Decluttering your home will ease your stress and help you downsize your items
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As we get older and our children move out of our homes, we start to look around and decide if we really need all of the things we have. Perhaps we’re trying to move to a smaller space or just make more space in the home in which we live. That requires us to do a little extra thinking and planning about what takes up our space.
If you’re thinking of downsizing in your home, there are ways to do it without making it too painful. The easiest and most rewarding way to get rid of stuff is to start by decluttering. Clutter is bothersome for so many reasons. Having a cluttered home causes you to have a chaotic mind. Decluttering makes your home look cleaner as well as helps you get more organized and better able to find things.
Unclutterer.com suggest starting with an area you want to declutter first. It could be a table, countertop or even windowsill: any place that has a bunch of stuff on it that you want to remove. Take everything off of that area, and start making piles. There are different schools of thought on which is the best way. Some say a “love it,” “recycle” and an “ambivalent” pile; others suggest “keep,” “sell” and “toss” piles. Some experts say if an item doesn’t bring you joy, you should get rid of it. However, there are a lot of things in our homes that we need but may not bring us joy, like the vacuum cleaner, so use your best judgment when clearing things out.
Taking everything off of the surface you’re trying to declutter helps you see the space you want clean, and you’ll be more careful of what you put back there. Once you’ve made the decisions about what stays and goes, you’ve got to decide where things go. This is where getting organized begins. Real Simple suggests finding ways to store these items in one place that will make them easy to find. If you live with others, make sure to tell your partner or housemates where things have gone and how you’re organizing them. That way, he or she can get on board with the program, too.
One way of decluttering is by giving away one item per day, so that at the end of the year, you have 365 fewer things in your home. This idea takes commitment, but it’s perfectly doable. Another method is to fill one garbage bag full of things to get rid of. The items could be trash, but they could also be items to donate or sell.
Once you get through your first decluttered area, you’ll likely be energized to keep going and tackle new areas. Move through the house focusing on one area at a time until you’ve finished a room. Then, move on to the next room. Eventually, you’ll find you have much more room to store your items, and your house will look cleaner and more welcoming.
Getting rid of items in your home can be painful at first. You’ve got items that bring back precious memories and are important to the life you’ve lived. But remember that not every item is as precious as the next. A candy bar wrapper that your mother discarded is still just a candybar wrapper. Her wedding china might be a nice heirloom to keep, but maybe it will be used more if you hand it down to a younger family member. Plus, you’ll get to see the joy on his or her face when he or she receives such a priceless item.
Letting go of these items clears up so much of your life, and will make you happier and less encumbered when the time comes to move. Having things is nice, but having experiences is much more meaningful.
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