Wed, May 29, 2024

Real Talk Real Estate: Streamlining Your Space: The ultimate guide to decluttering for effortless home maintenance

Now that I have packed away all my holiday decor, it suddenly feels like the house is naked! But honestly, I LOVE it. A clutter-free home not only looks inviting, but also paves the way for easy maintenance and stress-free cleaning routines. I am certain that having a clean and decluttered home will bring a sense of peace and relaxation to your life helping keep those winter blues away.

Organizing is one of my favorite things to do, but I get it, for some the thought of decluttering feels overwhelming. I’ve learned that adopting a systematic approach can turn this into a manageable and even rewarding process. Here’s my comprehensive guide to the best way to declutter your home, ensuring a clean and organized living space for the long haul.

  1. Start Small

Embarking on a decluttering journey doesn’t mean tackling your entire home in one go. Begin with a small, manageable area, such as a single room or even a specific zone within a room. Starting small allows you to see tangible progress and build momentum for larger decluttering projects. I like to set a timer and focus on one small task at a time, say 20 minutes. I can easily get distracted, so this seems to help me focus better.

 

  1. The Four-Box Method

Equip yourself with four boxes or bins labeled “Keep,” “Donate/Sell,” “Trash,” and “Relocate.” As you go through each item in the designated area, place it in the appropriate box. This method helps you make quick decisions and prevents second-guessing. Just make sure you actually follow through once you determine the category. This may mean taking a daily trip to the donation center.

  1. Declutter by Category, Not Room

Take a cue from Marie Kondo’s method and declutter by category rather than by room. For example, tackle all clothing items at once, regardless of where they are in the house. This approach allows you to see the full extent of your possessions and make more informed choices about what to keep. And if it doesn’t bring you joy, LET IT GO!

  1. The 90/90 Rule:

Consider implementing the 90/90 rule: If you haven’t used or worn an item in the last 90 days and don’t foresee using it in the next 90, it’s time to let it go. This rule applies to clothing, shoes, towels, blankets, dishes, kitchen gadgets, and various other items that tend to accumulate over time.

  1. Digital Decluttering

Don’t forget to declutter your digital space. Organize your computer files, delete unnecessary emails, and streamline your digital photo collection. A clutter-free digital environment contributes to a clearer mindset and efficient use of technology. Truthfully, I am not as good at the email part as I want to be, and it’s evident in my 94,918 unread emails, all junk mail probably. I plan to get this under control next, but I do have a pretty organized Google Drive!

  1. Invest in Storage Solutions

Once you’ve identified the items you want to keep, invest in storage solutions that make organization a breeze. Utilize bins, baskets, and storage containers and keep similar items together. When your belongings maintain a tidy appearance, things feel more manageable. There are some very cool organizing things out there and a million how-to videos on reusing and repurposing what you have when you cannot afford new.

  1. Adopt a “One In, One Out” Rule

This is the most important habit to embrace. It will ensure the longevity of all your hard work to prevent future clutter. Adopt a “one in, one out” rule. For every new item you bring into your home, consider parting with something you no longer need. This habit helps maintain a balanced and clutter-free living space.

  1. Create Designated Spaces

Assign specific spaces for commonly used items to minimize daily clutter. For example, designate a spot for keys, mail, bags, jackets, shoes, and other frequently accessed items. Having designated spaces ensures items are put back where they belong, reducing the likelihood of random clutter accumulating. I personally throw all the junk mail in the trash immediately and never bring it to my home. Junk mail and magazine subscriptions are a sure clutter starter!

  1. Regular Maintenance Sessions

Schedule regular decluttering and maintenance sessions to prevent clutter from accumulating again. Consistency is key to sustaining an organized home, so set aside time each month to reassess and declutter as needed. For those of you who rent for Masters Week, beginning to do this monthly will eliminate a ton of stress in your life, especially at the end of March.

  1. Embrace Minimalism

Consider adopting a minimalist mindset. Evaluate your possessions and strive for a curated collection of items that bring you joy and serve a purpose. Minimalism promotes a sense of calm and makes maintenance and cleaning more straightforward. I think you’ll find this also helps your budget. Buying nicer things you really want and value, and avoiding bargain buys, will help you sustain a more minimalist lifestyle.

Anyone can transform their home into a streamlined and organized haven. I promise the initial effort pays off and in the long run, makes daily maintenance and cleaning routines enjoyable. Say goodbye to clutter-induced stress and hello to a harmonious living space where every item has its place. I promise, you’ll be thankful you did.

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