Decluttering Your Home: How to Get Organized Without a Pro

Decluttering a home can go a long way toward making it healthier for your whole family, but it can be a big job. Over the years, we tend to collect lots of belongings but don’t always have time to go through and pare them down, meaning they just keep piling up. Clothes and accessories, books, DVDs, toys, and pictures are some of the most common items that accumulate for homeowners, and fortunately, these are also some of the easiest to get rid of or organize.

Because clutter can be detrimental to your health and to the environment, it’s important to go through the process as thoroughly as possible. This means cleaning out closets and the pantry, taking stock of the items you have inside cupboards and drawers, and considering having a garage sale or downloading an app that will allow you to sell those items through the second-hand economy. These are some of the easiest ways to get rid of items you no longer want or need without contributing to a landfill — one of the largest contributors to global warming.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready to start decluttering.

Start in One Room

Decluttering can easily become overwhelming, so it’s crucial to start in one room and work your way out. Stay organized by preparing with trash bags, boxes, a fat black marker, and some sheets of paper so you can write down anything you want to pack up and donate; this will help you find it easily later if you have a garage sale. You can put items into three piles: keep, sell, and donate.

Find the Right Vacuum

A good vacuum cleaner can help you keep things clean without doubling your efforts according to what type of flooring you have, so look for one that works equally well on tile, hardwood, and carpet. There are even models that run on battery power so you won’t have to use electricity, which is a plus for any homeowner who wants to be more eco-friendly. Be sure you read reviews and guides online so you can choose the right one for your needs.

Make the Most of Your Space

If your home doesn’t have a ton of room, it’s especially important to make sure you utilize every bit of space you have. This might mean finding creative storage solutions, such as furniture and decor that does double duty as storage space or using shelving that goes up rather than out. Also, it helps to think about using the inside of cabinet doors in the kitchen to hang utensils or measuring cups, or the space beneath your bed for flat bins that can hold extra blankets.

Have a Plan for New Items

It’s always fun to go shopping for new things, especially at the start of a new season, but it’s a good rule to get rid of one thing for each new item you bring into the home. If you need to replace something, make sure you donate or sell the old item right away. Having a plan like this will help you prevent a buildup of more clutter. Also, a good rule of thumb in regards to many items is to give them away or sell them if they haven’t been used in a year or more.

Decluttering your home can take some time, so try to be patient as you go through the process. Start with a good plan that will help you remain eco-friendly, and look for sustainable items when you buy new things so you won’t have to worry about replacing them as often.

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