Depending on how long you’ve been stuffing trinkets in drawers or cabinets, or tossing papers on shelves or tables, the thought of clearing them out and decluttering can feel overwhelming. After all, you probably threw it there in the first place because you wouldn’t have to think about it. We get it, we’ve all done it. Take these steps to make the whole process less insurmountable and more achievable.

1. Start Small

Don’t let the immensity of decluttering an entire house or room stop you from beginning. To make the task less intimidating, a good starting point is to make a list of areas in a room you would like to declutter and choose just one, like a drawer or a cabinet, to organize first. You can even break them down into individual lists with their own set of tasks, such as a bathroom vanity and its contents. List out each drawer in the vanity and what should go where. Designate a place for everything.

2. Sort

Before you can start to put items into their new designated places, you’ll want to go through and sort them into categories. Keep it simple. Three will do; throw out, donate/sell, and keep. It’s easiest using storage bins for each category; stay organized while organizing! How do you know which fits into what category? Here are a few of our guidelines:

Throw Out

Most likely, a huge part of the reason you haven’t decluttered yet is because it’s hard to get rid of things. You may be holding onto items you didn’t even know you still had or haven’t used, yet alone touched, in years. It’s time to toss expired products and objects so worn they are falling apart. If you can’t use it, it’s taking up unnecessary room, making your space feel cramped and chaotic.

Donate or Sell

Do you have items that are in good condition that you don’t have use for anymore? There are plenty of charitable organizations always in need of supplies and for many of them, donating is as easy as dropping it off at their local establishments. Then there are items that hold value and could be worth the effort to get back some of what you paid for it, or if it’s rare, like a collector’s item, you may be able to sell it for more than you paid. But, be realistic about what is valuable. A good rule of thumb is that if an item can be replaced for under $20, then it’s best to donate or toss it.

What Do You Actually Need and Want to Keep?

Of course, having necessities around is important but we’re not always great at admitting what belongings are a necessity, holding onto things for “some day.” Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself to determine what is worth keeping: Do I use it? Does it bring me joy? Does it hold good memories? If the answer to more than one of these is no, then it’s probably not worth keeping.

Just because something isn’t necessarily “useful” or adding beauty to your home doesn’t mean it absolutely needs to go. There are possessions of great sentimental value that shouldn’t be thrown out simply because you’re decluttering, but be honest with yourself (and your loved ones) about what belongings have dear memories and which you will pass on to someone (preferably ones that someone actually wants).  

3. Store (In An Organized Way)

Take the belongings that are staying and, with your newly available space, put them into their designated spots. Some tips to organizing within designated spots are buying stackable drawers, drawer spacers, and utilizing decorative baskets is an appealing way to keep surface areas that typically get cluttered, like your kitchen table, clear.

4. Make it a Routine

Now that you have everything in order, the trick is keeping it that way and the best way to do that is to declutter consistently. Make it a daily habit to put things back in their designated spots and follow the rule of something in, something out (if you buy something new, make an effort to discard something old). Finally, at the end of each week or month, take a moment to do a shortened version of these steps

Motivated to declutter after reading this? Take a before and after pic of your refreshed space to share with us on social!  

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