“I’ll keep this; I might need it some day.” That single thought keeps our storage spaces filled to overflowing. If you think you need more storage, first try to declutter the space you already have. Here’s a simple, step-by-step method on how to declutter your home and find more space:
Target a spot to declutter – a closet, bookcase, or the junk drawer. Determine the best use for this space.
Set a sorting date. Make a 1-2 hour appointment on your calendar. Reserve the last 15 minutes for straightening up. Consider this to be your time to declutter your home. When time is up, quit!
Sort into four categories. Use four boxes, sacks or plastic bags. Label them “toss,” “give away,” “relocate” (in other rooms) and “stay.” Start at one spot – a closet shelf, for example. Remove one item at a time, deciding in which of the four categories it belongs. Continue in that spot until you see bottom. Then move to the next area, continuing until you see bottom again.
Use the last 15 minutes to clean up. Put “toss” items in the trash and “give away” items in the car (so you’ll remember to haul them away). Take “relocate” items to designated rooms and push “stay” items back into the closet. Set another date to continue sorting and decluterring.
Collect articles from other areas that belong in the newly cleaned closet. Limit your search to items you can see or easily reach.
Reorganize the space, using storage principles: Keep frequently used items low and accessible. Store seldom used items on higher shelves or behind other items. Stack no more than three unrelated pieces on top of each other. Store like items together (mittens and gloves with hats and scarves). Store items at the point of first use (coffee pot near the sink).
Letting go of the old stuff and decluttering your home has many benefits. Your home will be a more relaxing place where you can find things when you need them.