The end of the year is a great time to focus on decluttering your home and start the new year right—with a well-organized, clutter-free home everyone can enjoy. It’s also a way to set yourself up to have a less stressful year. The fact is, research has shown that clutter isn’t just unsightly and inconvenient, it can actually trigger dissatisfaction and increase your stress. So, are you ready to spend some time creating an organized and livable space? Here are some tips on how to clear out the clutter and get everything in order.
- Put everyone on the same team. If you live with family, a partner, children, or a roommate, make sure they’re all members of the decluttering squad. Instead of the frustrating task of tidying up while others redistribute the mess, work together. Form a plan of action and set goals. Take advantage of this opportunity to teach kids the value of straightening up.
- Learn to say goodbye. Tidying expert Marie Kondo has made a living teaching people how to get rid of their unnecessary possessions with the KonMari Method. Think about the last time you used an item. Then ask yourself if it’s worth the space it’s taking up in your home. Don’t think about what you paid for it. You’ll wind up keeping something just because of what you spent on it. Instead, only keep items that either serve a purpose or bring you happiness. Sell, donate, and throw out the rest. You’ll be delighted at how much space you’re freeing up.
- Give every item a home. If you’ve organized things before, you’ve probably already attempted to give every item in your house a place where it belongs. Hopefully, you’re also in the habit of putting items back where they belong after you use them. But if an organizational scheme didn’t stick, rethink it. Put things in places that make sense—not just for what the item is, but for how and when it’s used. For example, if your coat closet is far from the front door, put a coat rack by the door.
- Pace yourself. Decluttering and organizing your entire home can feel like an unattainable task if you try to do it all at once. Instead, tackle it in stages. Start by going through a closet, or the bookshelves, or your clothes—you don’t have to accomplish it all in a day. Set a decluttering schedule you can follow over a few weeks, not just when you’re inspired.
After you have gotten everything in order, learn to maintain it. Establish a designated place for things that need to be dealt with—mail, items to be returned to friends, things that need to be repaired, etc.—and then set a day when you’ll take care of those things, such as every Saturday. Remember, decluttering itself shouldn’t be stressful. Build it into your regular routine so you can feel in control of your space over the long term. The more organized your home is, the more you’ll enjoy being there.
Provided by Taylor Crowell, Loan Originator at AmCap Home Loans.