I blogged about moving into my new apartment a few weeks ago, and how the d-word (“decorating”) gave me shivers. But in the move and subsequent unpacking and rearranging of all of my worldly possessions, I’ve come to find another d-word just as, if not more, menacing: decluttering.
A lot of people save their big decluttering project for Spring Cleaning, but as I’ve learned, cleaning out and cleaning up should not be a seasonal thing. With this move, I’ve been forced to acknowledge that I have too much…STUFF. Not keepsakes or furniture, but just…stuff, for lack of a better word. I can’t tell you where it all came from but it’s there and it needs to go.
To that end, I’ve been forcing myself to learn a lot about the art of decluttering, for better or worse. Here are four of my favorite tips and tricks for making your house more organized and life more managable:
- Don’t Get Emotional–I swear, my memory box has been full for as long as I can remember, but going through it a month ago, I found myself wondering why I had saved a lot of it in the first place. I’m not saying that you should get rid of your grandma’s hand-me-downs, but if you’re a hoarder of postcards, stickers, or cute things, make sure to give them a second look. If you can’t remember why you saved it in the first place, toss it.
- Give Yourself Time–So you decided to toss it, but wait! Don’t throw it in the garbage right away. Hold on to it for a month in an out of the way place where you can’t see or think about it. If at the end of that month you haven’t found yourself wanting it, then throw it out. I’ve found that this works well with clothes; I can look at my dresser drawers and mentally think about what to donate, but physically removing it from my dresser helps when it comes time to cut the cord.
- Make Money–Donation is great, and I’m a huge fan of donating old clothes and needed items to charities. But if you’re like me and have a ton of books, knickknacks, and old appliances, think about having a stoop sale. A stoop sale is always a great occasion for neighborly interactions, and if you feel like you may be able to get something in return for your old possessions, it makes it easier to get rid of.
- Consolidate–So now you’ve sold all your old stuff and made a little money. Don’t buy more stuff! Have a goal in mind of one big purchase you’d like to make–a new couch, a new TV, a new car–and put all the money towards it. That way, you wont be cluttering up your new decluttered space, and you’ll have something new to show for it!
What are your tips for getting rid of clutter?