With hosting on the minds of many homeowners, it’s prime time to do some serious home decluttering.
Clutter isn’t just annoying. It can cause real problems. Clutter includes anything around your home that does not add value or that has a negative effect on your mental and physical health.
Excessive clutter has been tied to issues such as depression and obesity in some extreme cases.
Besides the health-related benefits, the reasons to declutter are plenty.
Not only will you free up space for hosting holiday events and family gatherings, decluttering can make life easier. With less stuff to manage, you’ll spend less time and energy cleaning, organizing, and sorting through piles to find things.
Decluttering will decrease stress and help you feel more accomplished and in control of your life.
Getting rid of unwanted junk and the less-used items in your life will create space that allows you and
your family to truly enjoy your home for the holidays.
So how do you get started? Just thinking about attacking an entire house can be daunting, to say the
least. But decluttering does not need to be painful (yes, it can actually be kind of fun!).
Here are foureasy steps to get you started:
Step 1: Make a Plan of Attack
First, you need a plan. This will help you stay focused and decrease your frustration. Here are a few tips on how to make a solid decluttering plan:
- List out all areas and rooms you want to tackle. For pre-holiday decluttering, focus in on common living spaces such as the kitchen, living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Focus less on areas out of reach like the attic, possibly the basement, and other rooms that won’t be accessed frequently.
- Give each room two ratings. The first rating should be given for the level of decluttering needed in that room. Rate the worst rooms a 1 and the best rooms a 5. The second rating should be based on frequency of use. Give the most frequently used rooms a 1 and the least used rooms a 5. Then add up each room’s two ratings and sort the rooms in order of priority, with the lowest rated rooms on the top of the list.
- Now set completion dates and schedule blocks of time on your calendar when you’ll work on each room.
Step 2: Make a Sorting System
Most effective sorting systems involve multiple categories, such as:
- Donate – Salvation Army (drop-off and pick-up available)- Donate to the Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota (drop-off and pick-up available)- Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (drop-off only)
- Sell – Facebook marketplace
You may choose to add or eliminate categories from your system—go with what works best for your needs. Once you’ve chosen the categories, label boxes, bags, or bins to help you sort into the categories quickly and easily.
Step 3: Create Rules
There are many schools of thought when it comes to decluttering. Here are some common rules of thumb to help you stay focused:
- An item can have value that comes in different forms. Some items are practical, some bring you joy, and some make life easier. If you can’t identify the value of an item, it might be time to say goodbye.
- Sentimental value is legitimate, but you must be able to connect the item to a specific person or event.
- Don’t focus on what the item cost when you first purchased it or what you might “lose” if you toss it. Focus only on the daily value of the item in your life.
- Remember the 80/20 rule. We typically only use about 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. If an item does not fall within that 20%, it’s probably not worth keeping.
- Does the item work? If not, is it worth fixing? Think quick, easy, and cheap fix, or it goes!
- If you haven’t used it in the past six months, don’t keep it.
- If you can’t decide, sleep on it and make a decision the next day.
- If you have more than one item with small variations, purge the multiples that you like the least. Do we really need 15 soup ladles?
Use some of these rules or make your own. Either way, stick with the rules that work for you and don’t make this harder than it needs to be.
Step 4: Get Started! (Instant Quote on House Cleaning)
So, you have a plan, a system, and a set of rules. Check! Check! Check!
How do you actually get started? Go to the first room on your list and just dive in, right? Maybe… Or try a couple of these techniques to push you into action and keep you moving quickly!
- Start with flat surfaces like counter-tops, desktops, or shelves. These areas tend to attract the most clutter anyway. Plus, once they are done, you can use them to help you organize the rest of the stuff in the room.
- Start with the smallest piles first. Each small pile gone is a small win for you!
- Make decluttering fun! Put on some music, wear comfy clothes, get some snacks, and pour yourself a refreshing beverage. You’ll be working hard, but that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable the entire time.
- Get the family involved! Give the kids little (easy) jobs like running to get another box or taking charge of the playlist. This is their house too and they will enjoy the positive energy that the decluttering process can bring to the entire household.
- To help you stay motivated for a big decluttering job, remember why you are doing all this. Are you hosting a holiday event where you have family traveling in to stay as guests or are you selling your home and need to get it market ready? Are you excited to see that cousin you haven’t seen in years? What will you be able to do with all this extra space? If you are purging most of your wardrobe, are you going to reward yourself with a couple new pieces?
When the decluttering dust settles, we know you’ll be impressed with your hard work. Your house will have a bright, refreshed energy with extra space and more freedom to move about and enjoy your home. You’ll have created a warm and welcoming vibe that your holiday guests are sure to never forget!