Declutter Your Home In 5 Easy Steps
October 11, 2013
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If you want to declutter your home or you're helping a client make the most of their living space, deciding where to start can be a challenge. Here are some simple steps to make decluttering less overwhelming:
Work One Room at a Time
Never try to tackle the job all at once. Declutter your home one room at a time; ideally, you should begin with a room that isn't used very often. And once you're on task, stay on task.
Define Your Categories
Create piles or section off and label areas of the room so that you can sort items into categories: Keep, Recycle, Donate, Sell, Scrap. The more categories you create the more effort it will take to remove items from the premises, so keep your sorting categories as simple as possible.
Determine Your Criteria
Before you begin, take inventory of the room and then determine your sorting criteria. For example, if the room contains clothing, begin with a closet—remove items that no longer fit, are out-of-style or are damaged and sort them into appropriate piles. If a room contains furniture, decide what pieces are outdated, worn, damaged or too large for the space. Follow a similar process to sort collections of books, decor and accessories, artwork, tools and videos.
If you are working with a client, decide on the criteria before you start sorting. This can be an emotional process—remind them that letting go of sentimental items doesn't mean letting go of memories. And point out that when the process is complete, they will have a much more livable and functional place to call home.
Clear Out the Junk
Once the items have been sorted, it's time to clear out the junk. Never move on to the next room until the room you are working on is cleared. If there is room in a garage or basement, these can be used for temporary storage, but it's best to arrange for pick up or disposal of items as soon as possible.
Continue the process of sorting and clearing as you move through each room in the house.
When you complete the decluttering process, find solutions to minimize clutter in the future. Do this by adding functional elements to your rooms, which look great and provide areas for storage. Shallow display shelves can show off items that might otherwise clutter usable space. Sliding panels or entertainment units with doors can cover up unsightly electronics, game consoles and cords. Use a collection of wicker baskets, storage bins, lidded boxes and stackable containers to curtail clutter creep. These can work wonders in children's play rooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
Decluttering a home—whether your own or your client's—takes time and determination, but this process is crucial in creating a functional, livable and stylish home.
Photo credit: StockXchng