10 Easy Tasks to De-clutter Your Home
Do you have too much stuff?
So much clutter that it overwhelms you? And, even just thinking of letting go and de-cluttering your home can be anxiety provoking. Firstly, don’t think you can let go of your stuff in a couple of days. That’s unrealistic. Secondly, viewing, purging, sorting, and categorizing your belongings is a process. And could be a long one.
But, there are some easy tasks to help you de-clutter your home.
“You only have one life to live. How you live that life is your choice. As far as I know, no one has ever had ‘I wish I had bought more stuff’ inscribed on their tombstone. What you own can easily blind you to who you are and what you can be.”
― Peter Walsh, It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
When I lived in a shared apartment in Somerville, my various housemates and I each had two rooms to ourselves. A bedroom and a living room area. The bathroom, kitchen, pantry and front hallway were communal. I also had use of the small attic which was adjacent to my bedroom.
I kept too much stuff in the attic. Too much in the built in hutch in my living room . And stored baskets of documents at the top of the stair’s landing that led to my bedroom. One year, I tacked vintage hats and dried flowers on one of the kitchen walls. All of this stuff gathered dust. It didn’t exude the best Feng Shui environment.
However, over the years I purged these areas and let go of stuff. After each area I tackled, I felt lighter and happier. And, when I moved recently to a new home, I gave away, sold and discarded even more items.
Here are 10 Easy Ways to De-clutter Your Home;
- Put stickers on your stuff – For instance, if letting go seems undo-able, use sticky labels to distinguish what you’ll keep or let go of. Begin in one room. For example, put red stickers on things you love and want to keep. Use green (for ‘go’) on items you don’t want or need. Have someone help you containerize the things with green stickers to give away or to sell.
- Get rid of the expired – Play a ‘timing game’ with yourself. Make it fun. Set your timer for 20 minutes. Look through all cans, containers, and jars in your kitchen, pantry, and bathroom. Throw out all items that have expired. If medications are out of date, dispose of them properly.
- Closet hanger flipping – Check out the clothes and accessories you never wear. You might not be ready to let go of these. So try the hanger flipping method. Put the hangers so they all face the same way. Whenever you wear something, flip the hanger around when you hang it back up. After a few weeks, you can let go of any clothing you haven’t flipped.
- Make room on your bookshelf – Look through your books and pick out 4 or 5 books to mail to good friends. Add a friendly note to the package and let the recipient know it’s fine to give the book away when finished. You’ll own fewer books and will surprise your friends. Who doesn’t like receiving a gift in the mail.
- Create a small space free of clutter – Choose one small area to be clutter-free. Ask others in your home to respect that space and keep it clear. Let this area be inspiration for creating your next clear space.
- Fill a box with junk – Pull things you don’t use or can’t identify from your junk drawer, and from other places in your home.
Place them in a box, and put the box aside for 30 days. If you don’t miss any of these items, let them go.
- Stop the subscriptions: Be realistic about your reading. If you find that publications pile up without you finding the time to read them, unsubscribe.
- “One In, One Out” policy – Reduce the amount of stuff that comes into your home. Ask yourself when shopping, “Is this a future garage sale item?”
- Turn your trash into cash – You probably have hundreds of dollars worth of unused items. You could sell or donate them to a charitable organization for a tax write-off.
- Part with your art – Do you have outdated objects and old prints on your wall or shelving? If they don’t match your present interior design, give them away. Someone else will enjoy these items.
To Sum Up:
As Peter Walsh, a well known professional organizer and author, says; ‘You only have one life to live.’ Do you want to stay overwhelmed with clutter, or live a life feeling happier and freer?