Decluttering can be an overwhelming and sometimes frustrating task, but it’s also gratifying. When you declutter, you free up space and create a more organized and peaceful home.
This article provides a quick guide to decluttering your home, with tips on how to get started, like making a plan, sorting your belongings, and donating or selling unwanted items.
Make a Plan
Before you start digging through your belongings and scattering them all over the house, take some time to think about what you want to achieve and why you’re decluttering in the first place. Ask yourself what areas of your home need decluttering the most, and outline your goals.
Once you have a plan, you can put it into action. If you need to, make a list or sketch out how you’d like the room or rooms to look on a notepad.
Take It One Room at a Time
Trying to tackle everything at once can be overwhelming and lead to procrastination and burnout. Instead, focus on one room at a time. This will make it easier to live in your home while you’re organizing. If you tried to do everything at once, you’d end up with an even bigger mess than what you started with.
It might be a good idea to start with a smaller space, like a bathroom or a pantry. Or you could start with a room you use more often, like the entryway, kitchen, or office.
Sort Your Items into Categories
Once you decide which room to declutter first, you can start sorting your items into categories. This will help you see what you have and what’s worth keeping or getting rid of.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you’re decluttering:
- Do I use this item regularly? If you haven’t used an item in the past year, it’s probably time to get rid of it.
- Does this item bring me joy? If an item doesn’t spark joy, it’s probably not worth keeping.
- Do I have a sentimental attachment to this item? If an item has sentimental value, you may want to keep it, and that’s OK! Think about whether or not you can display it or store it so it’s not taking up space in your home.
- Is this item in good condition? If an item is damaged or doesn’t work, it’s probably not worth keeping.
Remember, not everything has to go when you’re decluttering. Be honest with yourself, and don’t hold onto items out of guilt or obligation.
Donate or Sell Items You Don’t Need
If you have a large pile of things that you’re parting with, consider donating or selling those items. This will not only free up some space in your home, but it could help another family in need or put some money in your pocket if you decide to sell.
Here are some places you can donate or sell your unwanted items:
- Donate to charity: Local charities like Goodwill, Assistance League of Long Beach and Out of the Closet accept donations of gently used clothing, furniture, and other household items. This is a great way to give back to your community and help those in need.
- Sell online: You can sell unwanted items through websites like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. Or, you can use an app like Mercari, Poshmark, or OfferUp.
- Have a garage sale: If you have a lot of items to sell, consider having a garage sale. Who knows, you might even meet some new friends in the process.
- Recycle or discard: If your items aren’t in good enough condition to sell or donate, you can recycle or discard them.
Get Rid of Hazardous Items
Hazardous items, like expired medications, cleaning supplies, and chemicals, can harm the environment and your family or pets if not disposed of properly. That’s why it’s essential to know how to get rid of them correctly.
You can find information on how to dispose of hazardous items on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. Or, you can contact your local waste management company for more information.
Here are some tips for disposing of hazardous items:
- Don’t mix hazardous waste with other materials. This can create dangerous fumes or reactions.
- Label all hazardous waste containers clearly. This will help prevent accidental exposure.
- Take hazardous waste to a designated disposal facility. Don’t throw it in the trash or pour it down the drain.
Remember, decluttering is a process. It takes time and effort, but it’s ultimately worth it.
The Active Aging Series is brought to you by our partner, Cambrian Homecare. Cambrian Homecare has been assisting individuals to stay independent in their homes for 27 years. Flexible experience you can trust, when the best place is still at home.