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Clutter can cause more than just a dirty house.
It is mentally exhausting to look around and see a house of stuff that has nowhere to live. You feel stressed, anxious, tense and now can’t focus on things around you that really matter.
What’s more important, things or your relationships?
Although my house is clean, I still feel there’s a lot of extra clutter that can go.
Bedrooms are the worst. With dressers and nightstands, a person seems to collect things that have no home or leave it there because it’s convenient. Neither is ideal.
If you are like me and clutter drives you crazy or you’ve decided enough is enough then keep reading for my top tips on how to declutter your house in one day.
To start, get a huge box, multiple bags or both. Clean and purge one room at a time and use the list below to help you. NOW BEGIN!
What To Purge:
- If it doesn’t have a home, it doesn’t need to stay.
- Get rid of multiples.
- If it doesn’t fit or you haven’t worn it in a year.
- Broken, chipped, torn or unfinished projects.
- Nick knack items you never dust, have no value and you’re tired of looking at.
- Paperwork or magazines you no longer need or read.
- Separate clothing items you may want to resell from the other items you are purging.
When To Purge:
- The best time to purge is when you’re coming back from a vacation/trip. Since you haven’t been home you are less attached to the items in your house or you see them from a different perspective.
- When you have an urge like I have now :).
- Once every season no matter what.
People like to come and visit a place where they feel comfortable and welcome. A dirty house says or gives the impression of neither of these. For this reason, keeping a tidy house is important even when it’s not our strong suit or we don’t feel like it.
Relatives don’t want to go through your things when you’re gone. By going through your clutter/items, you have the chance to give to relatives what you don’t use anymore, but would like them to have or just give it away in general.
Removing clutter removes stress and gives us more time to do what we enjoy. If everything has a place, then you can spend more time doing other things instead of shuffling piles around your house.
When downsizing from a house to an apartment you will need to get rid of things unless you plan on renting a storage unit. Unless you are storing priceless antiques or things that have been handed down through generations, I would not suggest the storage unit.
Storage units can be traps allowing you to fill an extra place or space you just don’t need. You will waste money and still not solve the problem of keeping extra things you just don’t need.
As a consumer society, we have a billion-dollar industry revolved around storing junk. Renting a unit when you can have a garage sale or donate your things will solve more than money issues, it will release A LOT OF STRESS!
For farm families, be careful not to use old grain bins. I made this mistake after seeing a friend do this. “I’ll just put Christmas decorations out there” was my initial thought. Well, that turned out to be a place to store and not sort through items, something I’m having to do now.
Paperwork is different than other types of clutter because we need to use more brain power and make sure we’re not throwing away anything we’ll need in the future. For this reason, I will give you a different way to tackle it.
- Gather all your loose paperwork around your house and put it in a container or box.
- Take it to a place where you can sort it. Office, table, desk or floor.
- Sort items according to categories such as Active, Long Term, Memories, or Current. This should be a quick sorting. Don’t get sidetracked.
- If you can’t decide which category, just pick Current and you can focus on it later.
- Now you should have some kind of file system. If you don’t then you need to get one.
- Going through one category at a time, file into the correct folder or throw it out if you no longer need it.
- For warranties, I have a three-ring binder where they’re all stored.
- For Long-Term paper storage (such as taxes) use boxes and or containers and store in your garage, attic or someplace where they are not taking up extra space in your house. Be sure to label each year so if you need something it is easy to find.
- Place photos in a photo box or albums and labeled.
- As you start to file you may see you need another category. Just label another folder and continue.
- Go through the Active file and mail first in case there is something that needs to be taken care of right away.
If you’re consistent (the key to everything) then paperwork shouldn’t be overwhelming once you have your system down. Once a week organize your paperwork after the initial job is finished.
Using files or binders with colors you enjoy will make the process less of a chore and allow you to enjoy your space while filing.
Building or buying a new office desk or putting up shelves can also help renew your space. You will have a place for everything and a clean, not cluttered area to work in. I’m currently doing this myself. I’ve purged and filed and now will build an area that best represents me :).
Purging in a day does not include building things, but it does get rid of unwanted clutter in your home so you can look and create the new space you have.
I start in the morning and by giving myself just one day I work like a mad woman. When you have a timeline you accomplish more. If you say, “I’ll purge in a week”, then you’ll think too much and keep more than you should. Trust me on this. A quick purge is the best purge.
Purging sentimental items are where a lot of people have a hard time. I knew this girl who saved every sucker wrapper, rock or anything else that reminded her of a special time. This ended up creating a dump, yes, dump in her room.
It’s okay to be attached to some things but remember, they’re just things. People should matter more and a clean house to welcome them in.
As Albert Einstein said, “When you’re out of clutter you find simplicity.”
Have a healthy week – Heather Earles
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