Clutter can become a huge problem in any home or office for that matter. It can also bring upon stress. A house never looks or feels fully clean when it is loaded with clutter. You can easily become overwhelmed with all that is around you which brings a sense of unmotivation.
It is fact that both people and animals operate better in an open spaced home free of clutter. Not to mention, it is easier to make a home look clean when things are not shoved in every cabinet, drawer, and corner. Procrastination is something that also comes with clutter because there is just so much to do. However, if you set up a plan and stick to it, you can be clutter free for good!
When you first start the process, it will take some time. It may even take a few weeks to get it all tackled. It all depends on what you have and how much you need to go through. My suggestion is tackling at least one room each weekend until the home is done.
Another way is to spend some vacation time going through the house. This is what my husband and I recently did. Dumpster rentals are not all that expensive. Sometimes that is a very quick and easy way to get rid of it immediately.
Once your home is free of clutter, you will feel much more relaxed. Here are some of my tips for beginning the process along with keeping up with it.
If you have not used it in a year, throw it out. This applies to most items with the exception of big ticket things such as saws, sewing machines etc. If the item has value, consider selling or donating it. There are plenty of marketplaces on social media and the internet that you can sell items locally.
Consider donating or selling clothes you have not been wearing. There is no need to keep clothes that you have not touched all season no matter how much you like them. If you have not worn it in a year, get rid of it. Do the same for your kid’s clothes.
Go through each and every room from top to bottom. Go under beds, through drawers, cabinets, clothes and so on. Start tossing things you no longer use. As you empty an area, clean it real good and arrange things to make them look nice again.
Invest in shelving, tubs, or whatever is needed to keep items in a proper place and in a certain area. If you start running out of space in the room, consider tossing more. There are all kinds of nice little shelving units that will help make a room look neat and organized. They can also hold quite a bit. Find a place for everything and intend on keeping it there.
Plastic tubs that are all the same size work great for garage storage. You can stack them and label them for easy access. It keeps a garage looking neat and tidy.
Do not miss the little things. Be sure hit every detail including things such as your purse. Do not forget the car too!
Do not let the items you are selling or giving away accumulate somewhere. Make it a point to put them up right away or get rid of them. You do not want a pile of junk sitting in a corner somewhere that takes up space. Like I stated before, a dumpster rental is a great way to knock it out quickly. A free sign in the front yard works well too. It will at least reduce the accumulation until the trash man arrives.
Limit what you hang on to. Memories are a wonderful thing to have. However, too many of them can accumulate. Space is just as important. My rule here is to have two tubs of things we want to keep that have sentimental value. If I want to add to it, I throw something away. This goes with anything that you wish to hang on to.
Clean as you get rid of clutter. For instance, if you are cleaning out things under your bed, take that time to vacuum and get rid of the dust.
Stay clutter free
One way to keep up with the clutter is make a clutter free schedule. I do my clutter projects during the following time frames:
Early Spring: this is a time when it is still a little too cold to get yard work done and there are not many days to spend outdoors. We have been inside all season and have accumulated a lot of added junk.
Fall: winter is arriving and I am bringing all the fall stuff inside. In order to prepare for the winter months of being inside, I clean and make space for indoor activities.
After Christmas: We all end up with new gifts and gadgets after the holidays. Not too mention, the ornaments and decor laying around the house. You couple that with sales and purchases and you can have quite a bit of new stuff! When we add new stuff in the mix, we choose to take some of the old stuff out.
It is easy to also get your whole family involved in keeping clutter out. My older children love making an extra buck or two off of their unwanted toys and clothes. Hubby and I always enjoy working together to get the mess out of the way. Make it a family event. You will be surprised at how much your children are willing to part with if they know they are getting some money in return.
At the end of the day, stuff is just that. It is not as important as our space and keeping a clean and relaxing home. All of us enjoy getting new things and hanging on to them, but we put little effort in what we are getting rid of in order to fit it. Start thinking about that before you enter into a new purchase. What will you be getting rid of to make space for the new? If you keep up with this mindset and keep up with a clutter free schedule, things will get much easier. You will enjoy keeping things clean, you will be more relaxed, and more motivated to get things done.
*thank you to Samantha Gades @ Unsplash for the cover photo