Posted January 21, 2016 by Gabriel Posternak

The 10 tips that will help you to (finally) declutter your home

If there is a resolution that practically every homeowner makes in New Year's Day, that probably is the vow to finally get rid of all the junk laying around in the house. But though that promise is there every year, most of us fail to keep it. Decluttering a house is so boring! However, embracing minimalism and having less stuff means less to clean, less to organize and less to worry about at the end of the day. Interested in trying again? Follow these tips!

1 Divide and conquer

Set your plan to room and then area of that room -like the bedroom closet- to start with. If you jump from room to room and area to area without finishing the previous one it will look that you accomplish nothing and you'll quickly feel frustrated.

2 Set a time limit

Begin lightly, with an amount of time you will surely spend without interruptions. There is no use in saying “today” if you will be interrupted or distracted every half an hour and have nothing to show at the end of the day. Also, ask the people that live with you that you need to be focused and need them to let you work for the time you've set.

3 Escape if you feel trapped

Decluttering can be overwhelming at first, so prepare to escape before you start to feel sick. There is no shame in taking a break - just learn from it to set the next time limit! Of course, start again with new energy, don’t let it win ;)

4 Give away

There is no use in moving things from one place to another or put them out of sight in boxes: you need to let stuff go! Prepare moving boxes and put things to trash, give away, sell or recycle, well classified and tagged. Close them when filled and don't even open them again. There's no need to check twice, follow your first instinct and just go with it.

5 Ask a friend or relative for help

Sometimes we tend to settle easily but a friend can be brutal. If you know you are too attached to stuff, some outside help is in order.

6 Take pictures from different perspectives

You are used to see stuff and live with them but is very different when you see clutter in a photograph. Didn’t you find some horrible dirt in the background when you took a pic of your new pup or a selfie, that was unnoticed before? That’s the effect! You will see a lot of things that you need to get rid of. Grab your camera and walk around your home snapping some pics. Explore them later and you'll realize how much junk you have piling up throughout your home.

7 Hide in plain sight

Don’t hide stuff, better be creative with your storage space so you don’t keep unuseful things. Open shelves in the kitchen, baskets and rolling cart for paperwork or plastic open containers for toys are great options that will force you to keep them in order.

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Photo credit: Charles & Hudson via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

8 Learn about yourself

Pay attention to the category of stuff you find repeatedly useless when cleaning to avoid them. Are you a clothing or book hoarder? Do you feel driven to keep love letters from your kindergarten crush while you are on your fourth marriage? Do you buy insane amounts of toothpaste every time? Remember how those hoarding habits make cleaning more difficult and try to avoid them in the future.

9 Get rewards

Set goals and rewards, like using part of your savings in a paint job of your newly tidy room or buying a new dresser to storage your minimized amount of clothing. You can repurpose an abandoned storage space as a family room with a small remodel, some new furniture or decorations. Think of the rewards as the end game.

10 Make it routine

Keeping things tidy is always an ongoing project. Set a regular schedule that can be less time consuming, like 5 minutes a day or every Saturday morning and determine the areas that will need your attention regularly -like closet and kitchen- and areas you will take care of more evenly -like garage or storage room-.

You see? It's not as heavy as it seems when you come up with a good plan and follow these tips. And when the job is done you can just seat and enjoy your new uncluttered spaces.

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