Are you keeping more junk than you can manage? If yes, then it’s time to consider a major home clean up. Most homeowners find their household clutter so inconveniencing, but they lack the time and motivation to go through each room and sort out what needs to be disposed of. The truth is, decluttering can be a headache, especially if you approach it without a strategy. But even worse, clutter itself can make us feel stressed, depressed, and anxious.
Several research studies on the effects of clutter show it affects not only our focus and moods but also our health. One study found that being in a messy room increases the chances of eating a chocolate bar than an apple. And another one found that people living in extremely disorganized homes are 77% more likely to be obese or overweight.
Let’s see how you can declutter in 4 simple steps.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T Decluttering Goals
Getting rid of the items you don’t need can be daunting. It takes a clear understanding of who you are and what you need to appreciate the fact that you’ve outgrown the majority of the items in your basement. To make this even easier, set decluttering goals that are:
- Specific – know what you want to achieve at the end of the decluttering exercise. For example, create more space in your home, or make the rooms tidier and presentable.
- Measurable – At the end of the exercise, there should be some noticeable changes.
- Attainable – For example, aim at tackling one room at a time.
- Realistic – To avoid hurting your morale, lower your expectations and instead embrace an open mindset. It’s normal to feel disappointed or lazy along the way. You just need to keep going.
- Time-bound – You should aim to declutter one room each weekend, or maybe two rooms in a week.
2. Sort out Your Items
Once you’ve collected all the items adding to the clutter in your home, it’s time to sort them out. A rule of thumb is to use the 3-box methodology as discussed below:
- The “Keep Box” – These are items you use daily; hence they should be easily accessible.
- “Donate/Get rid of Box.” – Items like toys, computers, and electronics that everyone in your home has outgrown can be donated, recycled, or re-sold. Waste from a home renovation also fits into this category.
- “Store Box”– Some items may not be useful now, but you’ll need them in the near future. For example, winter clothes, hiking gear, personal files, etc.
3. Get Rid of the Clutter
From the three boxes above, it’s pretty straightforward that you’ll have some stuff that needs to be disposed of. The “get rid of box” will have items of different value. Many people will choose to do either of the following:
If you are in for it, choose to donate some household goods such as clothes, shoes, bikes, etc., to local charities. You can look for donation opportunities online, e.g., Facebook groups or Google listings.
Organize a Garage Sale
Depending on where you live, you can inquire if there’s an upcoming garage sale. Here you’ll dispose of the clutter economically. Instead of giving out the items you don’t need free of charge, you can choose the re-sell them instead.
Rent a Dumpster
Some items which no longer add value need to be disposed of for good. This type of clutter comes in different forms, and some may be harmful to the environment.
General waste like bricks, tiles, wood scraps, and dirt & soil components can be put into the dumpster. However, electronic gadgets such as computers and old fridges or household materials like mattresses, paints, and chemicals may negatively impact the environment.
If you have lots of items or waste to get rid of after a major home clean up, renting a dumpster is a stress-free, responsible and affordable option for you. Here, you should do your research to find an affordable, large home waste pick up company serving your area.
4. Organize what is Left
After the dumpster company has hauled away the waste, you are now left with some items that need to be put back into their rightful places.
These could be valuable items you use on a day-to-day basis, items waiting for the next garage sale, or the donations waiting to be picked by charities or other personnel. Organizing these items will help you stay organized in the meantime so that you can avoid yet another mess.
It’s advisable to keep the three categories of items in separate places to avoid confusion. Remember to always keep your most valuable items in a safe place, e.g., a drawer or a safe box in your home.
Anyone who has ever done a major home clean-up knows that the task is quite demanding and can take up to four weekends to clean up every room. These efforts will result in a peaceful, healthier, and more organized home.
However, it’s only a matter of time before another clutter starts building up. To stay clean, tidy, and organized, it’s crucial to declutter your living space regularly – say once a week or twice a month. This way, you can catch up with the clutter before your home becomes a mess.