Did you know that it’s been proven that people tend to feel that life is more stressful when they have too much stuff around that they can’t manage….i.e. clutter?
I fall into that category for sure. If my home, closets, basement, or garage are getting cluttered, I feel more stressed. finding the time to declutter my house. I consider myself pretty minimalistic – I try not to keep too much that we don’t need and we don’t buy things excessively and try to keep things pretty simple. However, when you have 3 kids, it can take a toll on your home. The constant influx of toys, clothing, and other items that continuously change phase out of your kids’ play routine, size, and interest is just incredible. If you don’t stay on top of it, it can quickly make for a messy and cluttered basement, garage, or storage area. Closets can quickly become pretty crowded. We find it easiest to schedule a once or twice a year big clean and declutter. It’s a great way to ensure that you’re not accumulating too much, to a point where it becomes unmanageable.
Here’s a pretty easy guide for decluttering your home.
Decide on the Time of Year
Pick a time to declutter and do it every year. If the spring or fall (or both if that makes sense) works better, plan to do that each year. Certain times of year might allow for more time, so be sure to take into consideration that you’ll need a few days or weekends to really do a thorough declutter.
Identify Where the Clutter Is & Make a Plan
Clutter loves to hang out in attics, closets, basements, garages, crawl spaces, playrooms, under cabinets, under beds and sheds. Where do you tend to find clutter in your home? Make a plan and list each clutter spot. Designate when you’ll get to each spot. If you’re breaking your cleaning into different days or weekends, make a plan.
Decide How to Sort
Create a method for how you will sort your clutter. Most people decide to sort into three categories – donate, trash, storage.
If you are donating, decide ahead of time for a drop off with an organization or arrange for a pickup so that you’ll be able to keep the items moving out of your home. If you are moving things into storage, prepare that space (either in the home or outside of the home). You can also have a garage sale if you don’t want to give away everything. Some communities have a garage sale day which makes things easy to promote. Our town does this and they do a freecycle day, which is a great way to pass along things to others in the community.
If you are trashing items, decide how you will do that. If you know you will have enough junk, you can opt for a dumpster rental, which makes the whole process so much easier. Mauriello Disposal, Inc. is one such company that can help you with that, if you’re like me and live in NJ. They are in the business dumpster rental in North Jersey. They are NJ’s most convenient and cost-effective source for dumpster rentals…and they have been for over 100 years!
Within your trash, you’ll want to make sure you properly weed out recyclables or things that cannot be thrown out. Those will need to be disposed of separately (electronics, items with batteries, paint, etc. )
Knowing What to Get Rid Of
Abide by a rule of thumb when getting rid of things. If you haven’t used it in the last 3 months (other than seasonal items) then you likely will not use it again. For clothing, if you have not worn it for 2-3 of the last seasons, don’t keep it. If something is broken, and you haven’t yet put the time into fixing it, don’t keep it. Try to get over what you have paid for something. Chances are, it may not be worth what it once was. If it is valuable, decide to sell it on a bargain site, online or at a garage sale.
When it comes to clutter, the big takeaway should be to make a plan and execute it.
Do you regularly declutter your home? What process do you use?