Decluttering tips: A clean and organized home can make you feel energized and bring clarity to your life
Photo by Sarah Brown
By Sherry Watkins, the singing realtor (Baird & Warner)
Summer is suddenly upon us — at least the hot weather if not for the calendar just yet — and if you were too busy for spring cleaning, you still have time to declutter your house before a full slate of summer fun arrives.
What are some of the reasons we feel the need to declutter? Let me start by saying, it’s never too early to start. Are you preparing to list your home for sale? Has
there been a decrease in the number of people who live in the home? Do
you feel bogged down by the amount of things in your everyday living space?
A clean and organized home can make you feel energized, light and free, not to mention bring clarity to your life.
How do you begin? Where do you start? Do you feel overwhelmed?
Here are three basic and important things to consider: Start early, small and slowly. If you begin before you have to, you can take your time and you will be less likely to feel overwhelmed. Start with a small area like a drawer, a shelf, a corner. Take 20 minutes at a time, if that’s all you can handle. The best process is to empty the area, go through each item that was in it, and add back only what you need or desire.
Here are my six categories for sorting items, regardless of you’re moving or just organizing your home:
1.) Move — Items you cannot live without. In other words, things that will go with you, whether it’s two weeks from now or 20 years.
2.) Maybe — Decide later. Place the items in a box, seal it and put a later date on it, say 3-6 months out. If you don’t miss the items, consider getting rid of them when you re-open the box.
3.) Sell — Garage sale, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
Start early, small and slowly. If you begin before you have to, you can take your time and you will be less likely to feel overwhelmed.
4.) Give away — Hand down to family members or friends. You’d be surprised at who might want your things, so check with cousins, nieces, nephews and other
extended family members or neighbors.
5.) Donate — A church or charity can always use it.
6.) Throw out — It’s time to say goodbye.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
Clothes — Do you need 16 pair of black socks? Consider keeping seven, one for each day of the week. Empty your closet, drawers, etc. and take everything out. This will probably take more than 20 minutes. Try everything on and look in the mirror. I know, this is not easy. Same with shoes. Are they comfortable? Walk around in them.
Sentimental items — This is one of the hardest, so take your time. You may not be ready to part with something yet. If you come across something that makes you happy, brings you joy or warms your heart, keep it. Make sure it is being prominently displayed in your home though, so you see it often.
If you need to go through items that may have belonged to a loved one, consider having someone go through them with you, like a family member or close friend. Certain things have energy and can elicit strong emotions.
Consider this: When you buy something new, like clothing, for example, get rid of at least one item.
Once you’ve organized and decluttered your home, how do you keep it organized and decluttered while you’re living in it? Consider this: When you buy something new, like clothing, for example, get rid of at least one item. Personally, I am constantly re-organizing my office and my clothes. My office, because it gets cluttered the most often, and I don’t feel like I work efficiently or calmly when it is cluttered. My clothes, because I think it’s fun!
Do you need a little nudge getting started? I am happy to come into your home and help you get started in whatever area you need. If you start on your own and you get stuck, there are professionals who help with this process. I have a list of people that I trust who specialize in different processes of decluttering, whether it be staging, downsizing, moving, or just home organization.
I wish for you a home that is organized, brings you joy and makes you comfortable. Remember, comfort is key!
Sherry Watkins, the singing realtor
Baird & Warner