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Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the stuff in your home? Sort through life's clutter with this easy system.
Even if you're not selling your home, clearing clutter refreshes your home and frees up physical and mental space. These easy-to-follow tips are provided by professional organizer, Liz Witts.
When in doubt throw it out.
This is a golden rule to live by that I try to instill in everyone I work with. If you need to spend more than 15 seconds thinking about what something is, or when you last used it, or why you even have it, then you probably don't need it. Let your gut be your guide, and remember to be brutally honest with yourself when making decisions about what to keep and what to toss.
Sort, sort, sort.
Sorting is the easiest way to take a bite out of a cluttered space. Whether it is a nasty pile of paper clutter or a closet bursting at the seams, sorting is the cure. When you take a look at a huge cluttered pile or space it can be very overwhelming. By sorting the items into categories you are actually breaking them down into a much more manageable project.
Sort items into the following categories: Keep, Donate, Long-Term Storage, and my favorite, Trash. Here are the definitions for the above categories:
- Keep - Items used on a regular basis--ones you cannot function without in your "daily living space."
- Donate - Items that are no longer used or are duplicates. You have decided that you can do without this item and would rather give it to someone else for them to benefit from it.
- Long-Term Storage - Sentimental things that you want to hold on to but don't need to have cluttering up your daily living space. Out-of-season pieces of clothing qualify for this category as well.
- Trash - Things that are no longer usable
Junk mail issues?
Try opening the stack each day right next to a trash can. In other words, attack the mail, immediately weeding out the obvious junk mail and keeping only the truly important stuff. Be honest with yourself if you decide to keep something (an ad for an on-sale item, a coupon, etc.). Don't keep it unless you are truly going to cash in on it and use it.
Less is more.
Everyone has heard this phrase before, but try applying it to your daily living/workspace. When you have less, you feel less burdened because there isn't as much to keep track of. The payoff for having less is that you actually feel like you have more time. You are not wasting it looking for items or shuffling through papers. You just feel better about your space and don't feel like your belongings own you, but rather you own them.
Establish a home for things.
When you create a "home" for each of your belongings there is never a struggle to locate it. Once you use it, be sure to put it back in its place. Train family members to do the same, and you'll be set.
For tips specific to cutting clutter as a part of staging your home for sale, read the SML blog post: The 50 Percent Rule for Cutting Clutter.