…or an upcoming move!

Young woman carrying boxes out of cluttered room.

In our society, it’s all too easy to accumulate clutter. You may have good intentions of living a minimalist lifestyle, but when your kid brings home their fourth macaroni art piece of the month or your well-meaning co-workers gift you with another coffee mug, it becomes a very elusive goal. Often we hold onto items we don’t need - and sometimes don’t even like - because we feel a sense of obligation to keep them. Changing your mindset around your possessions, setting a goal, and making a plan to declutter your home can go a long way towards making some breathing room for yourself. A decluttered home is a wonderful way to start the New Year, and if you happen to be planning a move in 2021, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of not having to pack and move as much stuff.

Plan Your Strategy

Decluttering your home is no small feat! Having a plan in place can help you feel prepared and able to tackle this monumental task.
  • Decide on your approach – Will you declutter one room at a time, or tackle one category at a time (e.g. clothing, books, closets)? Will you start with the hardest room/category to get it over with while your motivation is high, or will you start with the easiest one and work your way up? Choose what feels best to you.
  • Write your plan down – You’ll need to look back at it when you get caught up in the process and can’t remember what comes next. It can also help you see your progress as you check off each area.
  • Tell people about it – Nothing reinforces a plan like accountability. If your decluttering goals are a secret, it’s easy to cast them aside. Once you promise multiple people that your house will no longer be a haven for clutter, the pressure will be on!

Carry Out Your Plan

Getting started is often the hardest thing to do. To make it easier, declutter your home in small chunks of time. Absolutely DO NOT tell yourself you’re going to declutter your entire home in one afternoon. Such a lofty goal makes it hard to get started and sets you up for failure. Decluttering can happen over many days if you designate small chunks of time to it. Tell yourself you have to work on your plan for 15 minutes in the morning before you have your coffee, then 30 minutes in the evening before you sit down to watch TV. Schedule this time in to ensure that it gets done!

As you work, be mindful of where you’re putting items. Simply moving them from one counter or table to another is not decluttering. There should be a place for everything that’s going to stay in your home. If it doesn’t have a place, make one for it. Apart from appliances, photos, pencil cups, and items of that nature, nothing should sit out on a counter or table by default.

Deciding What to Hold On To & What to Let Go

Ok, you’ve got your plan and you’ve picked your starting point. You’re gleefully pulling everything out of a closet when you find that outfit you last wore five years ago to your birthday party. What a great party that was! Sure, it doesn’t fit anymore and your style has changed, but how could you possibly throw away such a cherished memory?! Ok. Look. This is going to happen – a LOT – during the decluttering process. You’re going to come across countless items that you may not have touched in years, but upon seeing them you just know you can’t live without. Stay strong! Take a deep breath, and ask yourself these questions:
  • Is it useful? – Curling irons, dumbbells, book bags, and space heaters – these are all items with a purpose.
  • Does it bring you joy? – When you look at it, are you glad you have it? Does it give you warm feelings or a sense of gratitude, or does it bring on feelings of guilt and frustration?
  • Have you used it or gotten joy from it in the last year? – It doesn’t matter if the item is useful or brings you joy if you never give it the chance to do those things. If you’re not using it or enjoying it, let it go.

Items with Sentimental Value

This is a big one. Silly mugs given to you by friends, children’s art projects, movie ticket stubs from first dates, that sweatshirt you bought on that one trip – as humans, we attach sentiment to almost everything. Unfortunately, this means that many of us find ourselves drowning in possessions that we don’t need, won’t use, and rarely ever look at or think about. Often, we feel too guilty to get rid of them. But saying goodbye to an object doesn’t mean you’re losing the memory. Consider taking pictures of sentimental items – imagine making a photo album of your child’s art projects or all the silly gifts you’ve ever received from friends. You’re much more likely to leaf through that fondly than you are to keep all the actual objects around in your home.

Home Organization Tips

Unused and unneeded items aren’t the only things cluttering up your home. Once you’ve purged it of these objects, you may notice that the items you do need and use also take up too much space and make your home look messy. Your family’s shoes sprawled by the door. Multiple appliances crowding your kitchen counters. Papers and mail piled up on your desk. You may not be able to get rid of these items, but here are some ideas for helping them use less space and look neater:
  • Boxes and baskets – If you have spare blankets strewn about your living room, art supplies haphazardly placed around your house, or any other loose collections of items, gather them in one place with the help of boxes and baskets. Those blankets can go in a stylish wicker basket that matches your living room’s décor, to be pulled out only when needed. Art supplies can live in a durable plastic box under the bed, out of sight when not in use.
  • Shoe racks – If everyone kicks off their shoes when they walk in the house, look for a shoe rack that fits the look and size of your entryways. Many more shoes can be stacked neatly in a smaller space when you invest in a small rack with multiple shelves.
  • Use vertical space – Your walls can contribute significantly to your home’s organization. Hang coat racks by entry doors to avoid coats heaped over chairs in your kitchen and living room. Some coat racks have organizers with places to hang keys and shelves or spaces for small objects like wallets, mail, and sunglasses. You can also hang a shoe organizer on the inside of a closet door for extra shoe space.
  • Go digital – If you have a large book collection, consider going digital. eReaders weigh less than half a pound and can store thousands of books. Books are great, but can be difficult to move. Feel free to amass a library once you’ve settled into your forever home. Until then, donate the ones that don’t have sentimental value and download them instead.
  • Cord control – Cords sprawling in all directions definitely contribute to a messy-looking home. If possible, reroute cords under or behind furniture. Gather cords together with a cable zipper, which collects them all in one clean-looking tube.

What Do You Do with Items You No Longer Want?

As you choose possessions to let go of, ask yourself if anyone else can use them. If so, consider donating them to a homeless shelter or thrift store. If the item is useful, in good condition, and valuable, you could sell it to make some extra money. Look up similar items being sold in your area on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or apps like NextDoor, LetGo, and OfferUp. If other people in your area are selling a similar item, you may want to list yours.

If you end up with a large number of items that can’t be used by anyone or if the things you want to get rid of are large, Black Tie Moving offers junk removal services in your area. Our moving pros will quickly remove appliances, furniture, mattresses, trash, and other unwanted items from your home, leaving you free of clutter. We can even clean out entire rooms if you know your basement, attic, or unused bedroom is full of junk and it’s too much to go through yourself. With our help, you can get a fresh start and some more breathing room in your newly decluttered home.

Reap the Benefits of a Clutter-Free Home

Nothing feels better than a clean, uncluttered living environment. Letting go of clutter and clearing our your physical environment positively impacts your mental health and sets you up for success in other areas of your life. It may seem like an impossible task, but when you make a plan and divide it up into smaller tasks done in short chunks of time, it will be entirely within your grasp. If you’re looking for professional junk removal services to rid your home of clutter and gain a clear mind and clean home, contact the experts at Black Tie Moving today by calling (844) 920-2966!