Being from the Canada, we’re used to long, cold, bitterly bone-chilling and bone-chillingly bitter winters. But hibernating for 4-5 months does allow one an opportunity to take a long hard look at all their stuff – what you need, what you can rid yourself of, and what you can donate.
For my wife and I, decluttering isn’t that hard because we’ve been doing it year after year since we’ve owned a home. To be fair, we don’t have kids so that’s part of a bigger decluttering puzzle we don’t have to solve; however, there are people who do have kids that manage to keep a decluttered home, so having kids shouldn’t be your excuse.
If you’re organized, clutter usually isn’t an issue. And if you keep the clutter to a minimum, you can often stay organized!
Okay, this is going to be painful at first, especially for those hoarders out there, but hopefully you’ll come to the realization that it won’t kill you either. So here it is, our 4-PART plan to help you part with stuff:
4-PART Decluttering Tips:
- Pick a place to start. If you’re even the tiniest bit freaked out by the thought of getting rid of stuff, then start small. Closets or kitchen drawers are often a great place because you can organize them in under an hour and reduce a lot of clutter. There’s less sentimental value with clothing and kitchen wares as well. If you start with a living room shelf, you may find yourself hanging on to stuff that has some sort of story or emotion attached to them.
- Assess. Do you really need 6 knife/carving sets? Is that cracked wooden spoon WAY at the back even being used anymore with the 3 others you found at the front of the drawer? Empty out a drawer and start with broken or past-prime items. Then move on to duplicate items, and from there, utilization. If you haven’t used it in over a year, chances are you’re not going to use it this year. Besides, your neighbor probably has one, borrow theirs next time you need it!
- Repeat. If you picked the kitchen drawers as your decluttering starting point and got those done in a jiffy, do the cupboards next, then storage closets or other “storage” areas. Often the case with clutter is a result of not having places to store things, and before buying new storage containers or shelving units, try evaluating the space you have first.
- Toss. And by toss I don’t mean to toss it in the garbage right away. Toss it in a “donation” box, or toss it in a “yard sale” box, or toss it into a “garbage” box, but don’t “toss” it just yet. Wait. Give yourself a week or two without those things you tossed. If you haven’t needed them, chances are you won’t need them going forward. And after you’ve waited, go over all the things you tossed and decide if you want to throw it away, donate it, or try to sell it at a yard sale or online.
These decluttering tips are a great way for you to ease yourself into this minimalist lifestyle. If you follow these decluttering tips but still find you need some form of extra storage, opt for bins or shelves with resale value so when you declutter again in a few months you can sell those bins/shelves you no longer need.
You don’t have to break the bank when it comes to storage, but opt for some simple eye-pleasing storage baskets – or if need be – some heavy-duty storage bins for larger items. We like the former for storage areas like bookshelves, and the latter because you can stack your stored stuff.
Don’t get us wrong, having less is WAY better than storing extra stuff, but everyone’s situation and comfort levels are different.
So, have you followed this 4-PART plan of decluttering tips? Do you have some decluttering tips of your own? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Now go sell all your stuff and declutter your home!