The New Year is a great time to restart. It’s recycling last year’s calendar and starting at square one on a new one; It’s creating a new goal or personal mantra to follow; It’s writing last year’s date on everything before crossing it out and putting 2019 above it. Yes, it happens to everyone.
All jokes aside, we find there’s nothing quite like a good house cleansing. If you have trouble cleansing your home of quote-unquote “things,” then this is the article for you.
How to Effectively De-clutter
A cluttered space can actually increase your anxiety levels, and that’s the last thing you should worry about when you want to wind down at home.
So to get in the right mindset, look at your home with a more objective eye.
The things in your home are just that: things. They only mean what you want them to mean, but everything in your home should be functional and/or make you feel good. Otherwise, why have them?
When you’re de-cluttering, take it one room at a time, and do the following:
- Start with the big stuff you want to donate. Remove it completely from the space. If you can, get it out of your home or apartment, and out of your mind.
- Work your way from big stuff to small stuff. The goal is to cleanse your space.
- Get a box or hamper and fill it with things you want to donate. Your local donation centre will happily take anything you don’t need. So consider donating something before throwing it out.
- Do a pass of the room with a garbage bag and throw away anything you don’t need. As you really get rolling, you may start to think about the things in the room more objectively. Does it have a function? Do you even like it? No? Throw it out!
Once the big stuff in the room is out of the way, you’ll likely be left with the small stuff: papers, trinkets, mementos. Here’s where you have to start making those more difficult, time-consuming decisions, which is why we’ve saved it for last.
Make The Sentimental Stuff Useful
It’s comforting to hold onto keepsakes that inspire memories of others. You may have boxes full of these memories, like old cards you received, or artwork you made, or even an old set of your grandmother’s silverware… whatever it is, why keep it all boxed up?
When it comes to sentimental items, we would never tell you what is and isn’t worth keeping. But if you’re looking to downsize and de-clutter, here are your options:
- Display them. Let your keepsakes tell their stories around your home. They’re the ones that mean the most to you.
- Photograph them. Your keepsakes may not have a place in the character of your home, but if you are determined to remove them, pose them nicely and take a photo of them all together. Now you have all of the memories in a fraction of the space.
- Share them. Give your keepsakes back or pay them forward. If someone expresses sentiment in something you’re holding on to, gift it to that person. It will mean the world to them.
- Donate, sell, and throw them away. We understand it can be hard to let things go, but for the sake of cleansing, consider keeping one important item from a moment, and then discard the rest.
Think of it more as a compression of your keepsakes. When you’re done, you’ll be left with only the most important things that do the best job honouring your memories.
Remember to give yourself time with everything. Cleansing your home takes time and doesn’t need to be rushed. You may not get it all done in one day. Your room will get messier before it gets tidier. All of this is completely normal.
Keep your whole day free of plans, give yourself regular breaks, and prepare a snack in advance for when you’re tuckered out.
With these tips, you’re now only a productive day or two away from a clear and tidy living space, and with ample room for new memories of 2019. New year, new home!