In the spirit of spring cleaning, I thought it would be a good time to talk about decluttering.

Personally, I love cleaning and organizing, so I look forward to these kinds of things. Others feel overwhelmed at the thought of going through all their stuff and possibly getting rid of some things. So I’ve put together a how-to with some decluttering tips I’ve found to be useful.

First off…

Set realistic goals. Work on one space, and allow a specific amount of time to go through things in that space. Maybe 15 minutes, one hour, maybe two or three. You decide what you think you can honestly handle without getting burned out.

How to know when to let go.

When deciding whether or not to get rid of something, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How often have I used this within the last year?
  2. Realistically, how likely am I going to use this within the next year?
  3. What kind of value does this object bring to my life?

If you still have a difficult time deciding whether or not to let something go, ask someone you trust for help. Sometimes, we feel guilty about getting rid of sentimental things or things that are still in good shape even if we don’t use them. It’s okay to let these things go, but if you’re unsure, ask your trusted friend or family member.

Maybe there is a questionable item and you can’t seem to make up your mind about it. You can set it aside and sleep on it. (No need to literally sleep on top of it.) These items should be minimal. If all of your items fall into this category, it could stop the organization process and keep you from getting rid of anything.

Once you have decided you need to get rid of some things, separate them into piles based on where you plan to put them (i.e. donate, recycle, trash, give to sister, etc.)

If you have some things you would like to keep and don’t know where to put them, grab a box or bin and deem it the “Find a Spot For This“ bin. You might not know exactly where these items belong yet, but you WILL find a spot for them.

Once you have finished your space and/or your time is up, move those piles. Take the recycling pile to the recycling bin. Take out your trash. Move the items you will donate to your car and take them to the donation site or make arrangements to have them picked up. If they sit around your house, they’re still there. Get them GONE.

Once those piles are gone, tackle your “Find a Spot For This” bin. Ideally, you will have more space after clearing out the things you don’t need. You may need to reorganize a few things in order to find permanent spots for your items. “A place for everything, and everything in its place” comes to mind right now.

Ahh…doesn’t that feel nice? Great job! Even if you only finished part of a room or just your desk, you worked hard, and you’re further than you were when you started. Plan another time to finish the other half of the room or another space in your home to keep your decluttering mojo going!

If you need a more thorough guide to decluttering, or if you’re looking for more tips, check out Budget Dumpster.


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