Do you come home and have trouble opening your door because there is so much stuff in the way? Do you open a closet and tons of things fall out of it? Do you park your car on the street or in the driveway because the garage is so full of stuff that there is no more room inside? Does the lack of space cause stress or keep you up at night?
It’s not a coincidence, clean homes and organized spaces are proven to reduce stress, improve happiness, and even improve your eating and exercise habits. It’s time to start the new year right by taking the time to declutter your home.
Here are seven tips about how to declutter areas of your home:
1. Get an Extra Source of Income
Have a lot of items that you just don’t know what to do with? Consider having a garage sale and/or put things you do not need on eBay or Craigslist to sell them. If you don’t have time to sell things now, put them in storage to be able to sell them later.
2. Donate to a Charitable Cause
If you have not used something in the past six months, consider giving it away. If you have kids or grandkids, who are not living with you, consider giving them something as part of their inheritance. They can help go through old boxes of stuff to hunt for treasures that become family heirlooms. When sorting through things, you can separate stuff into categories of things to give away and things to put in storage.
3. Clean Off that Treadmill
Don’t get into the habit of placing clothes on your treadmill or other exercise equipment. Making your exercise area a place of enjoyment can turn a work out session to one you dread into a pleasurable experience. Find a new place for those closes like the hamper or a place in your closet for gently used clothes.
4. Out of the Old
A new year can also be the start of a new wardrobe. First start by donating clothes you haven’t worn in months. Everyone has as least one outfit they don’t wear but like just enough to keep. Don’t fall into this habit and identify these articles of clothing. You can even repurpose clothes with holes, rips, and tears into cleaning rags.
5. Healthy Eating Habits Start in the Kitchen
Clutter doesn’t always mean nic nacs or piles of old newspapers, it could be food. Now is the perfect time to go through your kitchen pantry. Throw away any food past their expiration date. Remove temptation by also removing any junk food and candy.
6. Get Organized By Storing Treasures
OK, maybe you are not able to throw away your fabulous collection of vinyl records that have every disco hit from the 1970s. Start a paper trail of your most valuable possessions. Not only is this great for insurance purposes, it also will help you when you decide to store your items. By using self-storage space you can keep your treasures and have some extra living space too.
7. Store Seasonal Items
Don’t be the house that has their Christmas lights out in July. Seasonal items are perfect things to put into storage. In winter time, put away lawn equipment and get out snow removal equipment. Holiday decorations can be put away and then retrieved from storage at the appropriate time each year.
8. Save Money By Buying Only the Necessities
We all have the tendency to consume too much. Avoid shopping. Go out to eat instead or go to the gym if you are already overweight. If you must go shopping, make a list of only absolutely necessary items and only buy the things you have on the list. Don’t be tempted by discounts if you don’t need the item. Try changing your mindset from saving 20% on an item to having to spend the remaining 80% A simple perception change can do wonders for your wallet.
One Step at a Time
Controlling clutter is an incremental process. Just like all the stuff did not appear at once; it will not all disappear at once. Simple lifestyle changes, which we make and consistently do over a long period of time, can redirect our efforts to achieve a better result.
It is very difficult to take the clutter from an entire house all at once. It is very easy to clear a single drawer. Get three large boxes. Mark one as “trash” to throw out. Mark the second one as “things to keep” in the house. Mark the third one as “storage” for things to go into storage. Then, clean a drawer or a shelf each time to fill up the boxes. When a box is full, deal with it, empty it, and repeat the process.
By starting now, with realistic expectations, you will already have kept your New Year’s resolution to have less clutter in your home, even before it is time for the New Year’s celebration. Then you can celebrate your success!
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