March 29, 2019

How to Declutter Your Home: Do These Things First

how to declutter

You might have heard of the term declutter, but do you really know what it means, or how to declutter. Decluttering a home is something that everyone should do. Decluttering is important for your wellbeing and your home alike.

If you want to know how to declutter, you’ve come to the right place!

Let’s first take a look at the meaning of decluttering.

The term “decluttering” has been a catchphrase for a number of years. Some think it is simply cleaning a house, but if you have seen television shows about hoarding or cleaning, you know it can be much more than that. So, what does it entail and what does decluttering mean?

Decluttering Meaning in the Dictionary:

The English Dictionary defines decluttering as “the act of getting rid of mess and disorder. To simplify.”

Dictionary.com defines decluttering as “removing the mess or clutter from a place. It can also mean to organize and prioritize material possessions.”

Decluttering is generally a two-step process:

  1. Getting rid of stuff (the current clutter) you have in your home.
  2. Avoid letting additional clutter into your home.

You may have heard the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” For those struggling with clutter, this often becomes a mantra or battle cry.

If you have not decluttered your home recently nor maintained it since your last purge, it can be quite a task to get things back under control. Thankfully, there are many ways to go about this while keeping your sanity.

By prioritizing, organizing and decluttering one section of your home at a time, you can tidy up in a manageable way.

Now let’s take a look at how to declutter.

How Do I Start Decluttering?

First, it’s best to prioritize before you start decluttering.

Sit down with a notebook and divide your home into rooms. Include non-rooms such as hallways and the entryway. Decide which room will be your first priority, then your second, then your third, etc.

If your children always have friends over, your living room might be the first priority.

If you feel like you can handle anything that comes your way as long as you have a clutter-free place to relax every night, then your bedroom might take first place instead.

 

>>Read More: 6 Places to Search for Inspiring Home Organization Ideas<<

How Do I Declutter My House Fast?

Decide how much time each day you can devote to the task of decluttering.

If you have entire days to spare, you might be able to take on a room per day. If you are like most people and have several responsibilities to juggle, then it might be more reasonable to tackle small areas within a room.

You might want to start small when you begin decluttering.

If your home is cluttered, going through and getting rid of things will seem intimidating. It is easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed, but remember that you can do it. It is possible to get rid of stuff and live a life free of clutter.

By starting small, even with one single dresser drawer, you see how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Quite often, with a small area, you can declutter and clean it in less than 15 minutes. Anyone can do this if is important to them.

Break Down Each Area into Sections

After you have decided how much space you are likely to be able to clean each day, break each room down into areas such as the closet, desk, floor, etc.

Make the sections small enough that you can complete your task in one day. Whether it gets accomplished in twenty minutes or four hours, you will feel satisfied that you have finished the task you assigned to yourself.

Enlist Some Decluttering Help from Family and Friends

Enlist the help of someone you trust. Ask an especially organized family member to help you.

Perhaps your family is full of clutter bugs and they really are not interested in moving out of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome).

If they will not help you, ask a friend to do it instead. Not only will your friend be there to give encouragement, but they may also be able to help you with the hard decisions that often come up when decluttering.

You could also arrange for a decluttering swap with a good friend. Involve them in the planning process, and of course when it comes to the actual physical labor as well!

Make it fun, and order pizza for everyone afterward. Most friends are happy to help out when asked, and you can always return the favor in the future.

how to declutter

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How Do I Get Rid of Clutter in My Home?

Get four boxes and label them with the following words:

  • Keep (this room),
  • Toss,
  • Donate/Give/Sell, and
  • Keep (store elsewhere)

Place the boxes in the area where you will start. Try to handle each item only once.

When you pick something up, decide if:

  • you will keep it in the room where it now is;
  • it is garbage and can be tossed;
  • you no longer need it and it can be donated or given; or
  • it is to be kept in a different location.

Look at each item and put it one of the boxes.

When you review each item, try to think about how often you have used it in the last year. Be honest with yourself. If the item has not been used in a year, it is time to let it go – either in the trashcan or into the Donate box so someone else can get use out of it.

How to Declutter Your Mail

Be aware of the things you bring into your home.

Quickly go through your mail outside near the garbage can. Important mail goes under your elbow. Everything else is probably junk mail and does not need to enter the house.

While you open your mail, write down important dates on a calendar. You can then file the mail if still needed or shred it if it has personal information on it.

What Can I Throw Away?

Adopt the one in/one out rule.

If you purchase a new item, with this rule, you would also get rid of one item. This item could be something related to what you purchased or something non-related.

The point is to get into the habit of removing one item each time a new item comes into the home.

Take A Break

When you have one drawer, stack, corner or box cleaned out, take a break.

If your friend is still there, have a cup of coffee or tea. Then, after your drink is finished, tackle another. Before you know it, you will have a cleaned out dresser, cabinet or one less pile to look at.

Then, do your best to keep that renewed area clean and clear from that point forward.

Be Realistic and Flexible When Decluttering

We can set goals, but sometimes life gets in the way. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach your goal one day, or if you have to reschedule due to life events.

Even if it takes longer than planned, your decluttering will eventually come to an end if you stay consistent and stick to it. If you miss one day, simply get back to it the next.

Set a reminder in your smartphone, or find another way to get into the decluttering groove without forgetting about it.

Be flexible about your schedule if for some reason you should need one room to be decluttered sooner than originally planned, even if it means putting off another room. As long as you are doing something almost every day, you are headed in the right direction.

Decluttering takes organization. Prioritizing your task means that you will be able to get everything done in a timely fashion. Use these ideas about how to declutter and get on your way to an organized decluttering spree today.

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    Teresa Jungling

    I share ways you can make your home healthy, one room at a time. I am the owner of Living Natural Today and a previous radio show host on VoiceAmerica.

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