How to Declutter Your Home Like a Pro
Pursuing your dreams and focusing on the things that matter most to you can be difficult when there’s too much clutter in your life. Getting started with de-cluttering can be the most challenging part of any big project. And if your entire home is disorganized and full of stuff, it can feel even more daunting. While you might think an extra box in a basement or bedroom isn’t a big deal, a study from St. Lawrence University found that a cluttered bedroom and a poor night’s sleep go hand in hand. Whether you struggle with organizing your home or simply owning too much stuff, decluttering will help you regain valuable space and peace of mind.
Follow these pro tips, and you’ll soon have a more peaceful, functional, and enjoyable home:
Making a plan
Without jumping right into decluttering, list the rooms or areas, you want to organize before a specific date. Give yourself a deadline on each room, but don’t make the schedule too tight. Putting together a rigid plan is a surefire way to get behind on decluttering and abandon it altogether.
Starting with one room
Get to work on the first room on your list — and only that room. Clutter can be intimidating, so it’s crucial to avoid tackling multiple rooms simultaneously. No matter how grand your decluttering plans might be, going at it inchmeal will give you gratification every time you finish up a room. Once smaller decluttering wins are completed, you’ll feel much more encouraged to tackle larger spaces.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Only you know your attention span and your tolerance for mess. Start small if you’re just starting this decluttering thing, or it’s been a hot minute since you sorted things in your house. If you can’t carve out the time to declutter a room all at once, don’t start it. Jumping back into a half-cleaned room and picking up where you left off is more complicated than it sounds. Don’t rush the process; it takes time, but it’s worth it.
Clearing out the finished room
It can be tempting to start sorting items – don’t! Simply remove them and put them aside until later. Plus, seeing the space empty and open can help spark ideas for how to organize it later.
Freshening Up Your Space
Now that you’ve got all the stuff out of the room and are looking at the space empty, it’s time to rethink the room and the items taken out altogether.
Cleaning after decluttering
Decluttering often reveals all the essential cleaning that needs to be done. First and foremost, get rid of all the dirt, dust, grime, and cobwebs from every room corner. Disorganization and dirtiness go hand-in-hand, so make sure your space is squeaky clean before you move on to the next step. And what about those hard-to-clean items you’ve been avoiding?
For example, most people regularly wash their pillowcases but don’t wash the actual pillow underneath. You probably don’t want dirt, oils, sweat, bacteria, mold, and saliva from your pillow near your face while sleeping. Toss pillows in the washer on a gentle cycle, using a very small amount of detergent. Add tennis balls to the dryer, so the filling doesn’t get clumped.
Coffee makers are another neglected item. An NSF International Household Germ Study found that 50% of the sampled reservoirs in coffee makers contained mold or yeast. The NSF also found yeast, mold, and even staph on computer keyboards, remote controls, and video game controllers in 22 households. Icemakers are another often neglected item.
Chlorine bleach is a widely used and cost-effective way to disinfect and sanitize your ice maker. Start by dumping any ice, replace the filter, and run through a few ice cycles before use. Decluttering often reveals all the essential cleaning needed, so you might even consider hiring a professional cleaning service to help you with the process.
Renovating the room for a fresh start
This is your chance for a fresh start! With the space now empty, use your creativity to spruce it up. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint, a new color scheme, or even re-positioning shelves, now you can bring new life to every room.
Sorting Out Your Stuff
It’s time for the most satisfying part of your decluttering project. With the pile of items pulled out of closets, drawers, and corners of the room right in front of you, figure out what to get rid of, what to keep, and where everything will go. Some things will be easy to let go of, while others will be more challenging.
If you’re unsure whether to get rid of an item, ask yourself: Have I used this in the past year?” Does it have sentimental value? Does it still work? If you answer no to all three, it’s time to sell, recycle, donate or throw it out. Get rid of these six items of clutter in your home once and for all:
- Anything you don’t use. Okay, this one might go without saying, but any clothes, gadgets, or household items you haven’t used within the last year should be tossed or donated to someone who will.
- Needless packaging. If you’re not a serious collector and still save shoe boxes, original packaging for gadgets, or DVD and CD cases, you’d save a ton of space by getting rid of the extra boxes.
- Extra household items. Where does the old one go when you replace items in your home, especially gadgets like computers, phones, and TVs? Usually stashed somewhere “just in case,” right? But those obsolete castoffs can pile up. Now is the time to get rid of those dusty doubles.
- Outdated furniture. Use your decluttering initiative to eliminate furniture that no longer serves a purpose. If your TV now mounts to a wall, chuck the clunky stand. Old desktop computers are often replaced with laptops and tablets, so ditching that old computer desk will free up some much-needed space. Or, if you’re feeling crafty, make the old new again by repurposing furniture to suit your clutter-free lifestyle better!
- Expired toiletries. Cleaning your fridge and pantry should be a routine, but what about your medicine cabinet? Toss expired medications, or take them to medication drop-off sites. Also, check any toiletries like skincare, makeup, or hair potions for expiration dates.Anything kept out of guilt. Admit it, you’ve received your share of gifts over the years you don’t use, don’t fit into, or just don’t like. Yet, throwing them out makes you feel bad, so they’re usually stuck in the back of a closet, taking up space. But look at it this way, it’s not the gift itself that matters, it’s the act of giving. So with that attitude, you can donate that chicken-shaped gravy boat without a second thought!
Practicing sustainable decluttering
Donate unwanted items to organizations that make a difference in your community; you can let go without the guilt, knowing that someone will use the items that have been cluttering your space for too long. Donations can even be deducted from your taxes. But, avoid junking up charities and wasting their resources on stuff that’s simply not worth donating. Instead, hire a hauling service to remove textiles, metal scraps, hazardous waste, old electronics, etc.
Organizing and grouping items you want to keep
You’ve hemmed and hawed and finally decided what you’re keeping. Now, pair similar things together: outdoor gear, vases, jackets, batteries, shoes, art materials — the list goes on. It can be helpful to make piles on the floor to see how much of each category you have.
Reorganizing your belongings
This step may involve shopping for containers, baskets, buckets, or hangers to hold and display your sorted items. Resist the temptation to buy this stuff early in the project – if you buy too much storage material, you’ll be more likely to store things you should’ve gotten rid of while decluttering.
Putting away the things you’re keeping.
It’s time for the most satisfying part of the project and where the magic happens. Put the least used items up high or in the back. Make sure the things you always use are front and center and at your fingertips. Add labels to storage containers and shelf spaces to ensure everything stays organized and easy to find in the future.
Remember, the less clutter you have in your life, the more space you have to pursue your dreams. With a little determination and a vision of the home you want, you can declutter your space like a pro. Once you finish the de-cluttering steps mentioned above, your only job is to do your best to keep everything clean and organized moving forward. A professional cleaning service like Clean Nation Company can help keep your home clean and tidy.
Our cleaning pros can handle the cleaning so you can take care of your family and have the time to enjoy the things you love. We offer multiple cleaning service options, including weekly (the most popular), every other week, once a month, and one-time deep cleans. Our quality services are 100% guaranteed; if there’s an area we’ve missed, call us within 24 hours, and we will take care of it. All our cleaners are background checked, bonded, and insured.
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