Cutting Down on Clutter

Getting rid of clutter

It’s an issue that’s hard to fathom if you’ve never needed to cut down on your clutter. Nobody wants to be called a hoarder and the word alone can even make you think of a crazy person. The truth is that we are all conditioned to hold onto things for various reasons. It can be for a sentimental thought, rational saving of items you buy, and continual daily repetition leading to hoarding.

These simple steps can help your make that clutter disappear and be used creatively after that. It’s not hard to do either so even the worst homes or rooms can be organized without much effort. These steps will show you how to kick-off your clutter clean-up.

Organize what kind of clutter it is

All that stuff you own and collected over the years is not always organized so well. It can take up boxes, closets, and drawers until they are stuffed. The first step is to take a single box and begin to determine what those items categorized as. Make 4 selected boxes that each item can go into. These boxes should be labeled collectible, maybe, keepsake, and garage sale.

Throw out maybe items

This is a tough first step, but the reasoning is obvious when you think about it. When will you ever use it, and has that happened since you have kept it? Sometimes these are perfect items that can make great gifts or things that just go in the trash. It might be left-over salsa that hasn’t been opened or a never-used DVD of ‘Drop Dead Fred’ that was free from Pizza Hut. In the end, it should either go to the trash or go out as a gift.

Select valuables and authentic collectibles

This category is easier to stomach since some items you collect can be collectible and be worth some decent money. You want to save these but with the intent to sell them for the best price. The internet is always looking for these kinds of things so they don’t need to go just yet. They should be organized and kept in shape so the value of that item is in top shape. Keep these items in a designated spot after this so you know it’s for these items only.

Improving your home

Your home is the last place that you’ll want clutter to build-up. It can happen if you’ve let things go for a while, especially if you don’t have guests over for a long time. If you’re not careful, the first sign is that closets and storage nooks are the first victims. This then spills into attic space piling up and eventually the garage being a stuff’ dump too. Wherever there is space it will even fill up after years of neglect until now. Here’s what to do.

Only use the essentials

Your kitchen is a breeding ground for stored foods and it needs continual upkeep. Go through each cabinet to review the expiration dates. Throw out old food past its time, it can make you sick if it went bad. The same goes for medicine so anything in your medicine box should be organized and updated. Put items that you cannot use for donation or toss into the garbage. In this case, only hold onto the very essentials you need right now.

Incorporate some items as decorations

Every mother will have leftover items such as baskets or trinkets, especially if there are kids involved. But over the long haul, these items do build-up and serve no purpose other than a memory. Anything that can be repurposed as a home decoration is a great idea. As long as it matches the furniture and serves as umbrella holders, key baskets, trinket buckets, etc. Think about how these past items can serve another purpose if they are put into that position.

File away old documents

There must be files and boxes of old paperwork that is being stored somewhere. Old tax returns and work documents, or even old receipts for bills. Old computer printout, user manuals for electronics, or even various handwritten notes. It all needs to be organized into a garbage bin or an important document bin. Unless it’s currently being used you don’t need to keep all your receipts but do file the original returns.

Increase living room space

All that storage space you have is taking up valued space that can be used to your advantage. There are plenty of Youtube tutorials that show you how to extend closets and storage bins. This is a great chance to open up your home and have more space to keep your stuff under control. It also gives you a reason to keep busy without feeling like you did anything. Your closets and drawers will be more organized than ever before.

Build built-in storage spaces

A closet is always an open space with lots of potential built-in spots. How about a spot for storing shoes, or an extended hidden shelf for jewelry, watches, or valuables? There’s a tutorial for everything that uses very practical items you already own. Make the most of your home closets this way. Each space can have selected areas that can maximize the amount of room you have without losing anything in return.

Have designated activity spots

Turn little nooks in your home into spots where the action is more common. Taking off your shoes and coat is the most common area. How about your entertainment room? The dining room will no doubt be an important place too. Each of these spaces should be themed with objects that help define that space. Using left-over clutter items to help give these rooms the added touches will enhance these spots moreover. Use them as decoration with a purpose.

Keep all messages in one place

Take all of your phone numbers, ideas, written notes, and messages to one central spot. Create a scrapbook, bulletin board, or chalkboard where they can all be stored. Keep your thoughts out in the open unless they are considered trash. Make a message-themed room where the whole family can communicate. Keep all important numbers in a phone book that lets everyone know who to call when it’s important.

Feel better about losing excess clutter

At the beginning of this article, you get to learn about the 4 basic boxes. Well once the entire house or room is clutter-free, you should hold yourself a garage sale. These days people do it more traditionally and post it to the internet. Craigslist, Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, as long as you want to sell it, it’s worth posting. There’s always someone out there who loves to find their secret treasure and will help cut-down clutter in your home.

Garage sale

This first stage is the internet sale. Make announcements on a specific day and get people ready and curious to check out what you have. Make it one day only to increase the level and importance for people to buy something. Post your items and settle on a price or whatever is offered.

Rummage sale

This is the second stage that is followed after the garage sale. It follows a couple of days afterward. It needs to be friendly but not sounding desperate. It’s the stuff that can be worth a far better deal. By the end that extra stuff you sell is at discounted prices or half-price levels. It will sell faster than the garage sale items you posted. That’s for sure!

Donation day

This is again a couple of days after the rummage sale and whatever is left-over can be donated. As long as they want to pick it up for free, they can take it away for free. You’ll be surprised how many people will want free stuff. It’s at this point that you’ll feel good since you’ve made extra money with your clutter. You’ve also made your living space more livable.

Trash it

In some cases you’ll find that all the items you have held onto over time are more or less worthless. Meaning you can’t really sell them, and donating may be more work than it’s worth. In these times it’s best to discard or recycle your stuff. You can consider the following options:

  • Bulk trash pick up (your city normally offers 1 free pickup a few times a year)
  • Purchase a Bagster Bag (you can pick up a Bagster at your local hardware store and fill it yourself and hire a company to come get it or call Waste Management for a curbside pickup)
  • Hire a junk removal/hauling company to come to your home and remove whatever you no longer need.
  • Rent a roll-off dumpster
  • Load it up in a truck and haul it to the dump yourself

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