Completely covered countertops, laundry all over the floor, an overflowing junk drawer … Does this sound like the current condition of your home?
Well, the first thing to know is that you’re not alone!
Millions of Americans live in crowded, cluttered homes, and even though it may seem like clutter “sneaks up on you,” there are actually many tactics you can use to tame the disordered mess (and believe me, it’s worth it!).
Spending time sorting, organizing, and putting away will instantly clear your mind, center your focus, and make your life easier. Of course, when it comes to staging and selling your home, keeping it neat and organized is always a great approach as well. Instead of frantically cleaning before each showing, you’ll know it’s always ready for home shoppers.
So how do you start living the “decluttered lifestyle?”
I recommend beginning with these 6 tips.
1. Start with a Big Declutter.
If you’re starting from a place of overall, disaster-zone clutter, you’ll want to set aside a half-day to do a Big Declutter.
Start with three piles:
– Trash or Recycling
– Give Away or Sell
– Keep and Put Away
Now, go through each room of your home, and with your most discerning judgement, declutter! Make it systematic, and use the “decluttering rules” in the next tip to make the job easier.
2. Use the following “decluttering rules.”
– When it comes to documents and paperwork, recycle it if it’s not needed, file it if you need it, and if you’re not sure, take a picture of it.
– Haven’t used or worn it in 6 months or more? You probably don’t need it.
– Everything is not sentimental. Save a few keepsakes, but don’t feel obliged to keep everything.
– Never used it? Probably never will? That’s too bad, but nix the guilt, and get rid of it.
– Get help from your family! They should be doing the same thing as you with their own rooms/offices and communal spaces.
3. From now on, when you get something out, put it away (right away).
Though we’d like to believe it, homes don’t get decluttered by little elves. We do it! And the biggest culprit is not putting things away after we use them.
From now on, try to consistently put everything in its right place after you use it or get it out. This includes everything: Car keys, remote control, slippers, kitchen utensils, snacks, lip balm, notepads, books, pens … and everything else!
4. Have a designated place for everything.
One of the first things you’ll notice with tip #3 is that it’s harder than you think to put things away … when you don’t have a place for everything.
So, this is what you must do next: Create a place for everything. Doing this sometimes requires some unique home design planning, so grab a notebook and pen. Keep it somewhere central, like on the fridge.
Every time you need to put something away from now on, if it doesn’t have a place, write it on the notepad. Later on, take a seat, look over everything that needs a home, and create a shopping list for new storage supplies. Finding a place for everything is truly half the battle.
5. Make storage solutions as easy to access as possible.
When choosing storage solutions for tip #4, it’s crucial to follow some simply storage rules:
– Put most-used items up front.
– Use storage boxes with lids instead of sacks or bags.
– Choose clear storage containers over opaque ones.
– Avoid stacking storage boxes and containers.
– Allow room for growth (for example, if your wrapping supplies fill their current storage container to the brim, choose something bigger — chances are you’ll need more space later on).
– Label everything!
6. Think of decluttering as a practice.
Sure, you can wake up every month or two, ready and raring to clean the house and get rid of things! But wouldn’t it be better to do a little bit of decluttering and cleaning every day in order to keep your home in a relative state of cleanliness?
Basically, all this means is making these decluttering tips into a regular practice.
If you can do this, you’ll instantly notice a positive difference in the cleanliness of your home — making it far more enjoyable to live in and far easier and less stressful to sell, if that’s your goal.
Looking for more home-selling tips? Check out my other blog posts!