If you’ve lived in your current home for a fair amount of time, the chances are that you’re no stranger to the problem of clutter accumulating throughout your rooms and closets as you go about your daily activities.
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Many people who have never gotten into the habit of decluttering on a regular basis are quite surprised by how constricted their living space is when the mess becomes too big to ignore. If you are at this point, the very thought of cleaning and organizing your home may seem like a necessary but highly burdensome task. Fortunately, with help from the following 20 tips for decluttering your living space in an easy and timely manner, you can soon be on the path to making your home seem so much larger and more welcoming.
1. Remove Rarely Worn Or Never-Worn Clothes From Your Wardrobe
Take a good look at all of the clothing in your wardrobe, and weed out the pieces that you have either never worn or have not worn in at least a year. Donate items in good condition to charity.
2. Concentrate On Cleaning One Counter-Top Or Surface Space
If you have cluttered counter-tops or table surfaces, tackle them by focusing on one area at a time. Seeing how nice one clean surface looks will inspire you to start working on the others in short order.
3. Invest In Some File Folders For Your Paperwork
Paperwork is one of the biggest culprits for clutter in many households. Start the process of organizing your papers by going to an office supply store and investing in some color-coded file folders that fit easily into a cabinet, closet or drawer.
4. Separate Your Papers Into Designated Folders
Once you have purchased your file folders, start separating your important papers into categories – incoming mail, bills that need to be paid, important documents and sentimental cards or letters. Pitch any junk mail and outdated paperwork into the trash.
5. Take Expired Items Out Of Your Medicine Cabinet
Although you might use a number of items in your medicine cabinet on a daily basis, chances are that you have some expired medications, beauty supplies or personal care products lurking in the back. Remove them and then dispose of them.
6. Sort Out Your Messiest Drawer
Begin decluttering the drawers in your home by starting out with the messiest one and working your way down to the least crowded ones. Place partitioned drawer organizers inside as many drawers as you can in order to keep miscellaneous contents tidy.
7. Declutter One Shelf At A Time
If your shelves are overloaded with books, magazines, music and video collections or similar types of clutter, this can easily give your living space a messy appearance. Tidy these shelves one at a time, taking care to stack items neatly.
8. Resolve To Keep One Area Uncluttered At All Times
One strong motivator for decluttering your home is a room or area that has thus far remained in orderly condition. Strive to always maintain at least one clean area, and visit that space whenever you need encouragement to declutter overall.
9. Find A Spot For Five Items
In order to make decluttering fun, try playing a game in which you pick five items at random and then find a proper location for each one. Keep working in groups of five until your home is organized.
10. Set Aside A Box For Items That Cause Indecision
Sometimes, you can’t decide on the spot if you want to discard or keep a certain item. Have a box on hand for these “maybe” items to be placed in until you are finished decluttering your living space.
11. Take Charity Donations Straight Out To Your Car
If you routinely bag items for charity yet delay the actual delivery of the goods, those bags can accumulate within your household quickly. Eliminate this source of clutter by taking newly packed bags out to your car right away.
12. Motivate Yourself By Imagining A Clean Room
The power of visualization can go a long way in helping you begin the decluttering process. Take a few moments to imagine what your home will look like once it is cleared of excess debris.
13. Enlist The Support Of Family Or Roommates
Clearing out your living space can be hard if you live with people who are not on the same page. Talk to your family members or roommates about why you want to declutter, and ask for their support and help.
14. Designate A Day To Start Decluttering
Ease into the process of reducing clutter by choosing a day in advance that works well for beginning the project. Designate a day in which you have plenty of free time to focus on tidying your home.
15. Make A Schedule For Tackling Each Task
If you have a great deal of decluttering to do, write out a schedule for which rooms or areas that you plan to address each day. Aim to stick to your schedule as closely as you can.
16. Clean In Five-Minute Bursts
Having a short attention span need not keep you from decluttering effectively. Try working in five-minute bursts with a five-minute break scheduled in-between each cleaning session. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
17. Stick Trash Into Trash Bags Right Away
Ensure that trash does not get overlooked as you clean your living space by depositing it into trash bags as soon as you encounter it. Keep a few bags on hand, and dispose of them when full.
18. Play A Numbers Game
Another game that you can play while decluttering involves sorting things by number. Choose a number, such as eight, and then remove eight items of clothing, eight old books and so on from your living environment.
19. Divide Seasonal Items Into Storage Bins
Although you probably have decorations for seasons and holidays stored in your home, it is not necessary for these items to lie around throughout the year. Divide them into individually marked storage bins, and keep them in one organized place.
20. Take Time To Appreciate Your Newly Clean Living Space
When you have finished decluttering, pat yourself on the back for your hard work, and spend some time looking around your now-clean living space. Appreciate it for its functionality, and resolve to maintain its state going forward.
Whichever of these decluttering strategies that you choose to implement, remember to be patient, stay calm and refrain from getting discouraged as you work. It may seem as though you will never make a dent in the clutter, but if you remain focused and encouraged, you will soon have a clean, inviting and efficient living space to enjoy.
Keep the above tips in mind for the future in case a bit of clutter starts to collect again; you can then take care of it promptly.