Do you avoid inviting friends and family over because you are embarrassed by your messy home? Do you have way too much stuff? I think a lot people do so you definitely aren’t alone if you feel that way! If you decide that it is time to start clearing clutter in your home and your life, it is a lot easier than you think!
Not only does decluttering your messy home free up space, but it can also help you become more organized, reduce stress levels, and give you space to decorate your home with things that you love! With a little bit of planning, you can declutter your house easily without worrying about whether you’ll ever be able to find what you’re looking for again. If you don’t know where to start or you think that decluttering your messy home will be overwhelming and time-consuming, then hopefully these tips will help you out!
Why You Should Declutter Your Home
There are many amazing benefits when it comes to clearing clutter from your messy house. Here are a couple to inspire you!
It’s Easier To Find Things
Ever lost something in your home? Do you remember putting it in a “safe spot”. We’ve all been there! Clearing clutter in your home will make it easier to find the important things that you need quickly and easily.
It Is A Stress Buster
It is no secret that a cluttered messy home can cause stress, anxiety and even depression in some people. A messy house that is cluttered can make you feel like you’re not in control which is never a good thing! Decluttering your space declutters your mind and helps you to feel more in control of your life and your home.
It Helps You To Focus
By clearing clutter and junk you will be able to focus on what is important in your life without the additional stress of having to constantly clean up. Visually, a tidier uncluttered home will also make you feel happier and in control. By quickly being able to find what you need when you need it, you will be able to focus on what is important.
It Makes Your Home Easier To Clean
A home that is free from clutter is a hang of a lot easier to clean! This is especially true if you have kids or pets. Also, if you can get into an easy-to-stick-to-cleaning routine then your home will be a breeze to keep clean and you will have more time for the things you love!
Of course, another bonus is that a clean house has less dust and dirt that can cause allergies and asthma. You may not think that a messy house is dirty but it sure can sometimes be difficult to clean around all the mess and clutter! By decluttering your messy home you will reduce mold, dust and mildew as well as prevent pests. Win-win!
Creates More Space
This is a no-brainer! Getting rid of the clutter will make room for all the things you really need, want and love!
Makes You Happier & Healthier
Most people find that it is easier to prepare healthy meals in a clean kitchen rather than in a chaotic mess. Likewise, many people find that they are more productive in a tidy workspace and that they sleep better in a neat and tidy bedroom. Decluttering your messy house declutters your mind as well!
Gives You More Time
A tidy, decluttered home is a time saver! It is so much easier to manage and keep up with a cleaning schedule in a clutter-free home. Without all the mess and clutter, cleaning and tidying is a lot quicker and dare we say even fun… okay that might be pushing it a bit 😉
When your house is a mess it is easier to become irritated, impatient and upset with the people around you especially if you feel like they aren’t doing their part to help with the clutter.
Why Do People Struggle To Get Rid Of Clutter?
There are many reasons why people hang onto their messy stuff. And honestly, I can definitely relate to more than one of these reasons! If you find yourself hanging onto your junk and clutter for any of these reasons then I am here to tell you that it’s okay to let it go.
What If I Need It?
This is probably one of the worst reasons for me! What if I need that thing?? After all, Murphey’s law dictates that as soon as you get rid of something, you will need it literally the next day. Literally. The. Next. Day! Am I wrong?
Remember when Aunty Judith gave you that thing that one time? Remember how you have literally never used that thing, ever?
This is also a tricky one. In our family, we have a lot of things that have been passed down through our family. Many of these things are wonderful and should definitely be kept but others, simply just need to go! There are items in my house right now that have moved from household to household within our family simply because no one has the heart to just get rid of it! The guilt is real!
What If I Need A Backup?
How many of us have two of something in our homes? You know, for just in case the other one breaks?
But I might Use It One Day…
We all have those things that we hang onto because we hope that one day we will get the chance to use them again. For example, you hope to lose weight someday and fit into the skinny jeans you have in the back of your closet. Or you hope to finish that project that you started months/years ago and that you have been putting off and hope to get to again someday.
I’m sure there are many other reasons why people hang onto stuff. The easiest way to tackle these difficult things is to be honest with yourself and your family if needs be. Don’t become a prisoner to your past and your stuff. Be brutal if you must!
