Is your home starting to resemble something out of an episode of Hoarders? If so, you’re going to want to take the time to get things in order.
Many people see clutter and messes as nothing more than eyesores. The truth is, however, that they can affect everything from your productivity to your creativity.
Decluttering should therefore be a priority of yours.
To help you understand why it’s not always easy to declutter and what you can do to make it easier, we’ve put together this guide. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready to dive headfirst into spring cleaning.
Read on to learn more.
What Decluttering Is
Part of the reason why many people struggle with cleaning out their homes is they go about it in the wrong way.
Think of decluttering as deowning. When you start getting things organized, your priority should be to look for items to get rid of.
Have the garbage bags on hand, and if you have a lot of stuff, you might even want to consider a dumpster rental. You want things you no longer use or need to find a new home, whether that means with someone else or in the trash.
What Decluttering Is Not
If you don’t approach organizing your home with the intention of getting rid of things, you don’t end up decluttering at all. What you end up doing is clutter shuffling.
Instead of having things shoved under your bed, you end up putting them in a bin in your closet. Instead of having folders and files taking up space on your desk, you end up storing them in a filing cabinet for later.
The reality is that most of the time, you don’t need to hold onto these sorts of items.
Before you start your cleaning session, take the time to accept the fact that you’re going to get rid of things, not just shuffle them around.
How to Spring Clean Like a Pro
So now that you’re in the right mindset, it’s time to create a game plan. Decluttering your home is exhausting, especially if you have a lot of stuff.
Let’s take a look at how you can approach the process to ensure you don’t get burnt out.
Go in With a Plan
The first thing you need to do is create your own plan. Look around your home and at all the things you’ve accumulated over the year (or years).
What can you get rid of? Which things no longer need to occupy space in your life?
Now is also a good time to create a timetable. If you can’t clean out your entire home one weekend, decide which rooms you’re going to tackle now and which you’ll save for later.
You want your plan to be airtight before you start so you can execute it without a problem.
Separate Your Items
Once you’re ready to dive in, you want to start by mentally separating your items into three different categories. Think about:
- The items you’re going to keep
- The items you’re going to donate
- The items you’re going to throw out
Everything you own should fall into one of those categories. Unless something is broken or ruined, remember that just because you don’t use it doesn’t mean someone else won’t want to.
Don’t Let Yourself Get Distracted
If you’ve ever tried cleaning out an attic or a closet full of stuff before, you’ve probably had this happen. You’re digging through item after item when you stumble across something you completely forgot about.
It might be a gift that used to mean a lot to you or a piece of clothing that you once loved. Before you realize it, you’ve wasted ten minutes reminiscing.
While taking these trips down memory lane can be fun, remember that you’re not decluttering for sentimental reasons.
You’re doing it to take back control of your home.
If you see an item that’s meaningful to you, take a moment to appreciate it, but don’t let it slow you down. Once you’re ready, be honest and decide which category of items it belongs in.
Strike a Balance
Most people can’t live a completely minimalist lifestyle. We’re sentimental creatures, and you’re going to stumble across things you don’t want to toss away.
At the same time, that sort of thinking can cause you to run into trouble. If you’re an exceptionally sentimental person, you might find yourself attaching emotional worth to every item you have.
Try your best to strike a balance between ruthlessness and sentimentality. Appreciate the things you have, but remember that they’re just that—things. Don’t let them dominate your life.
Know Your Limits
Decluttering your task is an exhausting task, and not only in a physical sense. Throwing out items that used to mean a lot to you can take a toll on even the strongest of people.
Make sure to know your limits and take breaks when necessary. If you feel like you reach a point where you can’t handle digging through another box one day, there’s no shame in saving it for the next.
Eliminating Clutter Made Easy
It doesn’t matter when you last decluttered your home—you can always do it again. Of course, getting rid of clutter is easier said than done.
Use this guide to help make your spring, summer, fall, or winter cleaning session a breeze. By following the tips mentioned, you’ll be able to make Marie Kondo and any other master organizers proud.
Are you looking for more guides on clutter and tips that can help you organize your life? If so, spend some time checking out the rest of our site for more great content.