Do you feel like your ‘stuff’ is invading your life? If you’re like most people, your home certainly contains more items than you need or want, yet you may feel overwhelmed by the thought of getting rid of it. This is completely normal, especially if you have been in the habit of hoarding things (even on a small scale) for many years. But don’t worry, as it’s perfectly possible to change those old habits, and with a bit of practice, clearing clutter will become second nature. Here are some tips to get started with.
1. Start Small
First of all, it’s important to start small. Many people continue to live with clutter for years on end because they look at all the stuff that surrounds them and feel completely paralyzed by the amount of work that needs to be done.
The best way to overcome this feeling of stockiness is to commit yourself to clear, just a tiny bit of clutter each day, even if it does not make much difference. There are two ways to approach this: you can either sort out a small space (for example, a small drawer, or part of a shelf) or spend a certain amount of time each day (such as five or 10 minutes to begin with).
The key thing here is to be consistent and do a little bit each day. After a week or two of doing this, you will be building a healthy new habit, and it will become much easier to clear larger areas at a time.
2. Take Photos
Many folks accumulate way too many possessions because they hold onto lots of items that have sentimental value. While this is understandable, it can get out of hand very quickly (especially if you’re keeping every little scribble your child produces or every dried-up old flower that your partner ever gave you!). While there will be some special items that you’ll never want to part with, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably realize that most of your ‘keepsakes’ are simply not that extra-special.
Thanks to technology, nowadays, you can store all your memories in the cloud! Simply, snap some photos of all of those sentimental items (that you know that you would be better off without) and save them on any photo app! This way, you can kill two birds with one stone – you’ll always have a reminder of those unique souvenirs, and they’ll no longer be taking up valuable space in your home and collecting dust.
3. One In, One Out
It’s all very well to be clearing clutter out of your home, but if you are continually bringing in new stuff, you will not make much progress forward. So, one of the most vital steps to creating a home with no more clutter is to stop bringing more stuff in – or rather, to ensure that less thing comes in than goes out.
Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to establish a rule that you will get rid of one thing you do not need to want for every new item you bring into your home. So, if you buy a new book, sell, donate an old one, and so on, make space for it.
Getting into this habit will not only help you to stop accumulating excess but can probably help you save some bucks as well! You’ll become more conscious of your purchases and be more likely to ask yourself whether or not you really need something before buying it.
4. Store It Out of Sight
When you start on your journey to becoming clutter-free, some things are super easy to remove, and you can toss these aside without a second thought. However, there are always those items that you know deep down that you don’t really need or want, but you still find it very hard to let go of – whether it’s that beautiful drawing you made years ago when you were in school or that very first bag you bought with your pocket money!
With stuff like this, one of the best things you can do to persuade yourself that it’s not really a necessary part of your life is to box it up and store it out of sight (such as in a garage or attic) for six months. Put all these items into a box and agree with yourself that if you don’t take them out and use them within six months, you’ll donate the box to charity without even opening it.
It is much easier to get rid of stuff when it’s evident that it’s not serving any practical purpose and just sitting there, taking up a lot of space.
5. Donate or Sell It
Many people are reluctant to get rid of clutter because they feel that it’s wasteful to throw things away. The good news is that unless your stuff is outright junk, you can clear clutter without throwing that much away at all! If the things that you’re getting rid of are in decent condition, there are several options open to you that do not involve chucking them in the bin.
Sell them! Try listing them on eBay or other auction sites. Numerous items can be sold second-hand through Amazon’s marketplace (not just books). If you have a lot of book clutter, there are many other sites in addition to Amazon, where you can sell or trade second-hand books online. Don’t forget any second-hand bookstores in your area that might take some of them off your hands. You could also try selling many items through the classified ads in your local newspaper or shops. Either way, there’ s always some money to be made out of your mess!
If you don’t want to go for the selling option, you could always donate them to a charity shop, or list them on sites like FreeCycle to help others! For many people, it’ s easier to discard certain objects when they know that they’ll find a new life with someone else.
Follow these tips, and you will soon be enjoying a shiny new clutter-free home! Have you been hoarding clutters for years and need some help to get rid of all of them? Don’t worry! Families In Need/Caring Transitions of South Florida is here to lend a helping hand!