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Embarking on a decluttering journey may feel like a no-brainer; after all, it’s all about tidying up, right? However, a deeper dive reveals that it isn’t always as simple as tossing things out. It’s more about understanding what items serve us and what items weigh us down. This comprehensive guide filled with essential decluttering tips is designed to provide you with valuable insights into making this process as seamless as possible. From handling sentimental items and old prescriptions to tackling some of the more daunting decluttering dilemmas, we’ve got you covered.
Decluttering Tips & Your Top Decluttering Questions Answered
Always Ask Yourself This Decluttering Question
The biggest decluttering tip is to learn the golden rule. Ask yourself and understand the one overarching question that will guide you throughout this journey. You need to consistently ask:
“Would I buy this again if it were in a store in its current condition?”
Whether you follow the principles of organizing gurus like Marie Kondo (asking “Does it spark joy?“) or prefer creating your own decluttering methods, this question forces us to evaluate an item’s usefulness and emotional value. Thereby, guiding us when dealing with every item during the decluttering process.
How Do I Handle Sentimental Items?
Dealing with sentimental items can be a significant roadblock in your decluttering journey. The golden rule question is an invaluable tool here. It allows you to determine if the emotional connection to the item is strong enough to justify keeping it. If the item brings you joy and you’d buy it again in its current state, it deserves a place in your home.
Sentimental items usually fall into two categories.
- Sentimental things you can’t bear to part with
- Sentimental things you want to get rid of but feel guilty doing so
I can’t bear to part with it.
If it’s a #1, you can’t bear to part with it, then this question allows you to keep that item. The dress I wore to my sons Christening falls into this category. I loved that dress and it’s sentimental to me. I’ll never fit into it again, but it is special to me. So I kept it. I would buy that dress again because of how it still makes me feel.
I feel so guilty if I get rid of this.
If the item falls into the 2nd categoryand you’re only keeping it because you’ll feel bad, then you have to put your big girl pants on and let it go.
I can assume that you’re holding on to it because someone gifted it to you or willed it to you. That person loved you and would not want you holding on to that thing if it is causing you strife.
Take A Picture of It
If you’re really on the fence with a sentimental item, consider taking a picture of it and keeping it an album or a frame. I actually started doing this because I officially left my hoarder tendencies behind. I know I can’t keep EVERY single keepsake, piece of artwork my kids make, or everything I made when I was a kid. So, I’ve been taking pictures of it so I can show my kids later one day and I won’t forget!
What Should I Do with Items That Can’t Be Thrown Away?
Some items in your home you can’t just throw away in the trash, creating a unique decluttering challenge.
- Almost empty paint cans
- Chemical-y stuff
- Old medicine/prescriptions
- Bulky items like furniture
Some of the things on this list you can toss. Some of the stuff on this list is ILLEGAL to toss. Research local waste management guidelines or recycling programs for disposing of such items correctly.
I Plan to Fix This Item Someday. Should I Keep It?
While the thought of repairing broken items may seem appealing, it often leads to unnecessary clutter. Instead of letting broken items linger and take up physical and mental space, make a definitive decision. If you’re unlikely to repair the item, consider disposing of it responsibly. Alternatively, you could consider creative repurposing, upcycling, or donating it to artists or organizations that can utilize it.
How Do I Handle the Items I’m Decluttering?
One of the crucial decluttering tips is to immediately deal with the items you’re removing from your space. Don’t allow them to pile up in your bedroom, basement, or anywhere else. So, if it’s getting donated, schedule a pick up or drive it to the donation place THE DAY YOU DECLUTTER. Am I loud and clear here? This is the biggest, secret problem of decluttering. Actually getting the stuff OUT of the house. And leaving it in the trunk of your car doesn’t count!
If you’re looking for a charity that will come pick up your junk, check out this article from My Move.
The Art of Purging
One crucial decluttering tip is learning the art of purging. It’s essential to let go of items that no longer serve a purpose or bring joy. And, don’t tackle it all at once. It’s a process that needs to be integrated into your routine. If you want to go through the WHOLE house in one big clean sweep, it’s probably going to take longer than a weekend. It’s a lot of work; especially if you aren’t keeping on top of things. So, regularly purge items from your space to maintain a clutter-free home.
Maintaining Momentum and Motivation
Decluttering is not just about the physical aspects; it also has profound impacts on your mental health. A clutter-free home can foster a sense of peace and order, reducing stress and enhancing productivity. Keep the decluttering momentum going by setting easy goals and rewarding yourself upon achieving them.
Decluttering Tips: Room-by-Room
Decluttering Your Living Room
Decluttering your living room can instantly create a more inviting atmosphere. Start with purging unnecessary items off your shelves and drawers. Consider using decorative bins or baskets to organize essentials like remotes, magazines, and blankets. Make sure every item has a ‘home,’ reducing the chances of clutter accumulating in the future.
Breathing Fresh Air into Your Closets
Closets can often become a dumping ground for anything and everything. Begin your closet decluttering process by taking everything out. Yes, everything! Then, sort items into ‘keep,’ ‘donate,’ and ‘discard’ piles. Only keep items you genuinely love and use.
Streamlining Your Bathroom
To declutter your bathroom, start by emptying all cabinets and drawers. Dispose of any expired products or makeup, and consider donating unopened items you don’t intend to use. Organize the remaining toiletries and accessories using drawer dividers and other clever storage solutions.
Decluttering Children’s Toys
Toys can easily overrun your space. Regularly review toys with your children and encourage them to donate those they no longer play with. Use clear storage containers for easy access and cleanup.
Keeping Your Laundry Room Tidy
Laundry rooms can often become cluttered with odds and ends. Keep this area tidy by installing shelves for detergents and other essentials. Consider hanging an over-the-door organizer for smaller items.
Organizing Your Mail
Mail can quickly pile up if not dealt with regularly. Establish a mail station with designated areas for incoming, outgoing, and important mail. Regularly recycle or shred old or unnecessary papers.
Tidying Up Your Attics and Other Storage Spaces
Attics and other storage spaces can become overwhelming if not regularly maintained. Try to organize items into clearly labeled bins for easy accessibility.
Your Journey Starts Here, Share It with Us!
So, are you ready to declutter with confidence? Now that we’ve unraveled some of the decluttering mysteries, it’s time for you to create a more harmonious home, free from unnecessary clutter. Start your journey today, and remember, simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.
Now we’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite decluttering tips? What challenges do you face when trying to declutter your home? Please leave a comment below and let’s keep the conversation going!
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