Decluttering has become a big thing in recent years, and even the source of TV entertainment for some. It’s one of those processes that feels like a big effort before you do it, but has immediate benefits once it’s done. However, many of us tend to declutter bit by bit, removing a few things at a time and never, seemingly, getting to the point where it feels like it’s properly done. Below, we’ll go through some tips for how to declutter in one go, and get the results you really want.
Have somewhere to put everything
When you are getting rid of all the clutter in a home, it’s easy to feel put on the spot by how much, or how little, room you have to store all the things you are throwing out. You might take a load to the garbage dump, but repeated trips simply get in the way of internal decluttering work. It’s often better to rent a dumpster for the purposes of containing all of the refuse. You may create a secondary space for things that may go into storage, to goodwill or elsewhere, but make clear that those things will actually go into storage and to goodwill. For the rest of it, a clean break is essential and the only way you’ll truly declutter.
Be immune to nostalgia
We’ve all been in the midst of a clearout and stumbled across something we haven’t seen for a while. It may be an old newspaper, a garment not worn in months or longer, or a photograph. Whatever it is, you may want to look at it or give some thought to what you want to do with it. That’s fine, but not during your decluttering work. The more distracted you are, the longer it will take to complete what can be a long-winded chore. Set anything “nostalgic” to one side, and it can be revisited when you’re finished.
Don’t do it alone
It’s a good idea to have a friend or family member help you out with decluttering. There are several reasons for this. One is that some of the task may involve heavy lifting, as you remove items that take up a lot more space than they merit by their use. Another is that you can keep each other on task by picking up the pace when it begins to lag. Perhaps most importantly, they can act as a sounding board. If you are minded to keep something, you’ll need to justify it to them, and if your reasoning doesn’t pass their test, you should resolve to get rid of it.
A moratorium on new items
The last part of a full-scale declutter is to avoid re-cluttering. Once you have got your house back in order, it should be a rule to not buy anything that takes up excessive space unless there is a particularly good reason to do so. If you have decluttered so you can fit in a new sofa, that’s fine. But if your goal is to increase space in your home, you should implement a one-month moratorium on new goods coming into your house. If a month passes and you still feel you need the item or can justify adding it, then it’s reasonable to bring it in. But in that intervening month, do keep an eye out for anything else that can go to clear more space.