The holidays are now behind us, and it’s time to start reflecting on the great memories we made, but also focus on the future. What are your New Year’s resolutions regarding your home? What are your home improvement goals for 2021? Do you like the organizing system you have in place, or is it time to declutter your home?
How to Start Decluttering in Your Home
If you need to declutter home, it may be overwhelming to know where to start. Closets and cabinets tend to be a common place where clutter gathers. Or maybe a whole guest room or basement is filled with storage that needs sorting and organizing. Here are some suggestions on where to start:
- Set a timer for 5-minutes per day. You can do anything for just 5-minutes per day. You can make an overwhelming project seem less overwhelming when all you have to do is chip away at it little by little.
- Commit to the 12-12-12 challenge. Give away 12 items, throw away 12 things, and relocate 12 items for each declutter home session. It will feel like a game to reach your number in each category and check the box for the day.
- Wipe everything from a cluttered counter or drawer into a bin. Then you can sit down in front of your favorite TV show and sort the items. Make a pile for trash, donations, and keep and place the appropriate items back in the drawer when you have finished.
- Look at your home from an outside perspective. Walk into your home with fresh eyes. What are your first impressions on how clean, organized and welcoming the home feels? Write down those impressions and evaluate whether it’s time for a home cleanout.
The hardest part is getting started when it comes to a home cleanout. Write down your goal, commit yourself, and make it happen by following the tip that sounds the most appealing to your schedule.
Benefits of Decluttering
As more people have been staying at home through the pandemic, you may feel that your home is more crowded. An excellent way to create more room in your home is to declutter and get rid of stuff. Some people may utilize the help of a professional organizer. No matter how you make it happen, what are the benefits of decluttering?
- Less to Clean: When your home is organized, there is less to clean. You can wipe down a counter without having to shuffle around papers and knick-knacks. If everything has a place, then the counter is empty, and you can wipe away the crumbs without anything in the way. It is easier to vacuum when there aren’t piles of clothes or blankets strewn around.
- Less Stress: A clean, organized home makes you feel at ease at the end of a long day. You can feel relaxed in your home when items are put away in their proper place. When your blankets are placed in a basket rather than balled up on the couch, the room is more welcoming.
- Less Time Looking for Things: You will find that you don’t lose things as often when clutter is cleared out. There are fewer items to sift through, and when everything is organized, you will find what you are looking for in its assigned place.
- Less Comparison: When you pair a home cleanout with minimalism, you will find that you can keep your home clean and free of clutter for a long time. The idea of minimalism is not adding clutter back into your home after a home cleanout. You will be less worried about keeping up with the Jones’s and able to focus on what really matters in your relaxing place.
- More Focus on Decorating Aesthetic: When someone walks into a room, their focus may fall on the mess. If your home is organized and tidy, you can show your personality and warmth through your decorating. The simple items that you place throughout your home represent your personality and help others feel welcome.
Consider how it feels to walk into a messy, chaotic room vs. walking into a clean room with ample space. Of course, you feel better when you are in a tidy room. It can take some initial motivation to start on a home cleanout project, but you will see immediate positive effects once you get started.
7 Tips to Help You Declutter
The decluttering process can look different for everyone. If you are looking to take on a full home cleanout, having a plan in place will help the task progress. It may work for one person to organize their whole house, top to bottom, in one week. But that’s not for everyone. Find a plan that will work for your schedule. You don’t want to set up unrealistic expectations that will lead to quitting.
These decluttering tips may help you come up with a plan:
1. Create a Check-List
Keep a declutter home check-list. You can continually add areas onto the check-list, no matter how big or small. If you want to list drawer by drawer or cabinet by cabinet instead of listing an entire room, do it. The satisfaction of checking a box can be motivating, so the smaller you can break it down, the better. Be prepared for the check-list never to be empty, especially if you have a large household of people. By the time you’ve checked the whole list, it may be time to circle through again. That’s okay. A home cleanout is a continual process but gets easier after the initial cleanout is done.
2. Hire a Junk Removal Service to Remove Clutter
For a significant house cleanout that hasn’t been addressed in years, your best option may be to hire a junk removal service. Clearing out all the junk is a large endeavor, and you can focus your time on organizing and decorating your home instead of loading up your car with junk over and over again. If you have questions about large appliances or toxic chemicals, leave it to the professionals.
3. Focus on One Area First (i.e. garage cleanout, office cleanout)
Start on one side of the house, and work your way through it. Pick a smaller room or closet that will help you feel satisfied quickly, so you are motivated to keep going. If you are cleaning out a garage or basement, note how much you throw away and donate and make a plan to consider those options before stashing away new items in your home.
4. Set Aside Time for Decluttering (i.e. 5 minutes, 10 minutes a day)
Schedule time to declutter home in your calendar. Every Thursday at 7:30 pm, you will dedicate an hour to sorting and organizing. Or every morning while cooling down from your workout, you will take 10 minutes to sort through an office drawer or kitchen counter. Make sure it is a realistic time for your calendar.
5. Take before and after photos
For added satisfaction, be sure to take a picture before your home cleanout. You will be able to compare your progress throughout the progress and have a contrasting comparison when the project is finished. When you see a side-by-side before and after photo of your organization, you will be motivated to continue with other areas of your home.
6. Try DIY Projects
If your home cleanout requires a shelving system to finally organize all of the family games that have been stacking up. Or you have a shoe organizer that would fit perfectly inside the mudroom, but it’s beaten up and old, then DIY paint the shoe bench. You can also add racks inside of the pantry and cabinet doors to store spices and measuring spoons. Adding little DIY projects along the way will only add to the pride you take in your declutter home project.
7. Contact a Professional Organizer
It could be possible that you have tried all of these tips and had the best of intentions with organizing your home and decluttering all of the mess. But if it’s not getting done, then it may be time to ask for help. A professional organizer can use their expertise to envision exactly what can fit in the available spaces in your home. An organizer will also detach sentimental value from items and help you decide what is worth keeping and what is better to repurpose elsewhere.
When you change your attitude on a home cleanout and understand that it doesn’t have to all happen in one day, then you can successfully start to declutter home today. Little steps toward the big finishing picture are all it takes to create more space in your home and build a relaxing space for the family to gather.
NJ Home Cleanouts
Sometimes the most challenging part of organizing your home is removing clutter. Junk-A-Haulics can help with that! Hiring help for junk removal can relieve most of the stress from your home cleanout. Our team is efficient and ready to tackle any project from debris removal outdoors to large appliance removal from the basement. Give us a call today to take the first step in your home cleanout for the New Year.