One of the best ways to welcome the new year is to purge your home of things that have been needlessly taking up space for the last 12 months or things that no longer serve a purpose to us. Perhaps you are preparing to downsize and move from a home to a condo. Perhaps you have recently lost a loved one. Everything you own should support the vision of the life you want; everything you own should have purpose.
The best way to tackle decluttering is slow and steady and by working room by room, being sure to completely finish decluttering that room before moving to another one.
A good way to start is by picking the easier rooms which will give you a quick sense of accomplishment and then move on to the tougher ones. It could be that taking 15 minutes a day is all you need to get you on your way.
The following are items which you can start to work on:
- Worn out bedding and towels
- Hangers that are no longer being used
- Spices and spice packages in your kitchen cupboards
- Books and magazines that you are no longer using
- Coats and unused seasonal items
- Kids toys
- Holiday decorations you have not used for the last few years
- Kitchen appliances you no longer use
The hardest part of decluttering for most people is the possibility of the item becoming useful sometime down the road. This should not be viewed as a reason to keep that item. What we might suggest is having a “maybe” box for such items. Place items that you are currently unwilling to get rid of in the “maybe” box for no more than 30 days. If at the end of 30 days you have no useful purpose for that item – it goes.
Do you have young children at home? What better way to set an example for them! Have them be a part of the decluttering and see that items that are no longer of use to you can be passed on, thrown away or sold to perhaps making way for a new or upgraded item. Toys your child no longer plays with can be donated to a child or children in need, or even sold at a garage sale and the money brought in can purchase a new item appropriate for their age.
While getting rid of extra hangers, books, and magazines can be a snap, if you are anything like me parting with clothes is always a challenge. I end up convincing myself that I will eventually wear whatever it is that I am hanging on to. So, to help you, and me, get rid of unnecessary clothing I am going to share with you the reverse hanger trick. Take everything in your closet and turn the hangers all the same way. Every time you wear an item of clothing and go to put it back in the closet, reverse the hanger. In six months look to see what you have worn, and which hangers remain unturned. Chances are those are items which are not going to be worn and could be purged from your closet.
Sorting items into groups can be a great way of organizing what to do with the items you are no longer keeping. Perhaps there are some items that family members would wish to have, some that you know are going to be thrown away, some that can be sold and some that can be donated. By making an area in your home or garage a sorting spot will make the next phase easier.
What to do with all of the items you have decided no longer belong in your home? There are many options including donating to a local hospice or charity, throwing items which will not serve anyone else away, prepare items for a yard sale, take pictures and post on various local Facebook groups, or advertise in craigslist or Kijiji.
There is no doubt starting the new year clean and clutter free will leave you happier and more energized.
Do you need help with decluttering? At Cariboo Home and Health Services decluttering is just one of the many services we offer; reach out today!