We’ve made it through the holidays and are well into the New Year. It’s a time for improving all areas of your life and completing new projects you’ve been putting off for months. One of those might be decluttering.

Joseph Ferrar, a professor at DePaul University, has studied the negative impact of people’s stuff. He says, “The more you have, the less happy you tend to be and the less life satisfaction people report.”*

Decluttering your home may seem like a monumental task but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of thinking of it as a complete blitz of your home, dividing it up into bite-sized chunks can have big results. The following are some steps to making decluttering easier.

Begin by Choosing One Small Area to Work On

It can be one room, one closet or even one drawer. Small areas will give you a quick win. This will help you build momentum and keep you motivated. Plan to spend thirty minutes to a couple of hours. And don’t forget to account for much-needed coffee breaks. Take a picture of the space you’re planning to declutter. Your perspective changes when looking at the space through a lens and it will provide a satisfying before and after.

Sort Items into Three Piles: Keep, Donate, and Toss

Deciding what to keep. Decluttering isn’t just about throwing items away. It’s about looking for opportunities to organize everything you want to keep. With every item you’re considering, decide if it’s meaningful or useful. Those are the keepers, and once you’ve decided what stays, you’ll need to find a place to put them. Kitchen worktops and bedside tables are examples of areas that frequently get cluttered. Use a decorative basket or bowl for accessories you want quick access to such as keys and phone chargers. Place your toiletries in a box in a drawer once you’ve finished using them so they don’t crowd your surfaces. Think, “Everything has a spot where it lives.”

Deciding what to toss. This is the easy one. Items that are outdated, broken, or no longer working should be discarded. Be sure to discard these items in the proper receptacle, either trash or recycle.

Deciding what to donate. Letting go of things, even if you no longer need or use them, can be tough. Some objects may be associated with good memories. You may believe some items are valuable or want to pass them on to the next generation.

Consider having a conversation with those you want to pass items down to and ask if they actually want the item. Of course you have to be OK with them saying no. Many of us fall prey to hanging on to items that have outgrown their utility, especially more sentimental belongings. But you don’t have to part with everything. Create a memory box with your favorite things and donate the others.

Get rid of items quickly. Clearing the clutter is all well and good, but don’t let the sorted items pile up again. Once you’re done your organizing, bag the items being discarded and place in the proper receptacle. Box or bag the items being donated and don’t procrastinate taking them to the donation center. Don’t put this off or you may find the items migrating back into those tidy drawers and shelves.

Utilize Storage Solutions    

Go through each room to decide what can be stored away, including books, electronics, clothes, shoes, bedding, towels and toys. You’ll likely find underutilized space under sinks, stairs, beds and in kitchen or bathroom cupboards. Make use of every nook and cranny. Smart storage doesn’t mean everything has to be hidden away. To maintain a clean look, utilize stackable drawers and attractive baskets and boxes. 

Final Thoughts

Candace Gorgen, professional organizer and founder of I Organize You says, “Start decluttering by tackling one area at a time, like a specific room or category. Ask yourself if each item brings value or joy, and be willing to let go of things you no longer need.” Follow her advice and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and be able to appreciate the benefits of a decluttered home. And if you’d like to work with Candace, visit her website – www.iorganizeyou.co/ – or email her directly!

Contact the Donnelly Group

Decluttering and simplifying your life is always a good idea, but especially if you are considering selling your home. Decluttering makes rooms and spaces seem bigger, and potential homebuyers will be turned off by a mess! If you are considering listing your home for sale, call the Donnelly Group today at 480-792-9700Contact our team today; we will help you through the entire sales process with more hints, tips, and expertise to help you get the very best price for your home.

* https://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2021/simple-decluttering-and-organization-tips.html