Clutter is so easy to acquire, but so hard to get rid of. It slowly builds up and takes over your life. Eventually, it becomes an overwhelming mountain that feels almost impossible to tackle. Decluttering your home or apartment will not only give your living space the face-lift it so desperately needs, it will give your spirits a lift too. So we have a few tips to help you declutter your living space.
Fire Up The Engines
1. It All Starts with a List. Walk through each room itemizing everything that you want to declutter. Then, break each task down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Being organized is your key to keeping on track. This list will also give you a sense of accomplishment as you cross each task off.
2. Boost Your Confidence. Polishing off one or two of the smaller tasks first, allows you to cross something off your list right away. You’ll immediately feel confident and ready to tackle anything. Then, you can jump into one of the more difficult tasks while you’re feeling empowered.
3. One Room at a Time. Only work on one room at a time, even if you have several rooms that you want to declutter. If you try to work on them all at once, you’ll wind up frustrated and overwhelmed with several rooms that never quite get finished.
4. Stay on Track. Start at one end of the room and work your way around it. It’s much easier to keep organized, and your accomplishments will be easier to see. If you start in the middle, you’ll become overwhelmed very quickly.
5. Time It Right. A timer is a useful tool to keep you on track and focused during the decluttering process. Breaking everything down into 20 to 30 minute chunks of time with short breaks in between will keep you on task. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish during your work spurts when you’re trying to beat the clock.
6. Be Merciless. Be ruthless when you’re deciding what to keep. If you haven’t used something in more than a year, it’s time to get rid of it. Now that you’ve decided to rid your life of clutter, you need to stay focused and committed.If you’re not sure if you’ll need something, put it in a box. If it doesn’t get used in one month, give it away.
7. Learn to Say NO. If people are offering to give you something for free, or if you can’t resist bargains at the store, don’t buy or accept it unless you need it and will use it. The fewer items you have in your house, the better your chances are of succeeding in your new clutter-free lifestyle.
8. Versatility Is Key. If you’re living in a small space like an apartment, versatility is key. Investing in furniture that serves dual purposes can keep your home clutter free and save your sanity. Coffee tables and ottomans that open up are perfect for storing books, magazines, DVD’s and anything else you want to tuck away. More here on apartment decorating ideas.
9. Pitch the Paper. Paper causes a lot of clutter around our homes. Store important papers in a filing cabinet and get rid of everything else. If you want to keep papers that aren’t necessarily important, scan them and store them digitally on your computer or a removable storage device.
You’ve Done It
10. It’s a Lifestyle Change. Just like diet and exercise, decluttering is a lifestyle change. If you don’t stay committed, everything will pile up on you again. It’s important to stay on top of it, if you want to stay organized. Decluttering on a monthly or seasonal basis will help you stay ahead of the game.