If your home resembles an untidy mess rather than the peaceful sanctuary you long for, now is the time to get serious about decluttering. Weeding through your possessions can be a challenge, but with a systematic approach you’ll be able to tame the clutter and reclaim an organized home.
Sometimes looking at the big picture is a surefire way to paralyze your efforts. Don’t immediately think about decluttering your entire house from top to bottom. Instead, The Spruce writer Elizabeth Larkin advises taking it one drawer, one closet or one room at a time. Don’t jump ahead to other projects before you complete each task, and let the joy you feel from each organizational achievement fuel you as you forge ahead on your decluttering mission.
If you’re having a hard time getting started or just don’t know which room or space to tackle first, try the 12-12-12 Challenge. Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist writer and author of The More of Less, suggests starting by disposing of 12 items, donating 12 things and finding the proper homes for 12 items that are out of their rightful spot in your home. Before you know it, you will have sorted out 36 items in your house.
Divide and conquer
Decluttering your home is not code for “get rid of everything you own,” although you’ll be surprised how much stuff you’ve accumulated that you don’t really need. In order to get a literal handle on the mess, you need to employ a sorting methodology. HGTV writer Aimee Lane recommends a three-bin system. Label the bins “toss,” “give” and “do.”
The “toss” bin is for items that have outgrown their shelf lives or are beyond repair. Be thoughtful with what ends up in the trash and recycle as much as you can.
The “give” bin is for items fit for charitable organizations that welcome slightly used items in good condition. Old books can find a new home at your library or local elementary school. Clothing you no longer wear can go to organizations like the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Dress for Success or a nonprofit dear to your heart. Your kids’ old clothes would be appreciated by a family in need. Be strategic about the stuff you donate; take a moment to pair the right organization to the items you’re giving away.
The “do” bin can also be labeled as the “fix” bin, according to Larkin. This bin catches the things that aren’t ready for the trash pile, recycling center or donation drive, but are in need of a little TLC. For example, a pair of pants in need of a hem, a pair of shoes in need of a shine or a toy in need of new batteries are good candidates.
Decluttering your home is an ongoing process. Do what you can in your spare time and before you know it, your drawers, closets, cabinets and rooms will be organized and clutter-free.