The idea of living in a spacious room with less stuff around sounds attractive and convenient. However, the thought of doing away with some of your valued possessions might be overwhelming. Whether by choice or because you’re forced to downsize, here are a few tips to help you declutter.
Think of the Items You Would Replace If You Lost Everything
If your house burnt down and you lost everything, which items would you replace first? You should consider making a home inventory to help you declutter. Go over each item with the traditional keep/ donate/ toss away method. This mindset will help you really consider whether each item is essential. The key is going through the inventory from another location like a restaurant, friend’s house, or library. You’ll be detached, and can sit and think clearly. Your keep list should only contain items that you would go out and shop for again.
Organize the Belongings You Want to Store
You may have items that don’t play many roles in your daily life, but you aren’t willing to part with them. Don’t let these items drive you crazy. You can find solutions on how to store them in the limited space you have.
It’s possible to achieve excellent organization by finding new ways to keep the items you love. For instance, if you have a pile of photos and old documents, you can scan and upload them to a secure location. If there are items you can’t digitize, store them in metal storage boxes. Storage trunks can come in handy. They tuck things away but also keep them safe.
Start Small and Take Your Time
It’s not possible to clean up your entire apartment in a day. Declutter in short but dedicated bursts. It will take time to go through all your stuff and it won’t be easy to let it all go at once. Make a clear plan and focus on specific areas. This will also protect you from fatigue.
You can start with one room. A possibly successful strategy would involve working in 30 minutes intervals. Work in the room for thirty minutes, take a thirty-minute break, then get back to work for another 30 minutes. This will help you manage the emotion and frustration that comes with deciding what to lose and what to keep. To help you manage your time, set your schedule and follow it strictly.
Look at Your Items in Terms of Utility, Not Attachment
The sentimental value of your belongings might blind you from realizing their use. You may have outdated or outgrown items that you don’t want to lose because they have a special meaning to you. That is normal, but you need to go past your emotions if you’re going to declutter.
As you look at each item, think of whether it does anything different from other similar belongings. Items with the most utility will do multiple things for you. Pick the items with more value to your lifestyle. This strategy, however, only works when you are looking at tools.
If you’re thinking over photo albums or CDs, you won’t think about the utility. You need to think of whether you have dedicated attachments to them, or not. Choose between your feelings and how much space the items take up in your house. Otherwise, you’ll cling to photo albums that you might not need as much as you think you do. Remember you can always digitize photographs and videos!
Now that you have what you want to keep, decide on whether the other items will be donated or thrown away as trash. Lastly, don’t forget to change the habits that fill your house with all that junk. Learn to let go of less useful items in your house.