Many times people wonder how they can declutter and organize everything they own – especially when they may have an entire “lifetime of stuff”.
The most difficult part in decluttering and organizing things of course is deciding which items are truly absolutely necessary to have. Many times we hold onto things for sentimental value or because we may feel like items may be needed some day.
While it’s not easy to decide to let go of something, often times after we get rid of things we are no longer using and enjoying it can help create the space for the things we DO love and enjoy!
Declutter Your Home Room By Room
Usually we don’t even know how much stuff we have until we try to clean it out and declutter our lives!
The #1 most important thing when decluttering is to make sure that you break it down into small and manageable pieces. Don’t expect to clear out your entire home in just one day. It took time to get all that stuff, so it’s naturally going to take some time to sort through it and decide what to do with it!
Step 1: Decide on a Plan of Attack
Most people simply need a plan to get started. It can be VERY overwhelming to look at a ton of different things in a room and have no idea even where to begin. If you have a plan, it can help guide you to stay on track.
Many people find it useful to give themselves a weekly goal. For example, when my father was decluttering his basement, his rule was to have at least one trash bag of stuff per week to get rid of.
This worked very well for him, and after about 6 weeks he was impressed with how much he was able to get done in a relatively short amount of time.
Every person is unique, so the most important thing is that you decide on a plan and system that works best for you. Many people find that books and programs like the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up can be very helpful.
Other people may need a bit more structure and one-on-one help. In these cases, a professional organizer may be a good choice for you.
Step 2: What Will You Do With Most of The Stuff?
When you have items you don’t want, the first thing to think about is what you are going to do with it. Are you going to hire someone to take it? Sell it? Donate it? Recycle it?
Many people will do a combination of all of these, and for others they may just be happy to hire one person to do all the work to remove items for them.
Pro Tip: If you have older items you want to get rid of, it’s probably a good idea to make sure they aren’t a collector’s item first. Many people are shocked to learn things like old magazines, post cards and even matchbooks can be rare and valuable items to collectors.
Step 3: Decide How and Where to Store Things You Do Want
It’s very important that if you are going to keep something, you take care of it and properly store it!
As I told one person who wanted to keep all of his sports memorabilia from childhood, this is perfectly fine to keep these sentimental items, but if we are going to keep them, then we need to store it properly so it does not get ruined!
Most things that have collectors or sentimental value need proper care and preservation, especially if they are family heirlooms. These materials often need special archival quality materials for preservation because it can be damaged by the elements such as sunlight, moisture, or extreme temperatures.
When you start to declutter, you will definitely begin to feel more relaxed, lighter and happy. Best of all, you will find that you have all sorts of space where you live that you may have not been able to enjoy as much before!
Getting rid of things and letting go can be tough, but it is the first step in helping you have a happy and enjoyable life.
Do you have any tips for decluttering and getting organized that worked well for you? Share your tips and experiences in the comments section below!