Having a messy, cluttered house can feel overwhelming, not to mention it’s unhealthy. It can be hard to get your thoughts straight or even decide where to begin, but once you notice it, it’s hard to stop. We have all felt that stress at one time or another, but there are steps that you can take to tidy up and make your home the relaxing and useful space that it is meant to be.
What is decluttering?
Many people are confused about decluttering. It comes down to a couple of basic principles: tidying and cleaning. As My Joyful Space explains, understanding the difference between cleaning and tidying will be a huge help to getting your home back in order.
Cleaning is regular maintenance for your home’s function that never ends, like sweeping floors and scrubbing bathtubs. Tidying, on the other hand, is an intentional act of keeping the things you like and use; everything else is thanked for its service and sent on its way.
Put everything where it now belongs
When you go through everything, there might be times your house feels more cluttered than when you began. That’s okay! One way to help this perception is to get rid of the items you’ve let go.
For those items you’re ready to part ways with, consider allowing them one final act of service by making a few bucks with them. PopSci notes you can sell them with handy apps, then put the money you earn toward better organizing your space. Another option is to donate items that are in good shape. Either way, it will be easier to let items go when you know they will go to good use in the future.
If you have a lot of trash or large items to get rid of, consider finding a junk hauler. They will provide the space and transport to get rid of the old basement couch or decades-old bills that we all find when we do these projects. It’s a great resource, and some companies may help you move the items out of the house as well!
Old clothes have got to go
Looking for a starting point? Since we grow in and out of clothes and we use them so much, we are usually less attached to our clothing than jewelry or momentos, for example. That makes clothing a great place to start your tidying adventure.
Get out all of your clothes and think about them. When was the last time you wore it? Is it something you feel the need to adjust constantly? Everything that makes you uncomfortable should be put aside to be gotten rid of.
Have fun with this phase! Put on some music and turn it into a fashion show with your kids, or let your friends choose items they may enjoy. Either way, you’ll have more closet and dresser space, and that sense of accomplishment will help you keep going.
Keep the process moving
Either by categories or by room, continue going through your belongings and keeping only those that make you happy. It can be hard to let some items go, so set them in a third pile to decide on after thinking it over. Just be sure to come back to those items in a timely manner, or else they will end up just as they started: unused and taking up space.
Again, find ways to make it fun: kids have a great time playing games like matching items, dunking them in baskets, and more, while adults can promise themselves a reward after doing another room. Treat yourself for your work and enjoy the open space you created!
In the end, you’ll be surrounded by things you love and use. Your house will have bouts of untidiness, but everything will have a home and be easy to put away again when you have time. No one is perfect, but tidied houses are easier to maintain and will make up the time you spent again and again.
Thank you to Jackie Waters of hyper-tidy for this great guest post.
Learn more on the Decluttering 101 Ultimate Guide page.
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