By Jackie Waters
Clutter can take a huge toll on our health, yet many people are unsure of how to go about taking care of it. If you have a busy schedule, a large family, or small spaces in your home that become easily overwhelmed with belongings, it can be a challenge to keep clutter at bay. The good news is that there are several things you can do to address the mess and keep your home looking neat and clean, which will boost your mood and may even help with feelings of depression or anxiety. Getting organized will help immensely, but you must also be willing to part with things that are no longer necessary for your lifestyle. Here are four tips on how to get started.
Hire Some Help
While most decluttering can be DIY projects, you may need some help disposing of larger items like furniture, mattresses, and oversized decor that you no longer want. Most trash pickup services won’t haul away items that don’t fit into the can, but you can hire some help in the form of a junk removal service. Ask about mileage fees as well. If there are items that you are thinking of recycling, make sure your local recycling service will take them; for instance, many facilities won’t accept a mattress unless it is already broken down into manageable parts, but a junk removal service will take it off your hands.
One of the easiest ways to combat clutter is to make some organizational changes around your home. If the kitchen counter is a catch-all for homework, snacks, mail, and backpacks, it might help to give everyone their own space to keep their belongings in. Creating a small area near the door with self-adhesive hooks will allow the kids to hang up their coats and bags after school, whereas investing in a small mail holder will help you keep all the bills and important paperwork together. Not only will this cut down on the clutter, but it will also help everyone get ready a little faster in the mornings, and that can only be a good thing!
Many people have collections of books, records, photos, movies, and video games that take up a lot of space. You don’t have to get rid of these, but you can find ways to condense them or get them organized using apps and other simple tech. Rather than having several bookshelves in the living room, keep one full of some favorites and store the rest of the collection, then switch them out with the seasons. Photos can be scanned onto a computer and digitized; then, they can be moved to an external hard drive or a thumb drive for easy access. If you have a DVD collection, consider storing each one in a paper sleeve and alphabetizing them in a drawer or cabinet so you can pack the cases away; this will save you a ton of space.
Ask Yourself Some Hard Questions
One of the most difficult things about decluttering is figuring out how to let go of some of the things you’ve had for years. Keep in mind that you don’t have to lose sentimental items; these can be stored or given to family members. Other items should be tackled with the general “six-month” rule; if you haven’t used a non-seasonal item in six months, it’s probably time to let it go. Clothing, kitchen items, and furniture should be tackled first, as these tend to take up the most space. You can donate these items or sell them via marketplace apps to earn extra cash.
Decluttering your home is a great way to focus on your health, as it truly affects your mental space and your physical well-being to live in a home that is overwhelmed with belongings. Talk to your family members about how they can help so that everyone can be healthy and happy.