Do you wish your home felt a little more organized and tidy?  Don’t we all, right?  We tend to accumulate so much stuff over the course of life that it can almost seem to bury us. So why do we hang on to all of this stuff if it just weighs us down? It’s just stuff after all. For many people, it’s more about the emotional attachments to things, rather than the actual items themselves. Or sometimes life gets so busy we forget to even take inventory of our personal belongings.

No matter the reason you have all the stuff, it’s vital to regularly take some time to sort through and declutter your home environment. Letting go of items releases stagnant energy and welcomes in new, fresh energy into your space so you can feel more relaxed and at peace in your home. So here are some tips to help you make sense of all that clutter and find your way out of the mound of stuff that’s weighing you down.

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1. Schedule Time

Choose a day or a weekend when you know you have time to focus on decluttering and shut off your phone so there are no distractions.

2. Make Lists

Create a list of the rooms you want to organize. Start with one room at a time, one closet or drawer at a time. When you finish going through a closet, a box or a drawer check it off the list. The kitchen is a great place to start since we all spend a lot of time there if we enjoy cooking our own meals every day.

3. Make Piles

Designate piles to sort your items into. A Throw-Away Pile for garbage, a Recycle Pile for plastics, paper and glass, a Sell Pile if you plan to have a garage sale within a few months, a Donate Pile for usable items that you don’t want to throw away or sell and a Keep Pile of items you will keep.

4. Use Bins for Storage

Get yourself some bins to sort your items in. It helps you be so much more organized and makes the items easier to remove from your house.

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5. Ask Yourself These 3 Questions:

Every time you pick up an item ask yourself three questions: #1. When was the last time I wore, used or looked at this?  #2. Will I use it in the next year? #3. Does it bring me joy?  If you like or love the item and still use it regularly and it still brings you joy or has sentimental value, keep it. Usually, if you haven’t worn it or used in the last year and don’t plan to use it in the coming year, chances are you won’t miss it. Our wardrobes are usually a great source of clutter in our homes and could stand to be paired down even just a bit.

6. Take Breaks

Sorting through your belongings can be exhausting, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.  So take regular breaks away from your stuff to go outside, or have something to eat. Decide when you will be done for the day and stick to that, then resume the next day with renewed energy.

7. Ask for Help

Ask a trusted family member or friend to help you go through all your stuff with you.  Sometimes having an objective perspective helps you release the things you no longer need.

8. Don’t Bite off More Than You Can Chew

Don’t try and do too much at once, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially if you haven’t gone through your things in a long time. Take it easy on yourself.

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9. Photos

Store your photos in boxes that protect them instead of bulky albums that take up room.  Or better yet keep hard copies of the most special ones and scan the rest onto your computer.

10. Sentimental Items

Create a special box just for your sentimental items that you don’t want on display. That way it’s all organized and you can look through it any time you want.

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11. Make Some Money

Put lightly used, good quality items up for sale either in a yard sale or in an online buy and sell community in your area. Or, organize a clothing swap with your friends or within your community. If it hasn’t sold within a month of listing it, just donate it to charity.

12. Reward Yourself

When you’re all finished, celebrate your newly organized space, kick back, relax, and marvel at all of your hard work. Reward yourself with something nourishing like a massage, or a nice dinner out. You deserve it!

So there you have it, some practical and easy steps to having the organized home you desire. Even though decluttering can be tough work, it’s always worth it in the end, especially if you have a small space. Because it’s really not the size of the space that matters, but how you use it.

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