I love to get rid of things. Whether it is throwing things away, giving them away, or selling them, I love to declutter. It makes me feel lighter. It not only helps my house look cleaner, but it improves my mood and mental clarity. Whenever I start to get depressed, I start decluttering. It gives me a great sense of relief, and I know that it is doing good for others too. I love giving away my stuff. With six children, the amount of “stuff” we accumulate adds up quickly, so I am quick to give out the hand-me-downs.
It wasn’t always this way. I come from a long line of packrats that seemed to think they needed to keep absolutely everything. They were worried that once they got rid of something, they would need it. When my grandmother ran out of room for things, she bought a barn to keep things in. That barn was overflowing with things and I doubt she knew most of it was still there. Things stayed in boxes for years until she died and we had to go through everything.
For awhile, I felt that way too. Then I started to feel claustrophobic. I felt as if I was suffocating in junk, and I didn’t have space in our backyard for a barn. So I started decluttering, and never looked back. I looked forward to grabbing a box, sorting it, and giving things away. It was extremely liberating. Less things to clean; less things to worry about. And guess what? I don’t miss all of those things that I “might” have found a purpose for. I don’t miss all of those unfinished projects, things that needed to be fixed, or clothes I was never going to fit into.
There are many different decluttering techniques and everyone has their own preference, but how do you start? How do you get through the decluttering process when it seems so daunting? How do you know what to throw away or when you are finished decluttering? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
You will want to see how much progress you have made. It will keep you motivated. So, before you even begin the decluttering process, take pictures of all of the areas that you want to declutter and organize. Once you have finished the process, you can look back and see how far you have come. It will all be worth it!
Visualize The Space
What will your room look like after you have finished? Do you have an idea of what your new, organized space will be used for? You may want to look through magazines or Pinterest for ideas of how to best utilize the space that you want to declutter. You can make a Pinterest board and/or vision board specifically for this purpose.
If you don’t know where to start, start to the left of the door or doorway. Grab a box or open a drawer and start going through things. Time yourself. Start with 15 minutes for your first session of decluttering. Have three boxes and a trash can ready to toss things in and label the boxes: KEEP, SELL, and GIVEAWAY. I like to count things as I go through them. For instance, I will look for 10 things to throw away, then 10 things to sell, and so on, until my time limit is up. Then, I get rid of them or put away the things I am keeping.
Don’t wait to get rid of the things in your sell and giveaway boxes. Take your giveaway items to a thrift store or a charity shop. List your for sale items on Facebook, Craigslist or Letgo. Just make sure to get them out of your house immediately. Believe me, it will feel good, once it is gone.
Schedule Decluttering Time
Work decluttering into your daily schedule. Even if it is only 15 minutes a day. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes.
If you are having a hard time letting go of sentimental items or other things that you think are worth saving, try having someone help you declutter. Sometimes looking at things from different perspective can help you let go of things you don’t need in your life. If you have something that attached to a special memory, will a picture of the item be enough to attach those memories to?
I have also found that letting go of all broken things and items that I was “meaning to fix” helped get rid of my mental clutter. I hate having those things in the back of my mind. Our to do lists are long enough without having so many unfinished projects.
If you are interested in learning about the popular KonMari method to help you with your decluttering process, you can check it out here.
What is your favorite decluttering tip? Share it below. If I add it to this post, I will publish your name and blog (if you have one) next to the tip!