Everyone wants to live a simpler lifestyle, but it’s not always obvious how to go about doing that. By getting rid of the clutter that clogs up your home, you’ll be able to create a more serene and peaceful place, while also making your spaces more functional and easier to use.
If you’ve let things go for a long time, then the challenge of cleaning out the mess may seem daunting. The good news is that there are a number of tricks you can use to divide up the task and even make it fun.
The simplest way to start cleaning the clutter is to use an “anywhere” box. This can be a simple cardboard or plastic bin that is set in a room that is particularly disorganized. Whenever you see something that belongs in another space, you can simply dump it in the box rather than running all over the house to put things in order. Then every week or so you can carry the box from room to room and place everything where it belongs.
The store box
The use of a store box is a similar decluttering method. Basically you go through a room and place anything that is extraneous to its daily function into the box. Then label the box and place it in a closet. Over the course of the next few months you can see which items you end up fetching and which ones get forgotten. This is a great way to let you know what’s worth keeping – and what’s not. And when the time comes to get rid of items, you can donate them to your local thrift store, or make a few dollars by selling them on FindItGuide.com.
Another trick that uses time to determine worth is the closet hanger experiment. Featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, this involves taking all the outfits that you have in your closet and hanging them facing in the same direction. Then whenever you take an outfit out to wear, it should be put back facing the opposite direction. After about six months this will tell you which clothes you use, and which can be donated.
If you want to turn your organizational efforts into a game, then you could try the 12-12-12 challenge. This requires you to go through the house and find 12 items that can be donated, 12 that can be thrown away and 12 that can be put back in their proper place. When played with kids or spouses, this can be a fun challenge contest that also helps to declutter the home.
When dealing with personal items, you may get emotional, especially when deciding which things to get rid of. You should try to do this process over time, in small partitions so that you don’t get overwhelmed and just end up quitting. You can also help ease any sadness you may feel by giving items away to friends or bundling them up for charities. Knowing that your previously treasured possessions are still being actively used may help you to part with them.
Author’s Profile: Joey Pebble is a home decor designer and artist who specializes in the creation and distribution of natural stone furnishings including absorbent sandstone drink coasters, marble vases, onyx lamps, alabaster chess sets and more. His work can be seen on the site PebbleZ.com.