At some point in our lives many of us have had to move. Whether it’s from mom and dad’s house to our first apartment or from a home where we raised our children to a smaller home. It can be heartbreaking to part with items that we’ve hung on to just to de-clutter for the next move but we’ve got to do it. But it is always an easier way to do it from year to year, so Starting this year why not try de-cluttering your home to give it new life and perhaps you will fall back in love with it?
Here are my De-Cluttering 101 Tips:
1. Organize. Designate four empty bins where you will put items to keep, throw away, give away, or recycle. There is no “maybe” pile. [You can have a “sell” pile if you have a plan to sell the items such on eBay or at a yard sale. Once the sale is over, you must get rid of unsold items.]
2. Go slowly. Start with the refrigerator then a closet or drawer per day. Place each item in one of the four designated bins. No cheating except items that you need to keep in the fridge. Everything has a place.
3. Stop buying. You can’t de-clutter if you’re bringing in more items, especially if you’re moving to a smaller home.
4. Storage boxes don’t equal de-cluttering. When I was a kid, I considered my room clean if all of the stuff on the floor was shoved into my closet. My parents didn’t agree and as an adult I can see their point. Putting stuff in a closet or into boxes – or renting a storage space - isn’t de-cluttering. It’s just putting clutter in a new place. You’ve got to open the boxes and start throwing away, giving away, selling, or recycling.
5. Everything has a purpose. Don’t keep things that you’re not using. Each item has to serve a purpose. Good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in a year- you don’t need it! Keep extra bedding for when company visits but give away books that you’ve already read.
For some of us, stuff isn’t just stuff. De-cluttering can be a stressful time filled with emotions. I often think of it as a new beginning rather than an ending especially when sorting through sentimental items. Ask a friend or family member to help, take time to do it right and it will be the breath of fresh air you just might have needed, or hire a professional organizer to help you as a gift to you for the New Year.
If you’re de-cluttering and your stuff just won't fit any more and you decide you need a new place to call home, the team at Beery Realty is here to help! Contact me and we can get you started on the right path.