Your Decluttering Cheat Sheet

Did your New Year’s resolution of getting your clutter under control never materialize? Or are you getting your home ready to sell, and you need to declutter before listing? Whatever your reasons for wanting to tidy up, it can feel like an overwhelming job. The key is to break down the chore into smaller tasks. If you’re gearing up to declutter your home, then’s here’s the cheat sheet you need to get started and to stay on task.

Create goals

First of all, you need to make a plan and set a timeline before you begin your decluttering project. This will help to keep you focused and reduce your frustration. Make of list of all the rooms or areas you want to declutter. Decide how challenging each area will be and determine how much time you want to spend in that area. Look at your calendar and plan out times that you can devote to decluttering, and reward yourself when you reach each goal.

Make a sorting system

Next, you need to create a sorting system for your clutter. The most popular method is the Four-Box Method. Take four large boxes or bins and label them “Keep”, “Donate”, “For Storage”, and “Trash”. As you work, put items in the correct box, and empty each box after you finish each area.

Figure out how you’ll decide what to keep

The hardest part of decluttering can be determining which items you want to keep and which items you will give away. There are many methods you can use to figure this out. These include:

  • The KonMari Method — Hold each item. Does it spark joy? If it does, then keep it. If not, then it’s time to let it go.
  • The 80/20 Rule — We generally use about 20 percent of our things 80 percent of the time. If the item is not in your 20 percent, then you can let it go.
  • The Value Rule — Unless an item is particularly valuable and can be resold, don’t use the price you paid for it to determine whether or not you’ll keep it. If you’re not using it, then it has no value to you.
  • The Duplicate Rule — Do you have more than one of a certain type of item? Then there is no reason to keep them all. Choose the one that works the best and donate all the others.

Get rid of the items

Once you’ve decided which items to let go of, you need to figure out what to do with them. This can be a huge roadblock for many people, so we’ve compiled a list of ideas:

  • Sell the items — Whether you hold a garage or estate sale or list the items online, selling your unneeded things will help you earn a little money back.
  • Donate — If you don’t want to go to the trouble of having a sale, then donate items that are in good condition. Here’s a great list of places that will accept your household donations.
  • Recycle — Items made of paper, plastic, and glass can often be recycled so don’t throw them in the trash.
  • Rent a dumpster — If you’ve got a big project and many items are not in good condition, then it may be time to rent a dumpster.
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