Let’s face it. We all have crap that we hold on to for some reason or another. It could be because we did not even realize we still had something (one should REALLY get rid of this stuff when one finds it!) It could also be because we have convinced ourselves that we could not live without this stuff. Or, it could be because we have sentimental attachment to things which makes it hard to let go (do you really need all of those childhood books now that you are in your 20’s?)
Now, I am not advocating chucking everything in the garbage that does not have a place or a purpose, but I am saying you should donate the items to the Salvation Army, or Goodwill drop off sites as to not end up in the giant landfills. De-cluttering and sorting your home may seem overwhelming, but there are a few tricks that can help:
1) Start off by organizing one room at a time. Plan your attack. Start on one side of the room and go through each and every item and think to yourself, do I need this? Do I love this? If not, toss it in a donate bag.
2) Some might say that one needs to keep a rule that for every thing you get, you should get rid of one thing. I don’t think this is necessary. I think by going into your home annually, or bi-annually and de-cluttering is the best solution. Or, even before you take something to the cash register, think to yourself if you have a place to put this item, if you love it or even need it. Don’t get stuff for the sake of getting stuff. Your home AND your pocketbook will love you more for it.
3)Sort through things like books, magazines, and other periodicals and ask yourself if you will really pick up that fiction book again, or if you could donate it to someone who would want to read it. There are online book swap clubs, so you can get rid of your books and reward yourself by getting books you have been meaning to read. The Paperback Swap is a perfect way to exchange your books. As long as you are getting rid of some of your books to get new ones, your space won’t be as likely to get cluttered.
4)If you are fortunate to have a storage locker or room in your home, use it! If it is full, you should start there and make sure you need everything in there. Bring down extra cooking tools or dishes and plates that you pull out only if you have tons of extra company.
5)Organize! Living in the Twin Cities, we have lots of great resources to get our homes in shape, but my two favorites are Storables, and The Container Store in Edina. They have storage solutions that you would not have even thought you needed, but once you see them, you will never go back to your old ways.
While doing all this de-cluttering, above all, limit yourself to one room at a time, or the amount of time you do each room. And reward yourself when you are done! Nothing screams of accomplishment more than going out to get an all fruit smoothie and enjoying it in your newly organized room.