Do you have a lot of clutter in your home? Maybe you have a bedroom with very little free space due to books, clothing, papers and other items piled all around. Or, perhaps you have a hall closet that can’t take one more coat or hat because it’s filled to the brim. Whether you need to declutter one closet or every room in your home, you can do it in an efficient way. Consider six useful strategies to help you banish clutter.
Divide the Area into Small Zones
Start your decluttering project by choosing just one room. For instance, if you want to declutter your bedroom, divide the space into small zones. One small zone may be the far left corner of the room. After tackling that, move on to the far-right corner of your bedroom. You may want to create small zones covering just three or four-square feet of a room. Dividing the area into small zones makes the job of decluttering more manageable.
Decide What to Keep, Donate, Recycle or Throw Out
Get four large trash bags before sorting the items in one zone. Label one bag with the word keep, another with the word donate, another bag with the word recycle and the last one with the words throw out. As you sort, put each item in one of the four bags. Some items such as old magazines, newspapers and computer paper can be recycled. Clothing items and shoes that have been sitting in the same pile for a year are perfect candidates for your donate bag. Put the items you like into your keep bag.
Do I Really Need This Item
After decluttering one zone, take a second look into the bag of items you plan to keep. Be honest about how much each item means to you. Have you been holding onto a book for ten years with plans to read it one day? Or, do you have a formal dress in the bag that you’ve kept around for five years in case there’s an occasion to wear it? If you haven’t worn an item or used it in six months, there’s a good chance you’re never going to. Donating it means the item can take on new life for someone else.
Declutter in Small Spans of Time
One of the main reasons why many people avoid decluttering is it feels like an overwhelming task. This is why it’s important to break the room into small zones and declutter for a finite amount of time each day. For instance, you may want to start by spending just 30 to 40 minutes decluttering each day. This keeps you from becoming overwhelmed and gives you the opportunity to see the progress you’ve made every single day!
Develop New Ways to Organize Your Things
Once you have a zone cleaned, it’s a good idea to come up with new ways to organize the items you keep. For instance, you’ve finished decluttering the floor of your closet. You may want to put all your shoes into a hanging shoe organizer instead of placing them back on the floor. This frees up space and allows you to locate the shoes you want at a glance. Simple tools like small labeled containers and drawers can keep your items in neat order.
Dedicate Yourself to Staying Organized
After decluttering a room, you want to do what you can to prevent things from piling up again. A good rule of thumb is to put away items right after you’ve finished with them. For instance, instead of throwing a pair of jeans on a chair in your bedroom, take a few moments to hang them in the closet. An extra few seconds spent putting an item away adds to the overall organization in your home.
Finally, try to get the help of other family members with your decluttering work. The work will go a lot faster with each person in charge of a small zone.