You know that lonely one plate that does not match any other crockery you own or those many tubs with NO lids? Decluttering is not always easy. You might feel emotionally attached to the stuff you are trying to purge or you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you need to sort through. Or you simply might find it exhausting to make decisions OR maybe you just a closet hoarder… whatever your specific case may be, this process can not only be therapeutic but also a major creation of space and clarity.
If you are ready for a clean slate and eager to sort through your home as quickly, easily, and painlessly as possible, today’s post will help! Here are some hacks, tips, and tricks to help make the decluttering process go more smoothly and efficiently.
Schedule it into your calendar:
If decluttering is something you are dreading or feels overwhelming, making time for this can be your best friend! Who gets excited to do something they dread? If this is something you know you need or want to do, you need to make it a priority and not put it off inevitably. The best way to do this is by scheduling time into your calendar. Treat it like any other appointment, hold yourself accountable and follow through. You don’t need much for this exercise. These tools make the process easier and help you avoid ending up with piles of stuff or a bigger mess than you started with.
Black garbage bag:
The garbage bag is for garbage (obviously). Having a garbage bag means you won’t end up with a messy pile of garbage to deal with once you are done and a black garbage bag is great because no one in your house can see through it and start second-guessing your decluttering decisions. Out of sight, out of mind!
Maybe or maybe not box:
A maybe box is like a decluttering safety net, allowing you to be more ruthless with your decisions, without fear of making a mistake or regret. However, if you’re one of those types who likes to keep things for “just in case you may use it in 2028”, then rather toss than treasure, this tip is also helpful when sorting through sentimental items. Going through a lost loved one’s possessions becomes a life review of the times you spent together, both good and not so good. Should I let this go or hold onto it for a while? This process is hard and can even require a different box labelled “Sentiments”. Remember there is no set time that you must begin or finish in this context. You may want to start with boxes of things in the garage or in a closet that have not seen the light of day in years, and you do not even remember what was in them. It is usually something that you can dispose of easily.
A box for donations also helps you avoid ending up with piles of things to deal with once you finish decluttering, which often feels like a bigger mess than before you started. Instead, deal with items you are getting rid of first and put them straight into the donation box.
This is also a way to feel like you are doing something for a cause. “Someone’s junk is another man’s treasure”. Donate to charities, hospice, homeless shelters, animal welfare, a local church, or local community. If an item is no longer needed or wanted in your home, it can still have value to someone else or fulfil a need they may have.
Many of our kids have simply too many toys – why not donate to an orphanage or your local community? Create a learning experience for your child and even make it a tradition every Christmas or birthday to bless another child less fortunate than themselves.
Pair decluttering with something you enjoy:
You can pair decluttering with something you enjoy so the process feels more enjoyable to you. For example, listen to your favourite podcast or an audiobook while you’re decluttering. Your favourite playlist can also help you through this process and make it more fun!
Be on the lookout:
As you are going about your “clean out” day, keep an eye out for anything you don’t use, need, or want to get rid of. Look for clutter as you are tidying up at the end of the day, doing laundry, cooking, etc., and instead of leaving it where it is, or putting it away to deal with later, get rid of it right then!
The Final Purge:
If you find a challenge thrilling, make decluttering a challenge like you would a diet or gym challenge:
7 days 7 rooms:
Family Room/Dining room.
Bathrooms (You know those empty conditioner bottles? Yes! you can throw those away).
Shelves/Open spaces/ bookshelves that have become a dumping ground for bits and bobs.
Take before and after pictures for your own enjoyment and feel that sense of accomplishment. Decluttering your home and taking care of the mess is a way to take better care of yourself.
“Decluttering is all about honouring who we are in the now. Often when we go through items and try to ‘make room,’ we get stuck in who we were in the past. This could show up as a hobby we’ve outgrown, a pair of pants that are less than flattering, or anything that doesn’t reflect our current wants or needs. By first checking in with ourselves and our goals, the decluttering process becomes as simple as, does this item honour my life right now?”
– Laura Kinsella, Professional Organizer
- Life, S., 2022. Decluttering Questions: Questions to help you declutter more effectively. [online] Simple Lionheart Life. Available at: <https://simplelionheartlife.com/decluttering-questions/> [Accessed 16 August 2022].
- Understanding Grief. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understanding-grief
- How to Declutter Your Home – The Complete Guide. Available at: https://www.budgetdumpster.com/resources/how-to-declutter-your-home.php