The start of a New Year is always a good time to declutter, especially with all of the new gifts received for the holidays. If you live in a cold climate, you may also find yourself spending more time indoors, making it the perfect time to get organized. I’ve been working on decluttering my home, and have developed some decluttering tips to help you declutter your home.
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Evaluate sources of clutter
I know, I know… you want to get to throwing things out. But I promise that this step is really important. Evaluate where you have issues and resolve those first. If you don’t do this, you are going to declutter your home and then in a few weeks/months, you will be right back where you started.
For instance, maybe you have a problem with mail piling up. If that’s the case, create a system where you deal with incoming mail immediately, tossing out junk mailing and shredding personalized paperwork that you don’t need. See our bill planning system for tips.
We have an issue with a few junk drawers that are filled with miscellaneous items that have no home. My goal with these drawers is to go through and figure out what’s essential, and then find homes for those other items.
Make a plan
Once you’ve delete with the sources of clutter, you can create a plan. You’ll want to have a plan to declutter your home because you may need others to help, or may want to organize a trash/charity pickup. Write down what areas you are going to declutter, and then set a goal for when you’ll have it done.
Here’s a simple plan we created.
Get into the right mental state
If you are truly going to be effective in cluttering your home, you’ll need to be in the right mental state. There are things that you’ll need to let go. Just remember that clutter is holding you back, so be willing to discard things that you truly do not need or want.
Tackle one area at a time
Decluttering your home can be intimidating, so tackle one area at a time. The 20-week clutter plan we created is a good option if you want to take your time.
Find places for the things you are getting rid of
As you declutter your house, you’ll start creating several piles of things that you’ll need to get rid of. I recommend that you donate items that are still useful, and arrange for a town pickup (if available) or bulk trash pickup through a private service. Home Depot sells a
Dumpster in a Bag that can be useful for bulk trash. You may also choose to resell items that still have some value. But don’t let this step be a bottleneck. If you choose to resell items, do it right away. Read my ThredUp review, a service where you can fill a bag up for consignment.
Organize key areas
As you start to clear clutter, organize these areas. You may want to shop for shelves, containers, or other organizational supplies that will help you get things organized.