Deciding to declutter is a big step. Whether it's in preparation for a move or simply because you want to lessen the pile of clutter and whatnots in your home, tackling the task isn't in any way as easy as it looks.
You may find it challenging to identify which stuff should stay in storage and which ought to be shared (donated) or thrown away. If you're the sentimental type who usually clings on to several of your possessions, you could end up being at a crossroads and ask yourself—to store or share?
Books, old furniture, and other odds and ends may be easier to decide on. But when it comes to stuff that you think you may still need or use in the future, the decision can be tricky.
Aside from determining which items will go to the disposal, storage, or recycling center, you also need to take care of contacting a junk removal company or service who will pick up junk for free. That way, you won't have to worry about keeping unnecessary items in your garage or attic. The disposal company can pick it up as soon as you're done sorting and decluttering.
To add, the following tips might be of good use when tackling an effective declutter:
One common mistake that most homeowners commit is decluttering without setting a goal or realistic timeline. So, they end up just creating a bigger mess by going through the basement, attic, closets, and other rooms of the house and not finishing anything. To prevent this, it's better to have a plan and start with a definitive approach on how you're going to accomplish your project.
If it can help in any way, you can draw a simple map to identify the areas you need to tackle. Where do you plan to start? Should you go to the largest rooms first then down to the smallest ones? A good plan is to start from the busiest area of the house, such as the kitchen or the living room, where all the clutter tends to pile up without you noticing it.
As much as you'd want to finish decluttering in a day or two, that may not be a realistic goal, especially if you have work or other things you need to do. What's more sensible is to set aside maybe an hour or so each day to get things moving. If you're not in a hurry and you don't need to move out or something of that sort, taking things slowly could be even better, so you can achieve your goal.
As you start clearing the mess in your home, it might be better to start assessing the value of your stuff first so that you can identify the things that should be thrown away, kept, or donated. If you have time, you can go through the pile one by one and create a sorting method that'll help you organize everything easily.
For example, you can start with at least three boxes or bins that you can label as 'keep,' 'donate,' and 'throw away.' This method makes it easier and faster for you to declutter, so you won't have to go through everything again once you've sorted the pile.
For the things you plan to keep, it's best to make sure you have an improvised storage strategy to keep your stuff organized and as clutter-free as possible. You can utilize stackable containers, smart shelving, and creative cabinetry under the stairwells.
It's easy to get lost in the middle of your decluttering process, particularly if you want to get rid of as many things as possible. What usually happens is you end up deciding to donate or share almost everything without even thinking if others can still find those stuff useful or not. Old sneakers, for example, might be better off getting recycled through their manufacturers, especially if they're no longer wearable.
Remember that your goal in donating is to share something that others can still use or repurpose. What's the use of donating old gadgets that you know won't open or charge anymore? Chances are that those things would only end up being a disappointment (and a problem) to people and organizations where you'll be giving them to.
On the flip side, what you think may no longer be of any use to you can help someone who needs it. So, figuring out what to share and donate is a huge responsibility that you need to be mindful of.
Decluttering can be compared to cleaning and maintaining your home—it's a never-ending process that you need to tackle regularly. Now that you've done the first step of clearing a significant amount of mess in your home, the key is to be consistent with it so you won't need to deal with such a predicament again in the future.
Create a sorting method that works best for the decluttering style you prefer. Set a timeline and a definitive plan that can make the process easier and more efficient. Lastly, be mindful of what you share and donate.
Learn to assess the value of things and know when to get rid of the junk that can no longer be used or recycled. These tips should be able to make your decluttering journey a less daunting but more effective one.