Declutter your home quickly.
Decluttering your home quickly is actually possible.
Maybe you’re getting ready for holiday visitors, moving into a new place, helping Your parents downsize their home, or are just ready to turn a chapter in your life. Whatever the case, these tips will help you clear your space and get you living a more zen-filled life, quick.
Choose what you love.
Decluttering is more about choosing what to keep, than choosing what to get rid of. So turn the exercise on it’s head and instead of trying to think what you should declutter, pick the top 10 things you love in each room (or work by category) and save those things first.
Pro Tip: Love the china your grandmother had? Use it. You can put it in the dishwasher. Yes, it might break more easily, and the gold might eventually wash off it, but it’s so much better than it sitting in a box and never being used. It’s also better than deciding to donating the set, “because I couldn’t possibly break up the set” only to realize the store split up the pieces (because who has room for a full china set?), and your favorite plate became someone’s ash tray.
2. Donate everything.
Unless you’re planning on having an estate sale, the best way to declutter a house fast is to get comfortable with the idea that you’ll be donating everything you decide to get rid of. There are three main benefits here:
An organization is probably looking for a lot of the items that you are planning on getting rid of — so your donated items will get used right away.
You’ll get the stuff you really don’t love out of your house faster AND get to take a tax rebate on it.
Some places will even come pick up the items, which means extra time for you to relax in your new, clear space, wondering why you didn’t do this sooner.
3. Sentimental items should be kept to one box or displayed.
If it’s really that important to you, why isn’t it somewhere where you can see it? Take a picture of everything else, make a photo album out of it, and put it on a book shelf so you can actually go look at it.
If you have a few things you like to pull out and look at once in awhile, that’s fine. Just limit yourself to one (labeled) plastic tub. (Everyone in the family can have 1.) It will help you prioritize what those super special, sentimental items are and leave you with the space you need to live you day-to-day life with ease.
4. Part with anything you haven’t used in a year.
If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to let it go.
Even if it cost you a lot of money, or you think you could get a good price on it on Craigslist or Facebook groups. If the point is to declutter as fast as you can, trying to sell stuff can slow down the process. (Sometimes, it even makes you end up wanting to keep something because, “Hey, someone else wanted it.”)
The price you paid for the item is rarely what it’s worth now, and it’s been costing you a mental tax by keeping it around and not using it. Take the position of gratitude that someone is willing to take that mental burden way from you by donating items to organization who need it. Or imagine the items you no longer love, making someones day when they discover it at your local thrift store.
Stuff for hobbies you haven’t used, donate. Kitchen appliances you haven’t used, donate. Winter coats you haven’t worn, donate. Books on your bookshelf that you haven’t gotten around to reading? (If you really want, choose two to keep and read (asap) and, you guessed it. Donate the rest.
Pro Tip: If you have fine jewelry you haven’t worn in a year, take it to a jeweler and see if they can melt it down and make something you actually love.)
5. Remove any duplicate items.
Lots of homes have way more glasses, dishes, utensils, towels, sheets, and cleaning supplies, than they actually need. Sometimes we buy something new and then feel torn about getting rid of what we planned to replace, because we ‘might need it’ in the future.
Or we buy stockpiles of stuff because it seems like it’s cheaper. (It might seem that way in some cases, but remember there’s still a storage fee you’re paying for!) If you struggle with keeping duplicates of stuff, ‘just in case.” Try the rule of two. For example:
If you have 6 people in your family, you keep 12 glasses or 12 towels.
In the kitchen, keep only two of every item. 2 frying pans, two pots, two baking sheets, two tongs, two spatulas.
If you have two beds, you keep four sheet sets (total!).
If you want to have a back-up supply of soap, shampoo, detergent keep only 2. (1 on standby, 1 in used.)
6. Let gifts go.
It’s okay to let gifts go, especially if you really don’t love them.
Gifts are more about the person giving the gift than the person receiving the gift. If you get a gift from someone and you really don’t love it. There is absolutely no reason why you need to keep it. The same goes for heirloom items. (Although you might want to ask family members if they want it, before you donate it). It’s your home. It’s your headspace thats getting filled up. Graciously, thank the gift-giver for their generosity and feel no burden to wear or display the gift before donating it.
7. Recognize that there are “rounds” of decluttering.
Your first decluttering pass, will probably not be your last. As you get better about recognizing what you really love (and better about releasing the guilt associated with getting rid of things.) You’ll start to feel much freer in getting rid of those things that no longer serve you.
When you take the time to declutter your space, and surround yourself only with the things you love you’ll feel so much better and have much more mental capacity to spend your time doing the things you love.