After the holidays your home can look like Kmart after a Blue Light Special. Things are strewn about here and there and nothing seems to be in its place. It’s full of clutter with no apparent rhyme or reason. You have old stuff displaced by new stuff.
You always notice your clutter after the holidays because if you’re like most people, we accumulate more stuff during Christmas and New Year’s. It is the time of giving. It can also be the time to declutter your home.
Remove and Replace.
If you received anything new that replaces something old, get rid of the old. You can donate it to the Goodwill, have a yard sale or give it to a friend. We love to keep old stuff even though we don’t need it anymore. If you’re not ever going to use it again (for real, be honest), then remove it and replace it with the new.
Put Things in Their Place.
Benjamin Franklin is known for saying that everything has a place and everything in its place. The best and easiest way to clean up after the holidays is to put everything where it belongs. Decorations, clothes, kitchen stuff, and toys get scattered about in all the fun. To declutter your home, find its place and put it there. This simple act will dramatically declutter your home.
Try the Four-Box Method.
Choose an area in your home. Don’t pick the biggest project but also don’t pick the smallest. Mark four boxes: keep, trash, relocate and give away. Consider each item in the chosen area carefully and then place it in one of the four boxes. Depending on how many things you have in the area, this could take an hour or a whole day.
Upgrade and Record.
If you have old DVDs or CDs they must be for sentimental value because everything is streaming now (come on, it’s almost 2020 when we’ll have flying cars). Convert all those old DVDs and CDs to a digital medium and sell them to a place like 2nd & Charles, give them away to friends or take them to Goodwill. If you’re really attached to an old VHS or CD, take a picture as a keepsake. If you really want to declutter then you must hoard no more.
Tackle the Closet.
The closet may be the most cluttered and daunting of areas to tackle. But with this simple method, you can clear those racks with ease over time. Oprah made famous Peter Walsh’s strategy for clearing out his closet. First, put every single item of clothing backwards on the closet rod so the open end of the hanger faces you. When you use an item, place it back on the rack the normal way. Do this for the next six months. At then end of six months, look at all the clothes that are still hung backwards. Unless it’s a suit, dress or other expensive, event-oriented outfit then you should consider getting rid of it. You don’t wear it so why keep it?
Pick a drawer.
Find a drawer in your home you know is full of junk you don’t need and dump it. Throw away those old things you don’t need anymore, like that old pair of headphones that don’t work, the old box to a long forgotten piece of electronics or jewelry, or those old gloves you never wear. Next week, pick another drawer and repeat the process.
We don’t use most things we own. We really only wear about 20% of the clothes we own and hardly touch 80% of the stuff in our drawers. In fact, a book titled Life at Home in the 21st Century discovered that some families only use a fraction of the home in which they live!
If “stuff” has you a bit overwhelmed and the clutter is quietly eating away at your peace of mind, then consider one or all of the tactics to tidiness mentioned above to get started. Clear your space for a new year. Create a space you enjoy. Love your home.