“How did I accumulate so much stuff?” said everybody ever.
Are you constantly considering downsizing, tired of cleaning all the time, deciding to clear out that spare room or just missing the days when sunlight hit a patch of bare floor or wall? You might have a clutter monster living in your house.
Yes, the thought of it can be overwhelming. All this stuff to sort through! But don’t fret! We are here to help. Take a deep breath, change into some comfortable clothing and follow these 9 simple steps to successfully declutter your way into a less complicated life.
1. Avoid Tackling the Whole House
If you’ve never read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, the first step comes down to tackling your clutter bit by bit. Kondo’s recommendation is to begin in categories, instead of in sections of the house. This allows you to focus on just one type of thing. Begin with things of least emotional value: clothing, kitchenware, cleaning tools.
2. Try the Four Box Method
Sometimes a “yes” or “no” is too difficult for items with emotional attachment or nostalgia. Try using these four categories instead: “Trash”, “Give Away”, “Storage”, “Put Away”. Sorting your items into four categories gives you more room to consider the value of each item, and declutter with less emotional turmoil. Maybe there are things you want to keep but don’t need to use. Pop that in storage and have a box for memorabilia neatly tucked away.
3. Lose An Item A Day
If tidying all at once is too daunting for you, try a simple method of getting rid of one item every day for a whole year! Here’s Max Wong’s play by play on decluttering by removing just one (or ten) items daily. Are you the competitive type that works well with an adrenaline rush? Set a timer for yourself and race to clock to meet your daily quota of things to throw out! Who told you decluttering was all gloom and misery?
4. Everything Has A Home
Think about where everything goes. All items in your home should have permanent spaces of their own. This way, after use, you know there’s a place to return it to, and it doesn’t end up piled high on the kitchen counter amongst all the other things that also don’t have homes. You could even zone your storage spaces so that even new purchases have spaces to go to right away. Now everyone and everything in your home will be right at home!
5. Optimize Your Space
Consider whether or not your closet and storage areas are being used to their maximum potential. Apartment Therapy has some pretty amazing suggestions for elevating your bedroom closet to new organizing levels! One of our favourite upgrades is simply to switch out your closet seasonally and leave all those bulky winter coats and scarves in storage until the temperature starts to dip!
6. Try the 10 x 10 Challenge
Is clothing your weakness? Are you the type with shoes stacked on shoes and the same top in 5 different slight variations? Here’s a fun declutter challenge. Pick 10 items from your closet and style them differently over the next 10 days. Have fun with it! You’ll also be building awareness of just how far your wardrobe can already go, so that the next time the itch to shop comes around, it might be easier to resist.
7. Garage Sale, Swap, Or Sell Online
It’s now summer season which means garage sales will be popping up like dandelions everywhere. Swap season and flea markets are also in full swing. All these are really fun options for your “Give Away” box and you could make a bit of extra cash on the side too! Plan a few weeks ahead, put up signs in your neighborhood to advertise, or do some research on upcoming swap events in the city. Ever heard of Bunz?
8. Give To Someone In Need
Do some research on local charities in the area, secondhand and thrift stores and even prison book programs, and donate your relevant unwanted items to them. Make sure to double check the lists of requirements for things they accept, and that what you are donating is in good condition.
9. Bring In A Pro!
Hire a friendly and professional Tasker from AskforTask to help you declutter your room. This does not have to be a dreaded task or a lonely one! Sometimes, it’s more fun to do it with a helping hand.