Declutter Your Home Over the Weekend, Here's How
Holiday Season is fast approaching and now may be the perfect time to tackle decluttering your home.
Now, most of us need more than a weekend to do a proper clutter-clearing but here are some great tips to help you create a plan to start clearing out closets, get rid of unwanted items in your basement or garage or donated unwanted items like old toys or clothing.
If you haven’t moved in decades, transforming your living space may take a couple of weeks or months tops, but it is definitely doable and well worth the effort. Same prep and game plan applies, so read on and get ready to clear your clutter!
Tip #1 – Be prepared before you start
No doubt, while clearing your clutter, you’ll most likely have items to donate and recycle. Research your local recycling depot / donation center where you can do a drop-off or schedule a pickup online with a donation center near you. Here’s a list of places where you can take your stuff.
Before beginning, be sure to have the necessary supplies on hand to streamline your cleaning. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Trash bags. Be sure to have a supply of trash bags for unwanted items that cannot be donated or recycled and need to be discarded.
- Boxes and bins. These are good for sorting items you’ll want to keep or sell, as well as for transferring items that are earmarked for donation.
- Sticky notes and markers. While sifting and sorting through items, using sticky notes can help keep your project in check by labeling each category with its contents or destination such as keep, sell, donate or storage. You might even have a pile of items you want to keep but need to be repaired in some way and can label them as such.
- Cleaning supplies. As each space becomes clutter-free, you’ll want to wipe down surfaces as you go.
- Timer with alarm. Clutter clearing always works best when you break it down into small manageable chunks so that you don’t feel overwhelmed so use 20-minute timeboxes. Choose a small area from your declutter plan that will take no more than 20 minutes to clear – a shelf, a drawer or other clearly defined small section. Set a timer for 20 minutes and go for it. Most people find after doing this that they feel energized to do more. If so, take a short break if you need to, and then choose another small area. Set timer and repeat.
Day One - Have a game plan
Tackle your home decluttering project at a slow place, one area at a time. Decide which rooms or spaces are a priority for ‘day one’ and in which order. While going through each area, determine whether every item you pick up should be trashed, donated, sold or kept. Once that's decided, place each item in its properly labeled bag or box.
Here's a good guide to follow:
- Discard items that are broken/can't be repaired, expired or worn out.
- Donate items that are in good condition but that you no longer want or no longer need.
- Sell items that you can get something back for online or elsewhere.
- Keep items you have a use for, love, or that are sentimental and can be displayed.
Day Two – How do you keep the momentum going?
The first day of decluttering should have created a type of system where things are boxed and labeled with sticky notes to identify their intended destination. Now it’s time to tackle the “keep” box and decide where and how each item you've chosen to hang on to will be best stored.
It’s important to ensure these items now have a designated home in the space it's most used. In addition, label every container, bin and drawer so anyone can easily find what they need when looking for it.
Now it’s time to complete the project.
As soon as you have finished your clutter clearing sessions, empty your trash box and recycling box into your main house garbage and recycle bins, and for any items that you intend to keep but were out-of-place, go around the house putting them back where they belong.
If possible, take the items for donation to the drop-off centre or at the very least, put them in your car to drop off the next morning. If you are scheduling a pick-up online, remove the boxes and place them in the garage. Do not leave them in the house and risk revisiting these items and putting them back on the shelf.
For the items that you intend to sell, schedule time into your week to photograph and place online. Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji are practical platform choices for this.
Some final thoughts
Decluttering can feel quite challenging when you first start, but as your clutter clearing “muscle” develops, the decisions about what stays and what goes become easier and easier, and the results are so enjoyable that you will actively look forward to the next session.
Enjoy your space!
You may also enjoy reading:
How to Clear Paper Clutter
50 Gift Ideas That Are Clutter Free
What's Really Under Your Clutter