Sure, decluttering your home makes it look better, but did you know it can make your whole family feel better, too? According to Psychology Today, getting rid of things you don’t need has a wide range of benefits to your mental and emotional health, including anxiety reduction, and an increase in self-confidence.

A cluttered closet or even an entire house might be a sign that it’s time to let go of a few things – or just that you don’t have enough storage space. We can help if it’s storage space. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of upgrading the size of your garage. Here’s a suggested approach if you’ve got a house-wide clutter problem.

Room by Room

Experts agree that most attempts to declutter fail because people just get overwhelmed by the idea. Where do you start? The most efficient and successful way is to declutter in stages. Take it room by room. Stay in that room until you’ve finished the job before moving on. It’ll give you a feeling of confidence when you see the visible change.

Five Containers

No reason to invest in a bunch of unnecessary tools. You can accomplish decluttering with just five baskets, bins, or even cardboard boxes. Each one has a specific purpose.

  1. Items that can be put away. This container is the place for things that have either wandered out of their designated storage spaces and weren’t put away, or they never had an official storage space to begin with. Yes, that means you’re keeping what you put in this box – but every item has to be put away in its designated place before you can declare the room to be officially decluttered.
  2. Items that need attention. They’re a favorite pair of pants, but you can’t wear them until you get the zipper fixed. Meanwhile, they’re just hanging out draped over the back of a chair. Put items in this box that you’re not going to get rid of but you can’t use because they need to be cleaned or repaired. But, be honest. Are you going to actually give it attention?
  3. Items that can be recycled. You’re getting rid of this stuff. It’s not something that you can donate, but it doesn’t belong in our already overwhelmed landfill systems. If you’re lucky, you just need to place this box or container by the curb on the next trash day.
  4. Items that can’t be recycled. These things truly have no future use for anybody. It’s time to designate them as trash and get rid of them.
  5. Items that can be donated. Thrift stores say they’ve seen a massive increase in donations because of the trend towards decluttering. This is one time when it’s good to be trendy. Donate what can be reused. And don’t forget that it might offer you a tax deduction.

These five containers are going to follow you throughout your decluttering task. If something’s not put away in a room, it needs to go in one of these boxes.

We’ll offer you some room-specific advice in Part 2. Generally, though, most clutter happens because you haven’t created enough storage space for your possessions. You may find that there are many items in Box #1 that simply don’t have a designated storage space. Time to consider claiming a general storage area.

Share This