With all the extra time many of us have been spending at home this year, it’s understandable that you may have become more aware of the clutter in your home. Maybe it’s even grown as you’ve spent more time at home. If the clutter in your home makes you feel a little overwhelmed, you’re in luck. There are some things you can do to take care of all the clutter in your home.
Go Through and Clean
Going through your home and cleaning it can be a great way to both start and finish your decluttering project. There is probably plenty of cleaning you can do before you get started tackling the clutter, but you’ll be able to clean even more when it’s been handled. As you clean, you may find it useful to collect the clutter into a centralized area. You can sort it into different categories to set yourself up for going through it more effectively. Even just getting a good cleaning in can help you feel better about your living space.
Throw Out Junk
One of the best things you can do to declutter your home is to throw out old junk, especially items that are broken or damaged. Expired items should be thrown away too. This includes things like old food, crafting supplies that have become dried out and unusable, and broken electronics and children’s toys. If you have expired makeup products, you shouldn’t use them and should instead throw them away. Depending on how much stuff you have to throw out you may need to spread out disposal over multiple weeks if you’re just throwing it out in your garbage. Otherwise, taking it to the dump may be a good way to speed things along.
Some of your clutter is likely recyclable, so instead of throwing it in the garbage you can recycle it. Keeping track of what you can or can’t recycle can be a bit tricky sometimes, especially since in some cases things that you normally could recycle may not be recyclable because of what has been in or on them. If you aren’t sure, see if you can find a little recycling triangle on the item. Inside the triangle is a number. If it’s a one or two, you should recycle it. If it’s a three, six, or seven, it’s just garbage. Items with a four or five can be recycled in some cases, so you’ll have to check with your local recycling center to see if you can recycle it. Alternatively, you can repurpose some items for an alternative way to recycle old things.
Put Things Into Storage
Many things that people own aren’t things you need to have access to frequently or regularly. Holiday belongings are an excellent example of this. Instead of keeping them in your house where they take up space, put them and other similar items into storage. This is pretty much exactly what storage units were designed for, after all. If renting a storage unit isn’t a good option for you, there are ways you can store them on your property. A modular garage is ideal for simple storage needs, like for yard equipment or a vehicle. Alternatively, if you have a room in your house you don’t need to be using, you can turn that into your own personal storage unit.
Go Through Paper Clutter
If you’re like many people, you may have piles of paper clutter scatter throughout your house. This can take many forms, such as children’s homework (or yours if you’re in school), children’s art projects, mail, or magazines. Similarly to general clutter, you may find it beneficial to gather it all together and sort it out before tackling it. Sorting it into “throw away,” “hold onto,” and “handle” categories can help you know what to do with it all and get it done more quickly. Papers in the “throw away” category can be thrown away all at once. Important papers can be stored in secure locations once identified. Papers such as bills or other notices that are actionable papers can be taken care of in a timely fashion.
Consider donating possessions that are in good condition that you don’t have a need for or want to keep anymore. If your items are damaged or dirty, don’t donate them. Donation centers don’t have the manpower to fix or clean things, so just don’t do it. Older electronics also may not be accepted, though some hold value well, so you might want to check on those first. That said, there are some good reasons to donate your possessions, provided they are in good shape. Consider that donation centers may operate by reselling items at a fraction of their value, so if it’s not in a condition that would allow it to be sold they may not be able to use it.
In-Home Storage Solutions
By the time you’ve thrown out, recycled, and donated what you can, you should have a much smaller collection of items to deal with. Hopefully what you’re left with are things that you intend to keep. These things need to have a place where they belong, or they’ll just end up cluttering up your space again. Try adding storage helpers to your home. If you have a lot of shoes, you might try a shoe organizer you can hang on your closet door. An ottoman with storage space can be a great option for storing favorite toys you want to have close at hand. There are lots of creative storage ideas you can add to your home.
Of course, once you’ve gone through your clutter and gotten it all taken care of and under control, now you have to maintain it. Maintaining the organization you’ve created is what will prevent you from having to do this all again in the future. Clean as you go to prevent messes from becoming huge. Sort incoming papers into their respective trash, keep, and handle piles and manage them accordingly. And as obvious as it sounds, once you’re finished with something, put it back in its place.
Clutter can make being at home less enjoyable and more stressful, so it’s important to manage it. Between throwing things out, donating, and organizing them, there are a lot of things you can do to handle the clutter in your home. Try some of these methods for handling clutter and see how much cleaner your home feels.
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