We could call 2020 the year of staying home, and more time at home probably means more stuff collecting dust around your home, too. You might find that you need to declutter now, more than ever, to create space for working or studying from home, as a recent survey from Homelight found. Or maybe, you just want to have more room for everyone while they are at home more. We’ve outlined some tips, including from one of the best known declutters out there, to help you get started.
Before decluttering can begin, you might be surprised at how organizing can do wonders, taking a quick pass over each room, putting everything where it belongs. That means dishes, laundry, mail, trash, and recycling. With a tidy baseline, it will be easier to follow the next step when the real decluttering begins.
Get on board with Marie Kondo
You’ve probably already heard of the famous organizer, Marie Kondo, who started with a book and now has a website and TV series. If you haven’t already jumped on the organization master’s bandwagon, or even if you already have, maybe it’s worth giving it another go. Without studying her full method or watching her show, you can follow this strategy: work through items by category — for example: mugs, T-shirts, and books — see if the object sparks joy, and if it does, keep it. If the object doesn’t spark joy, toss it. For clothing, if an item doesn’t fit, is stained, or is out of fashion, toss it. Sentimental value is a quality that needs to be carefully examined here, see more on that below.
Follow a four-box process: Donate, Keep, Throw Away, Later
How do you know if you should keep your favorite T-shirt from high school? If you want to declutter your home during a weekend, you need to avoid getting hung up on any one item. One way to look at it is that you want to keep it because of the sentimental value, but, you haven’t worn it in 20 years, so it should be donated. How do you know what to do? Using a four box method — donate, keep, throw away, and later — can help you move quickly through the items in your home. If you have a “Later” box you can toss those sentimental items in there, and move on. Boxes for “Keep,” “Trash,” and “Donate,” will also keep you moving.
Start with the bathroom
If you start thinking too much about all the stuff that you have, you might find it difficult to get started on how to organize your home. For example, clothing can be overwhelming for some people, or books for others. Start with the smallest room to feel accomplished early on, and then you can use that momentum to tackle more challenging tasks. The bathroom is a good place to start as it is likely to be a quick organizational task.
Decluttering is a fast and inexpensive way to create more space in your home. With one weekend of organizing, you might find that you can live and work more comfortably and then think about other upgrades that you might want to make to improve your home life, now that you are spending more time there.