New Year, Fresh Start: 4 Steps to Decluttering an Overcrowded Home

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Minimalist has taken the world by storm. From fashion and home design to marketing, the minimal way of life is popular across all industries. For millions of people, it’s not just a trend or a passing fad, but a lifestyle.

Homeowners worldwide are embracing this concept. The minimalist aesthetic is functional and visual appealing. Imagine a home with sleek lines, streamlined furniture, light colors, and well-defined shapes.

Decluttering is a hallmark of minimalism. A cluttered home overloads your senses, increases stress, and affects mental focus. It has a negative impact on your mood, emotional balance, and productivity.

Luckily, it’s never too late to get rid of clutter in your home. Simply follow these steps.

How Does Clutter Affect Your Life?

Need a boost of motivation before getting started? Consider the many ways clutter affects your life. It drains your energy, affects your productivity, and interferes with your sleep.

The average American household spends more than $1,700 on clothes each year. Three in four garages has so much stuff inside that there’s no room for a car. Not to mention our TVs, gadgets, kitchen appliances, newspapers, empty bottles, and other items lurking in our homes

Few of these things actually provide any value. For many of us, they’re just things we’re attached to. Perhaps you think of them as treasures or collections.

One thing is for sure: clutter affects our mental and physical health. In a survey, respondents admitted that clutter at home or in the workplace negatively impacts their motivational, emotional state, happiness, and productivity. About 20 percent said that it harms their interpersonal relationships.

According to psychologists, clutter promotes unhealthy eating habits, skyrockets our stress levels, and affects visual processing. In the long run, it contributes to cognitive impairment and age-related memory decline.

But what’s the best way to declutter an overcrowded home? Where should you start? These steps will point you in the right direction.

1. Start Small

Depending on how much clutter is in your home, you might not be able to clear everything at once. Start with small steps and make tiny changes every day.

Clear one area, such as your desk, countertop, or cupboard. Get rid of anything that you no longer need or use. This will be your clutter-free zone.

A few days later, choose another area and follow the same steps. Repeat until your entire home is clutter-free. Don’t try to do everything at once — you’ll most likely lose your motivation and give up.

One way to get rid of unnecessary stuff is to use skip bins. These are perfect for storing old furniture and accessories, broken pens, newspapers, faulty appliances, and other things that you haven’t used in years.

Consider the different ways skips can declutter and then determine how many skip bins you’ll need.

2. Prioritize and Plan

Decluttering an overcrowded home isn’t as easy as it seems. It could take you weeks or months to get this job done. That’s why you need a plan.

Set specific goals for each room and then come up with a strategy to get rid of clutter. Prioritize the most crowded areas, such as your kitchen or home office.

Let’s say you decide to start in the kitchen. In this case, you may need to organize the cabinets, discard expired foods and spices, throw out your old toaster and other appliances, mop the floors, and so on.

Have a juicer you haven’t used in ages? Put it in the cupboard.

Is your kitchen full of old newspapers, plastic bags, and mail? Designate a spot for these items, such as a basket or storage box, and place everything inside. Store it in a kitchen cabinet or under the kitchen sofa.

Next, head over to your living room or bedroom and repeat the process. Start with a small area and gradually expand your clutter-free zone until the entire room is clean and tidy.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take your time and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

3. Keep Up with the Season

Decluttering isn’t about throwing your stuff away but organizing your space in an efficient manner.

Let’s take your closet, for example. If it’s warm outside, stash your boots, sweaters, and winter jackets in a plastic bin or storage basket. Only keep in your closet what you’ll actually wear in the next few weeks.

When the temperature drops, put away your summer dresses and tank tops and pull out your winter coats. Sort your clothes into different categories and determine what you no longer need.

Remember those old jeans you keep in the closet, hoping that someday you’ll be slim enough to wear them? Most likely they’ll go out of fashion by the time you’ll lose 50 pounds.

Give them to a friend or donate them to a local charity. Another option is to sell them online and then buy a new pair if that’s what you want.

4. Choose Quality over Quantity

Would you prefer to have five bottles of cheap perfumes or a single one that reflects your style and boasts an amazing fragrance?

All those extra bottles take space and clutter your home. Plus, you probably keep buying new ones because you don’t really like what you already have.

The same goes for makeup, face creams, shampoos, bath products, clothes, and so on.

Get rid of the things you don’t really like and treat yourself to high-quality skin care products, fragrances, and cosmetics. Invest in clothes and shoes that flatter your body and showcase your personality.

These items may cost more, but you’ll be pickier about where you spend your money and buy less stuff, which will reduce your expenses — and the clutter in your home.

Start Decluttering Your Home

Stop procrastinating and start decluttering your home today. The longer you wait, the more clutter you’ll have to deal with.

Purchase baskets, office organizers, and other storage units. Make the most out of your vertical space, drawers, and cabinets. When you stumble over an item you haven’t used in 12 months or more, ask yourself if you really need it.

Need some inspiration to organize your basement or give it a makeover? Check out these cool ideas for a basement conversion!

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