Some helpful hints to create space and lower stress
Clutter is something that happens to all of us – that accumulation of “stuff” that you don’t necessarily want or need. And it can creep up on you; before you know it, you have a pile of things in the corner or closet that adds to the chaos of a room and, maybe, your life. In fact, it’s been shown that the sense of disorganization from clutter can actually cause stress . . . who knew?
The good thing is, clearing away clutter can make you feel better and more in control. Not only that, it creates more space in your home for the things that are important.
Whether you’re decluttering for some extra space, purging before a move or just looking to relieve some stress, tidying and tightening is a good idea. And here are some tips to do it in an efficient and organized manner.
Make a plan
The key to getting organized is being organized. Have a plan and stick to it. Make a list of rooms or areas that need attention, prioritize them in terms of chaos and focus on the neediest first. Tackle one room/area at a time, and try to stick to a realistic timeline. If you’re concentrating on one room, break it into smaller tasks to keep the focus and to enjoy a sense of accomplishment when that task is done, e.g., sorting out a closet, organizing a couple drawers, clearing off a counter top, etc.
Change your mindset about “stuff”
Think of how great it will be to get organized – it truly is freeing once you commit to letting things go. So take a cold hard look at your clutter, and start by getting over sunk costs. The money has been spent, don’t dwell on that; think instead of the value you’ll get from eliminating “stuff” from your life. If you haven’t used it in a year, do you really need it? If it’s broken, fix it or dump it. Ask yourself, do you love it? If the answer is no, it should be gone. And don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
Create a sorting system
Have three piles or, better yet, boxes. One is for keepers, one is for getting rid of (through recycling, donating or garbage) and one is for storage – then deal with the boxes! Your space is clean, now you must figure out where the items to be kept will go. Put the things to be recycled or discarded in your car. Label the items that are going into storage clearly on the outside of the box and put it into your storage place.
Clean flat surfaces
Be it your office desk, kitchen counter or bedside table, flat surfaces tend to get put upon. Keep frequently used small items out, and limit it to five, then find a new spot for the rest – drawers, tidy shelves, storage boxes, whatever it takes.
Speaking of drawers . . .
Drawers can quickly become a disaster if they’re not attended to. Start by emptying a drawer completely. Before you put something back in it, ask yourself if it’s a necessary item, if it belongs there and whether it has been used in the last six months. Then, put smaller boxes or storage bins in the drawer and keep like items together.
Work at preventing clutter
Before you buy something, think about how often you’ll use it and whether it’s better to borrow or rent. Create a time each day or once a week to deal with clutter, and get the family on board. Follow the “one in – one out” rule; if you buy something new, recycle or donate something else.
Do your best and you’ll see and feel the difference. If you’re anything like me, your home likely will never look perfect, but it can look better. Good luck!
For other ideas or more information on any part of buying, selling or moving in the Comox Valley, please contact me, check out my website or visit my Facebook page. If you’re thinking of listing your home, make sure to download my free Seller Guidebook for more tips and advice about getting what your home is worth.