, available on the internet in decluttering forums. You’ll find answers to your most pressing questions, such as how to organize important records and whether to rid yourself of useless objects with sentimental value.
Now you have the methods and support you need to rid yourself of clutter, but it can build up again if you’re not careful. Avoid that by creating a cleaning schedule that addresses absolutely everything in your home. If you’re a pet owner, make sure you’re routinely removing pet hair and using a vacuum with allergen-removing filters. If you find yourself too busy with work and family life to clean regularly, consider bringing in a cleaning service to help on occasion. Whether you use all of these methods or just one, you’re on your way to a better life — and with less stress and more money in the bank. That should motivate you to get started today, and it all starts by getting rid of one useless old item and then selling it. Who could say no to cash?