Millions of people around the country have looked at the stuff cluttering their homes and decided to get rid of it. Spurred by best-selling books, television segments and countless testimonials, decluttering and home organizing is a trend that has swept the country.
People who take the time to clear their homes often claim the results are transformative. A clean room and a house that is filled only with objects that are necessary and bring joy creates clarity, reduces anxiety and increases productivity.
In addition to these positive psychological effects, a clean, decluttered house is easier to live in and just looks better. More practically, if you know where to find things, you are less likely to repurchase items you already own, or buy more than what you need, so staying organized could even help you save money.
Whether you already drop off a box of donations every month or live in a house in desperate need of a full purge, here is some common-sense advice on how you can declutter.
Essentially, decluttering is about getting rid of the things that don’t add value to your life. On one level, this can be a strictly utilitarian process. Do you use the crystal tumblers? Are you ever going to open those volumes of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” on your bookshelf?
But decluttering is about much more than doing without and getting rid of things. Cleaning your home is about keeping things that bring you joy. And that’s how you should begin the process, by asking yourself: Does this bring me joy? Keep only those things that do.
It’s human to grow attached to things, and getting rid of things can be hard. Therefore, don’t start clearing out your old boxes of photos first; build your way up to it. Begin with impersonal items, like books, clothes or accessories. From there, move on to more personal items.
The beauty of 21st century technology is its compactness. Items such as computers and speakers are getting better as they become smaller, and through digitization, you can store several rooms' worth of CDs, DVDs and books in a few hand-sized hard drives.
An easy way to get rid of clutter that comes through the mail is by getting rid of your checkbook and switching to online bill pay, an electronic method to pay bills without the hassle of checks and stamps. This will keep your home office a sanctuary of productivity and calm, which is what decluttering and cleaning your house is all about: making things more manageable and cutting the stress.
Learn more about keeping the inside and outside of one of your most important assets, your home, in tip-top shape.