If clutter in your home completely overwhelms you, you’re not alone. That friend of yours who seems to get a natural high from cleaning and clearing out baffles you through and through, right? I mean, how can ANYONE get excited about sifting through mounds of outgrown clothes, expired spices you’ve never once used for cooking and magazines from 1987?
Here’s the thing. Besides making you feel a whole lot better, a clean and cleared out home sells faster. Maybe you won’t be smiling from ear to ear or preaching the cleansing power of decluttering to your girlfriends at Bunco night, but you’ve got to dive in. Here’s how to get started.
You may look around your home and find yourself so overwhelmed that you’re completely paralyzed. I’ve been there, and the only way to get over it is to jump in. Browse a few home organizing sites for inspiration. Read a few blogs on how clean and tidy homes sell much faster than cluttered ones. Check out all of the health benefits straightening up offers. Talk to people who love to organize — whatever will light the spark.
You can’t set off on this journey without a plan, so get ready to map one out! You’ll need to go room by room, skipping no closets, no matter what kinds of monsters are lurking in there. You can find helpful checklists online or simply grab a blank notebook and reserve a page for each room in your home. On each page, write down every task you need to do to clear out junk and create space. Remember, space sells, clutter doesn’t!
If you use the notebook, break each room down into smaller tasks. It will make it easier to tackle, trust me. Instead of writing “Declutter the bedroom,” write “Clean out closet,” “Organize bathroom drawers,” and “Clear under bed.” You’ll feel much less overwhelmed and more accomplished as you steadily check items off your list. And when you think you’re finished, use a couple of these techniques to make sure you covered everything.
If you get stuck, use a little creativity to get you going again. Believe it or not, you can turn your decluttering project into a game or two. Try a few of the following ideas:
- Commit to just one of these tasks that takes only five minutes. Small tasks give you a sense of accomplishment and jumpstart your progress.
- Give each family member a bag, and tell them they cannot stop until they’ve filled it with either items to give away or throw away. You might even have a prize for the person who finishes first!
- Choose a closet and bring three or four boxes with you. Touch every item in the closet and decide if you will keep it, donate it, throw it away or store it.
- Go through your clothes and ask yourself this question about each item: “If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?” If the answer is no, donate it.
Get an Expert’s Opinion
Whether you’re beginning your decluttering mission or think you are finished, it’s a great idea to have a realtor walk through your home and offer suggestions. I love to meet with clients and offer tips for further clutter reduction, as well as free staging using your furniture. Give me a call for help getting your house clutter free and listed to sell!