Did you know that 80% of the clutter in your home stems from disorganization, not lack of space? Decluttering your home or apartment can be a challenging activity and if you don’t know where to start, it can feel like an uphill battle.
Cluttered areas generate anxiety and according to a recent study published in the New York Times, it increases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. By decluttering you can not only feel better about yourself but your space can be organized and balanced.
Decluttering Is Not the Hard Part
Staying organized is the actual challenge, which is why if you want to make the hours you spent organizing worth it, you will need to change your habits. Maintenance is key.
Maintenance requires practice, so in order to keep things organized, you will need to carve out a bit of time each day or at least once a week to review your habits and declutter. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, that will make a difference.
Avoid getting your house cluttered again by not letting it get in. Junk mail, catalogs and free items you get from events will generally mean useless things around the house, so avoid them as much as possible.
Be mindful with your shopping. Deals and bargains are great, but they can lead to things you know you don’t need lying around your home. Consider the space each item will take, make conscious decisions and avoid impulsive shopping.
Useful Declutering Tips
Whether you want to declutter your home to feel better and at ease in your space or you wish to declutter to sell your home, consider the following tips:
By setting specific goals, you can stay focused on what you want to achieve and not abandon the process after one or two days of decluttering. Goals give you a plan to follow and motivate you to move forward.
You can set specific dates to complete decluttering each room of your house. However, make sure you don’t overreach, you can exhaust yourself and abandon the task completely.
Also, make sure you can measure the results and each step towards finishing decluttering every room.
For example, organizing your kitchen counters is a doable activity that shouldn’t take much. Just make sure you set a date to finalize the task so that you actually get it done.
Following another person’s declutter strategy means you will try to fit your decisions around another person’s home, interests and goals.
If you create your own system, you can tackle the clutters that affect you the most or that drain the most energy, while also feeling comfortable using the system.
Having your own system and declutter strategy can help you understand what goes into each box, deciding when and how to donate or get rid of items you no longer need, you can decide where to store each item based on your own day to day activities and the uses it has in your lifestyle and more.
Start small. To declutter and organize effectively you need to take your time and pour a lot of energy into it, so it’s best to start with the simpler tasks. You can slowly identify your organizing pace and ease your way into the process without getting overwhelmed and losing motivation.
This also helps you feel more confident in your choices and defining a system that works for you.
Consider this: if you haven’t looked at an item for 30 days, you simply don’t need it. If an item is something you need and is a part of your life or your day-to-day activities, then odds are you will not use it any time soon.
The only exception to this rule is seasonal clothing and decoration since as the name suggests, they are used sporadically.
Also, if there is something you don’t want, don’t wait to get rid of it. Someone might actually treasure it and use it. Getting your home decluttered can change the energy of the space.
Without a doubt, decluttering your home is work. However, there are ways to make it more entertaining. Consider these easy ways to declutter and have fun in the process:
- Put on your favorite music to work
- Use a diffuser and enjoy your favorite smells while decluttering
- Choose comfortable clothes
- Set specific rewards for you once you completed a series of tasks or a very complicated one.
Storage doesn’t necessarily mean plastic bins all over the place. You can choose more chic options that can also look as decoration as well instead of just storing them away in your closet.
There are several other ways you can store your items and take advantage of your space:
- You can go vertical and place shelves to store different items
- Instead of bins, you can select woven baskets
- Place spare linens, blankets and towels in your suitcases
- Store under your bed. You have quite a bit of space, it stays hidden and you can remove anything you need fairly easily.
- Place organizers behind your door. You can take advantage of an otherwise unused space in a smart way.
If you don’t live alone, then you probably are not responsible for all the cluttering. If you create your own decluttering system but don’t include the other members of your household, then that system won’t work.
Make sure to ask your roommates for help and include them in your decluttering plan, craft together the declutter strategy and try to choose an organizing system that works for everyone. Otherwise, everything will go back to clutter in no time.
If you need help coming up with a joint system, you can always hire a declutter services company and get advice from an expert.