Moving into a new space is never easy, and can come with an overwhelming amount of challenges that can grow to affect your day-to-day life. Clutter is a big contributor, and can grow to be much more than just a junk drawer in the kitchen or a messy closet. The hardest part about it is the initial fear of tackling a mess that seems impossible to get rid of, but a little bit of motivation and hard work will go a long way. Here is a list of five tips to help you declutter your new home:
- As you unpack, set aside items you don’t need or have a place for any longer: this is one of the easiest ways to avoid clutter before it’s a problem. While unpacking, make an effort to consciously donate or throw away things that won’t have a place, or you simply don’t need anymore. This can be done by working as you pack and unpack, or you can use the three-bin method. Label three bins the following: donate, trash, and put away. Doing it this way can make it more clear the options you have when decluttering, and helps to uncloud a messy mind. Also, when putting items in the put away pile, it helps to make individual piles for each section of your home, so you have an idea of where each item will reside in your house. When donating, check out places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill, or if you are looking to make a dime, try using facebook marketplace to sell your items to a local buyer.
- Go through your clothes and sell or donate them: a messy closet can be hard to avoid, and is arguably where the clutter starts in a home. An easy quick fix is to go through all your clothes and decide what you do and don’t wear anymore, making a conscious effort to get rid of as much as possible. Another option is using the backwards hanger method. When you move into your new place hang up all your clothes on hangers, but hang them up the reverse way. After you wear something, hang the clothes up as you regularly would. Following two-months time, go through and donate all the clothes still hung up backwards. This method makes it easy to see what you do and don’t wear, not leaving you the choice of what to give away. When you have finished you can make the choice to donate or sell the unused clothing. Places like Poshmark will give you a platform to sell your clothing yourself, or you can give to Plato’s Closet where they will offer you immediate cash for your clothes.
- Don’t keep things you think you might need ‘someday’: your home isn’t a storage unit, so don’t treat it like one. When decluttering try to get rid of anything you may be keeping ‘just in case’. Think twice about hanging on to your collection of magazines or the twelve old cell phones. Also, don’t keep things just because you fear you would have wasted money parting with them. Every item you keep comes at the cost of lost storage space and cluttered empty space. To avoid this, consciously give yourself permission to buy again down the road if you come to need the item.
- Use bins and storage containers to organize otherwise messy areas: this is a simple way to avoid clutter before it happens or even getting rid of it once it does. When organizing any space, storage bins are never a bad idea. For example, spaces like a pantry, cabinets, a fridge or freezer, closets and even dressers can be organized with the goal that everything will always have a place. In the kitchen, adding bins to your pantry and fridge will ensure you utilize your space, avoid cardboard packaging, and make it easy to find things that would otherwise get lost in the mess. In closets and dressers having bins for clothing categories will make it easy to put away clothes and find outfits quickly when the time comes.
- Declutter one area at a time: this will be the easiest way to declutter without becoming overwhelmed. Choose one area a day or even a week, and clean and declutter deeply so you won’t have to revisit it again, instead of trying to tackle the whole apartment and making little progress at a time. Decluttering this way will give you time to part with items and figure out if there is anything your home is missing.
These five tips can make the world a difference and could make even the hardest task turn easy. Remember to always donate if you can before choosing to throw items away, as what you don’t need could always help someone else. Also, having a friend to help you out can make the task way smoother, and help you to part with items you otherwise wouldn’t. Now time to get to organizing!