Do you have too much stuff cluttering your home or office? Are you looking to declutter and simplify your life? Whether you're moving, making a New Year's resolution, or just ready to clear out some storage, there are a few key steps you can take to ensure success. Like most endeavors, planning needs to meet effort if you’re going to find success in the process of simplifying the number of things you have in your life. In this article, we'll explore some suggestions for ways to prepare before you start clearing out your excess stuff.
Before you start throwing things out, it's important to determine what items you can't afford to replace in the future. These might be sentimental items, irreplaceable documents, or essential tools for work or hobbies. However, it’s also important to remember that holding on to too many things will likely leave you close to where you started. Knowing what things have actual significance to you versus the things that are simply emblematic of a memory you can cherish without the physical object can help you reduce the amount of things you’re holding onto in your home. Make a list of these items and set them aside in a safe place, so you don't accidentally throw them away.
It's important to have a plan for where you'll put all the items you're getting rid of. Will you be donating them? Selling them? Recycling them? Remember that most recycling places don’t take items that are too dirty, too hard to separate from other trash, or in some cases too damaged. If you’re planning to junk most things, getting a roll-off dumpster can help keep all of your to-discard things in one place. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have a plan in place before you start decluttering.
One person's trash is another person's treasure. Before you start throwing things out, consider reaching out to your neighbors and friends to see if they could use anything you no longer need. Many off-to-college teenagers could use a cheap mattress, a functional desk, or even a bicycle or scooter, so it’s a good way to help them out as you free up space for yourself. Young couples just having kids are likely to be in need of lots of children’s clothes, and if you have some old things from your family to share, it can help them out a great deal. This is a great way to help others while also clearing out your own space.
Decluttering can be messy work, so it's important to have the necessary supplies to clean out the spaces you're emptying. This might include garbage bags, cleaning supplies, gloves, and a dolly or hand truck to help move heavier items. Also, make sure you’ve planned enough time to do a thorough job of going through your things; nothing is worse in tasks like these than realizing you’ll need to pick it back up next weekend. Being efficient with both your supplies and your time is necessary for getting your home back in order.
Once you've cleared out your excess stuff, it's important to have a plan for what you'll do with the space. Will you use it for something else? Will you leave it empty? If you’re clearing out your storage rooms, consider finding a new way to organize that will utilize the space more effectively. Sometimes, when you discard enough, you can combine two rooms’ functions into one, giving you a whole new area to work with. Whatever you decide, having a plan in place will help you fully realize the benefits of your decluttering efforts.
Clearing out your excess stuff can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation, you can make the process much easier. By determining what you can't afford to replace, contacting neighbors and friends, knowing where you'll put everything, having the necessary supplies, and planning for what you'll do with the space, you'll be well on your way to decluttering and simplifying your life. And, after all is said and done, you’ll be able to look at what you’ve kept knowing that it’s the most important, most significant, most memorable things that are filling your life. So don't wait, make a plan and get sorted today!