How to Declutter and Organize Your Home
We live in the day and age where it's common to accumulate a lot of stuff. Most times we buy things not because we actually need them but rather just for the sake of buying. Or because it's on sale. While that may seem like a good idea at the time, we later run into the problem of where to store it. Unless you live in a house that has a big garage and/or basement, storage space is usually pretty scarce. If you have a lot of stuff, you give up a lot of room to store it that could otherwise be used for something else. So what's a person to do when they own a lot of things and don't really have the room for them? Organize accordingly.
You don't have to be an actual hoarder to have a lot of things. Sometimes it just adds up over the years and when you move you realize just how many things you actually own. I recently went through this exact situation when I moved a few months ago. I found stuff in my garage that I had long forgotten even existed. This was stuff from years and years ago that I don't really need anymore and would be better off donated or given away. The other half was just empty boxes from all types of appliances and merchandise that I had purchased over the years. I decided to take the time to really go through everything because what better time to do that then when you're moving and need to have as little to pack as possible? Think of how easy the minimalists have it! Moving time is a great time to really organize all the stuff that you own and get rid of as much as possible. But you don't have to wait to move to get your things in order and free up some much needed space in your home.
The easiest place to start organizing your home is your closets, like your bedroom closets. Make sure to have some garbage bags on hand for the things you will get rid of. Really go through everything and if you haven't worn clothes or shoes in more than a few years just donate it or sell it on Ebay depending on their condition. Everybody could use some extra room in their closets and think of it this way, now you have an excuse to buy new clothes if you have the room to store them! Next, go through all the other closets in your home and do the same thing. Obviously if you're not wearing these clothes or shoes and not using these things you don't really need them so give them away or sell them. Either way free up the space so you could store other things in there or just enjoy having more room to breathe.
The kitchen is a good place to organize and declutter as well. You don't really think about it, but do you really know what you have in your cupboards? If you actually go through everything, including the top cupboards above the fridge, more than likely you will find kitchen utensils and old dishes that you could get rid of. Most people also have that one junk drawer in their kitchen where they store absolutely everything. Definitely go through that one, you won't regret it. Once you're done with the kitchen cupboards, move on to the pantry. You can definitely get rid of a lot of expired cans of food and old pasta that you can't eat anymore. You might also have old bags of rice, beans, sugar, or anything else that is expired and no longer edible that you can toss. If you have extra cans of food or other dried goods that are still fresh you can definitely donate it to your local food bank and help someone in need. I also like to have a system of organizing the food in the pantry so I know where everything is. For example, I keep all the cans together, the boxes of pasta side by side, and all types of the same food close to each other. You will be surprised by the amount of room you will free up after removing all of the unnecessary things in your kitchen area.
Once you're done with the closets and kitchen area, start going through your furniture, like your dressers, entertainment center, and any other types of storage you might have. I would start in your bedroom and go through your dresser drawers and vanity if you have those. When I was moving, I got two whole garage bags full of clothes to donate just from my dresser. Go through your desk drawers and the storage in your bathroom and see what you can get rid of there as well. We women are especially used to having to lot of makeup and hair products in the bathroom. Most are half empty and some are completely empty so they are only taking up room. It is important to go through everything and get rid of whatever you don't need. I would also go through where you store DVDs and movies and see if you can get rid of some of those. Home offices are also where a lot of clutter tends to accumulate. Go through all those desk drawers and file cabinets and see what you can toss. Some stuff that you don't need on a day to day basis could be stored in the basement or garage to free up some room in your main living area for you to put to better use.
When you are done in the your main living area, move on to the basement or garage, whichever one you have. These are the toughest areas to organize because they are the ones you are most likely to ignore for long periods of time. I usually go down to the basement only to do laundry if the washer/dryer is there or to store empty boxes or other junk. Needless to say, I don't spend a lot of time down there because it's kind of creepy and cold. So when I go down there to organize, I know it's not going to be a one day job but more like a week or two of hard labor. More than likely, the stuff that you keep down in the basement isn't very valuable.
We tend to keep a lot of old junk down there that most likely belongs in the garbage or at best donate if it's in decent condition. It's best to tackle this typically large space by dividing it into small sections so it seems less daunting. Some stuff that I got rid of are old magazines, books, empty boxes, old clothes and other old stuff that I simply don't need anymore. It's up to you what you can stand to get rid of but just remember that empty space could be used for something cool like a pool or ping pong table. The same goes for your garage. You're probably not keeping the valuables out there. So go through that and expect to spend a few days organizing and getting rid of things. If I do end up keeping anything in the basement or garage, I buy those large plastic storage containers because those two places tend to be damp and cardboard boxes simply won't do.
After you're done decluttering and organizing you will probably feel a sense of being free and at peace. Because as much as society and modern marketing ploys try to tell us, having more stuff actually won't make you happy, but in fact can make you feel depressed. If you buy a lot of things to make up for the bad things in your life, then you just end with a bunch of stuff but you're still sad inside. Psychologically, throwing out old things makes you think more clearly and feel more stable and grounded. It's a very freeing and healthy experience, like you're purging the old and making room for the new and better.
Getting rid of your old stuff also gets rid of the bad energy that each objects holds within itself. Each object in your home is made up of all the energy that surrounds it. If your home is full of love and laughter that's what it will be, but if it's the opposite then negativity is what that object holds. If you are moving and you find old objects that you used to have in your home with an old ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend and it was a miserable time in your life, then it's better to get rid of that object because not only is it going to remind you of them but it's also full of the bad energy that it sucked up when it was in that negative environment. I personally feel better and more grounded when I don't have a lot of extra stuff. And when I think about moving next it doesn't scare me as much because I know I won't have that much to pack and I only have the things that I really like and need. With spring just around the corner, there's no better time to declutter and make space for what you really want in your life!
Have you ever decluttered your home?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
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