Kids off to college in the fall? Planning to list your home this spring, or maybe in the next few years? A house clear of clutter is easier to sell, plus, there are many benefits to taking the time to go through belongings and clear the clutter in your home - you can even reduce your stress by simplifying.
What to Keep
Before you begin to declutter, establish a list of the things you won’t want to part with during this process. Some of these may be photographs, family heirlooms, and documents such as tax returns, birth certificates or marriage licenses. Sentimental items should make the cut as well. Making a conscious decision to keep things that have special meaning to you will make the process of letting go of the rest a bit easier.
5 Tips to Start Decluttering
Once you have decided to downsize or declutter your home, get out a calendar and make a timeline for completing each section of your house. The process will take some time (think basements, garage.) If you are moving, you will want to give yourself 3-5 months to complete the process.
Before you begin, setup bins for donations, recycling, and trash. You won’t want to throw everything in trash bags since there will be many items that can be used by someone in need.
Start small. Before stepping into your bedroom closet, or boxes in the basement, choose a room that won’t have many items of sentimental value or won’t be too overwhelming to tackle. A bathroom or a kitchen are manageable options (you won’t lose sleep over tossing expired multivitamins or an extra whisk!)
Enlist a declutter buddy. Have a friend keep to you accountable! You can create a pile of items that you aren’t sure you are ready to part ways with. A second opinion can help you decide what stays and what goes into the donate bin.
If you are moving to a smaller space, you may need to downsize your collections of items such as books, shoes or even wine glasses. Make sure to give yourself a hard limit of how many of each item you want to keep, it will make choosing easier.
Relax and enjoy! Don’t plan to declutter the whole house in a weekend. That creates unnecessary stress. Give yourself a simple reward each time you complete a space, and give yourself time to enjoy your hard work!