A study by Sparefoot shows that 47% of Americans can’t park their cars in their garage because of their overflowing belongings. That’s a lot of stuff. If you’re among those people and want to start decluttering, then let the folks over at Seattle Sparkle help you with this handy guide.
Have a Vision
Remember why you want to declutter in the first place. What you keep and what you throw or give away will depend on this. Are you moving to a smaller home, embracing a minimalist aesthetic, or simply want less stuff to deal with? Whatever the reason, you need to keep it in mind as you declutter. If you begin decluttering on a whim with no end goal, you may lose steam halfway through. Or worse – find the clutter creeping back into your home.
Start With the Simple
Don’t worry about cleaning up the stuff that you’re really attached to just yet. You can start with the easy stuff, like trinkets or things that were given to you that you just don’t like. Look at the clothes that no longer fit, the books that you will never read, the cords and chargers that don’t work anymore, and the like. If you start getting rid of the things that you should obviously give or throw away, it will give you momentum and inspiration.
Break It Down
To make things easier for you, you should break down the decluttering process into smaller parts. You can decide to remove your clutter room by room or object by object. For example, rooms like basements and attics can be tackled on their own, while others – like the living and dining rooms – tend to blend together. For those rooms, you can choose to declutter it in sections so that you are not overwhelmed by the task at hand.
Be Mindful of Your Decisions
When you declutter, don’t throw away items just for the sake of reducing your material possessions. Give each item some careful consideration, especially if you don’t want to find yourself replacing it with newer stuff in the future. On the flip side, don’t keep things for the wrong reasons.
When deciding whether or not to throw something away, ask yourself these questions as a guide:
- How long has it been since I last used this?
- Is it still useful to me?
- Is it still working?
- How many of this thing do I have? How many do I need?
- Am I keeping this out of guilt?
- Does it have a purpose, other than looking nice?
- Will I be tired of this in six months?
- Do I like it?
- Do I need it?
Dispose of Things Responsibly
Just because you want to get rid of some of your things doesn’t automatically make them trash. Remember to dispose of your clutter wisely and responsibly. Sell, give away, or donate anything that could still be useful, like furniture or items of clothing. Recycle whatever can still be recycled. Only throw away things that are clearly trash items and things that are no longer usable.
Decluttering is a complicated, often challenging, but ultimately rewarding task. Make sure that you keep this simple guide in mind as you dive into and sort out your clutter.