After living in one home for a couple of decades, most people end up with a certain amount of clutter. The process of de-cluttering can be very emotional and stressful. It’s important to understand how de-cluttering might affect you and the things you can do to cope with that emotional stress.
1. Have a Plan!
List all of the rooms in your home and number them in the order you want to go through them. This is important because it will help you visualize your space and make the task seem more manageable before getting started.
2. Go Slowly!
Put aside specific time for de-cluttering. Set a timer to last between thirty minutes to three hours and only work during that time. Take your time and don’t push yourself too hard.
3. Be Patient!
De-cluttering can be very emotional. Finding a new place for things that once held great meaning and memories can be a difficult process. Give yourself time to go through the process when sorting through things.
4. Take a Break!
If it seems overwhelming, just take a break. Make decisions about your items when you’re calm and sure of your choice. You don’t want to regret a decision you made while you were emotionally stressed.
5. Keep, Donate, Toss!
When you’re going through your things, divide them into three categories. Put the things you intend to keep where they belong. Put aside the items you want to give to your family members or friends, and everything else can be donated to services like the Salvation Army or Good Will. Anything that’s not in good shape should be tossed.
6. Go Through Everything!
Don’t avoid anything while de-cluttering. If you really don’t want to work on a certain thing, plan to tend to it when you’re about halfway through your home. Don’t leave it as the last thing, because then you won’t be motivated to finish!
7. Get Help!
De-cluttering can be very stressful emotionally and it’s important to talk to someone about it. Reach out to a family member or close friend to help. There are a number of services that can help with de-cluttering and the emotional stress it causes. Let those services help you and make it more manageable for you.
8. Pare Down!
You don’t need ten photo albums or fifty CD’s. Pick out your favorites and compile them into one album or organizer. This lets you revisit all of your memories while still de-cluttering.
9. Be Realistic!
This is especially important for people who are downsizing. Your new home won’t be as big, so some items that you want to keep might not be reasonable to have. There are some companies that help you figure out what will fit into your new home or apartment comfortably.
10. Be Safe!
De-cluttering and having everything organized helps make your home safer for you, which is very important. Also be sure to keep track of important documents and properly shred and discard documents containing private information.
Along with these tips, there are many services that can help with de-cluttering and downsizing homes.
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