These top tips will have your space clean and organized in no time
The end of the year is a great time for reflection– it’s a time when we think about all our accomplishments, and how we set about tackling our goals. It also happens to be a fantastic time to declutter your space– whether you’re in a dorm, apartment, or house– and clear the way for new adventures to come!
Decluttering is easier said than done, however, and a lot of us have a hard time getting started– and sticking to the plan. We’re not saying you have to pack up everything and go minimalist, but we’re pretty sure there are some old items that you just simply don’t need or use anymore, and can be cleared away. Organizing is also one of those tough goals to get started with as well, as it takes planning and a desire to see those plans come to fruition if any progress is going to be made. Well, you’re in luck, because this article is packed with everything you need to know to get your home decluttered and organized and ready to start the new year off right!
Set Goals, and Stick to Them
Rome wasn’t built in a day
The first step to tackling any decluttering task is to lay out a set of goals you’d like to see yourself achieve for your space. If you’re unsure whether you can commit to following through with an entire house or apartment, then start with a room. If that’s too much, start with a drawer or a countertop. This isn’t a competition, so don’t worry about how long this might take you. You set goals for yourself and no one else! Remember, this doesn’t need to be an all-day task either, start small and work your way up to a time limit that feels comfortable to you.
First, survey your space, and see where your clutter tends to congregate. If it’s your room or kitchen, determine how long you think it will take you to declutter that space. This isn’t a race, so be realistic. Depending on the severity of the clutter– and how many drawers and cabinets are hiding even more clutter– this could be a long term project. It’s helpful to think of the decluttering process as just that, a process– and not something that will disappear instantaneously.
Although it may seem daunting at first, you are fully capable of decluttering your space! Image courtesy of Pxfuel.
Resist Organizing First, Decluttering Later
Don’t add any additional items to the clutter
In your excitement to declutter your space, sometimes you might feel inclined to pick up some helpful organizing bins, files, or other storage items. This will not only add to the clutter, but it can also increase your stress about decluttering when you find that maybe those baskets or bins don’t hold what you need them to hold. It’s better to start with a game plan to see what areas of your dorm, house, or apartment need to be decluttered first, and sticking with that.
Once that part of the process is complete, then you can start to research what storage containers will work for your space, and hold onto the stuff that you want to keep.
A Sorting System is Key
Pick a system that works with your clutter
After you know what rooms or areas you need to declutter, you need to develop a system to sort out what you keep, what you can get rid of, and what can be stored– such as seasonal items. One popular way to do this is the Three Box Method, that literally sorts the items into their appropriate destinations. As you assess your items, this requires a decision to be made– do you keep it, trash it, or store it? It helps to think of a couple of questions as you examine your things:
- Do I need it?
- Do I adore it?
- Would I trade my own inner peace for it?
When you think about that extra appliance or the box of unused clothes, these questions can help you make some serious decluttering decisions. Clothes are especially hard for people to get rid of, so another helpful way to declutter spaces like your closet is to try to abide by the 80/20 rule. Typically people only wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. So go through your closet and see which items fit into that category. This method can also be helpful for other items that tend to accumulate such as movies, video games, and toys.
Setting up a sorting system– and sticking to it– is an important step to decluttering and organizing your space. Image courtesy of Flickr.
Finish the Job, then Come Back for More
Following through is important
When you’ve decided which items belong where now it’s time to decide where to take the ones that no longer belong in your space. There are a lot of ways to get rid of things, you can donate them, see if friends or family members could use them, have a garage sale, or just throw them away. The important part with this step is the follow through– if the items are going to be donated, take them to the donation bin. If they’re going to be thrown out, toss them. Don’t allow your bags or bins of items to just sit and create additional clutter in your space, just waiting for you to be rid of them!
This is where time management is also key because you shouldn’t expect to declutter and organize your rooms in a single day. This is a process, and all processes have steps. So as you declutter your bedroom, take those unused clothes to a consignment store or donation box, then come back for more. Setting aside an hour or so to fully complete the task is crucial to decluttering and staying on top of your organization.
Keep Up with Clutter Management
This is an ongoing process
Decluttering and organizing your space is a great way to start off the new year right, and you’ll definitely be able to see the results of your efforts. However, this isn’t a one and done thing– clutter management takes effort. The difference now is that you have a system in place to deal with the clutter build-up, and know how to keep, and let go of, items when necessary. In order to keep your space decluttered and organized, try and do a sweep every couple of months or so, and determine which items are no longer used or needed. If you’d like to keep even more on top of clutter, consider taking two trash bags through your house or apartment (biweekly or monthly), and put in items that can immediately be thrown out or donated to charity.
Lastly, don’t get discouraged that this is an ongoing process and one you are much more prepared to face. Once the bulk of your clutter is gone, then the fun part can begin– enjoying your space again! It’s fun to organize the items you kept to what suits your style, and now that you have some extra space again, it’s time to take advantage of it all year long.