Do you ever get frustrated by the amount of clutter you seem to have amassed in your home? Do you ever look at your closet and wonder where all the stuff you have accumulated actually came from? Do you feel that you could easily do without most of the brick-a-brac in your possession. If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then this guide on how to declutter your house is for you.
Here is a list of tips, questions and tricks I use to figure out how to declutter my house:
- Have I (or someone in my family) used it in the last year?
- Does it have strong or positive sentimental value?
- Does it collect dust and if so am I willing to maintain it or buy a container to keep it dust free?
- Could someone else be enjoying this more than me? Have I given about 3% of my adjusted gross income to charity and if not will this help or give joy to someone less fortunate than myself.
- Does keeping the item make it hard to find the stuff that I need more often. Does keeping it make it hard to get things done in my house? Is the way that it is stored a safety hazard? How much time am I willing to spend agonizing over whether to keep this item or not? How bad would it really be if I had to go and buy another one if I found out I needed it in the future? I find I generally only buy back about 1 in 100 items I donate.
- Do you have more than the maximum number of things that you are willing to maintain? If, yes, then is this item more likely to get used than my other items?
- When considering clothing: does it really fit me, look nice on me, and make me feel good wearing it?
- Will my heirs wonder why I have kept this? Are the reasons I have used to justify keeping it in the past still valid?
- Did I buy this to solve a problem that is now solved or that i was unable to solve with the itme? It is OK to make mistakes shopping!
- Am I really going to have time to do the project this item is for, if any? If I haven’t done it so far, what are the odds I will in the future?
- Repeat a calming mantra like “Sometimes you just got to let it go”.
- For drawers and boxes, you can make a game to see how many small items in the box or drawer you can find that you can discard. My goal is to do this for my entire house, at least once a year. It also reminds me where everything is.
- Is the space this item is taking up using up my valuable interior space that I want to use for something else?
- If the item in question is worth over $50 in present condition could I use the money for something else?
I like to use an auction house for anything over $100 that I am not willing to donate to charity. I use an eBay seller for small items that are over $50. I like to donate my unwanted and unsaleable items to the charity ‘Goodwill’. I give away some free items on Craigslist and occasionally sell larger items on there if I just can’t bring myself to donate it, or want the money for something else.
Hopefully, the above tips should enable you to discard some of the unwanted items in your home. Not only will this generate some revenue and help people less fortunate than yourself, but it will also help you to organize the place you live. A tidy living space means, of course, a tidy mind.
What declutter strategies do you use that I have not mentioned?