January brings with it a peace of sorts. In Florida, the weather is mild and a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors and everything it offers us. Sunny days spent at the beach or having a simple lunch outside give us time to reflect on the past year and plan for the future. It's a great time to plan ahead, declutter and find new energy for the coming months. In order to think clearly and have space for new ideas, you need to make room for them to flourish.
The idea of living a simple life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. Often, it's easy to become overwhelmed an anxious at the thought of owning less. Learning how to declutter doesn't need to be as painful as some make it out to be. And, the benefits are huge.
Just think about this:
1. Less to clean. Cleaning is already a chore but having to clean around things makes life more stressful.
2. Less to organize. Finding things suddenly becomes easier. You can move around and enjoy your space instead of moving things around.
3. Less stress. Just looking at clutter can invoke anxiety. Wouldn't it be nice to look around and see the home you love?
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10 Creative Decluttering Tips
If you’re struggling and need guidance on how to declutter, you’ll need to get creative with your plans. Here are several interesting decluttering tips to get you started on decluttering your home:
Start with 5 minutes at a time. If you’re new to decluttering, you can slowly build momentum with just five minutes a day.
Give one item away each day. This would remove 365 items every single year from your home. If you increased this to 2 per day, you would have given away 730 items you no longer needed. Increase this number once it gets too easy.
Fill an entire trash bag. Get a trash bag and fill it as fast as you can with things you can donate at Goodwill.
Donate clothes you never wear. To identify them, simply hang all your clothes with hangers in the reverse direction. After wearing an item, face the hanger in the correct direction. Discard the clothes you never touched after a few months.
Create a decluttering checklist. It’s a lot easier to declutter when you have a visual representation of where you need to get started.
Take the 12-12-12 challenge. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to be returned to their proper home.
View your home as a first-time visitor. It’s easy to “forget” what your home looks like to a new visitor. Enter your home as if you’re visiting the home of a friend. Write down your first impression on how clean and organized the home is and make changes.
Take before and after photos of a small area. Choose one part of your home, like your kitchen counter, and take a photo of a small area. Quickly clean off the items in the photo and take an after photo. Once you see how your home could look, it becomes easier to start decluttering more of your home.
Get help from a friend. Have a friend or family member go through your home and suggest a handful of big items to throw away or give to someone else. If you defend the item and want to keep it, your friend has to agree with your reason. If they don’t agree, it’s time to get rid of it.
Use the Four-Box Method. Get four boxes and label them: trash, give away, keep, or re-locate. Enter any room in your home and place each item into one of the following boxes. Don’t skip a single item, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. This may take days, weeks, or months, but it will help you see how many items you really own and you’ll know exactly what to do with each item.
No matter which decluttering tip you choose to get started – whether it be one of these ten or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step in decluttering your life with excitement behind it.