How To Start Decluttering Your Home
First things first! Before you start decluttering your messy home, it is important to get your head around the idea so that you don’t become overwhelmed. The easiest way to do this is by breaking this seemingly mammoth-sized task into smaller, easy-to-achieve goals. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Create Categories For Your Clutter – Figure Out What’s Important To You And What’s Not!
Everything in your home can be categorized into one of six categories. And these will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to clearing clutter. A nifty trick is to create boxes, baskets or even just a designated area for each of these categories.
Things To Keep
These are the things that you use all the time and that make your life easier.
Things To Donate Or Give Away
These are the things that you don’t use but that are still in good condition. Clearing clutter is so much easier when you know that your “junk” is going to a good cause that makes the lives of others easier or better. Choose a charity or goodwill that you would like to support and get giving!
Things To Sell
These are things that are in good condition that are worth more than the time and effort it will take to set up a yard sale or sell online.
Things To Store
These are all the things that you don’t use often but that you would like to keep. These could be those sentimental goodies that you simply can’t part with. If you are battling for space even for these things then you could create a small designated box just for them almost like a time capsule of the most important things from your life. These could include things like your child’s favorite toy or blanket.
Items that need repairs
There are bound to be one or two things in your home that aren’t being used because they are broken and need to be repaired. Be honest with yourself about these. Will you ever use these things again? And if so, when are you going to have them repaired? If you have managed without them for a long time then it may not be worthwhile hanging onto them.
These are all the things that you won’t ever use again which aren’t good enough to sell or donate. These could also include the broken things that you simply won’t get around to fixing.
Questions To Help You Decide What To Keep And What To Get Rid Of
There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you decide if things should be kept or not. Asking yourself these questions will make your decisions a lot easier!
Have I Used This Item In The Last 6 to 12 Months?
If you haven’t used or needed something in the last 6 months then the chances are that you probably won’t use it again and it won’t be missed if you get rid of it. If you have items that are more seasonal then ask whether they have been used in the last year. If not, then it might be time to let them go.
Will I Use This Item In The Next 6 to 12 Months?
If you do not have any concrete plans to use something in the next 12 months then it might be time to get rid of it especially if you haven’t used it in the last 6 months.
Are You Waiting For The Right Time To Use It?
If you are waiting for a specific event or special occasion to use something then you need to be honest with yourself and consider whether it is really worth keeping. For example, if you are hanging on to clothes that you hope to fit into again one day, wouldn’t it be worth getting rid of them and buying new, up-to-date clothes when you reach your weight loss goals? Sometimes hanging onto items like this can be more depressing than anything else!
Another interesting question to ask is whether you would use this item once you do reach your goal. So in the above example, would you actually use your old clothes if you did reach your weight loss goals or would you want to invest in new clothes?
Would You Buy This Item Again If You Were Out Shopping Right Now?
If you were shopping right now and saw this item, would you consider buying it again? Would you need it right now? If not, then maybe it’s time to get rid of it especially if you haven’t used it for a while.
Would You Keep This Item If You Were Moving Into A Smaller House?
This is a really good question to ask yourself! We often tend to hang onto clutter simply because we have the place to keep it! If you are moving into a smaller home, would this item still serve a purpose? Would it be worth keeping if your space is limited?
If Something Is Broken, Is It Worth Repairing?
Sometimes it works out cheaper and more time effective to buy something new rather than trying to fix something that is broken. The time, money and effort it takes to fix something might not be worth it especially if you haven’t missed the item till now.
Are You Holding Onto Something For Sentimental Value?
If you have something that you are holding onto for sentimental value, you need to figure out just how important it is to YOU. Are you keeping it simply because you don’t want to offend someone, or is it genuinely something precious to you?
Think of it this way, if your house were to catch on fire, is this something you would run back for to save. Would it truly be missed if it were gone? Remember there are lots of other family members you could guilt trip into adopting your unwanted family heirloom 😉
Is This Item Needed To Achieve A Goal?
If you see yourself working from home within the next year, then hanging onto the old bookshelf in the back room might be a good idea. But be honest with yourself, don’t keep things simply because you “might” use them. If you don’t have any definite plans for something, then it’s probably not worth keeping.
Has This Item Expired?
This is a super easy one! Anything that has expired should be thrown away without much thought. These include things like food, makeup and medications.
Does This Item Hold Bad Memories?
Get rid of anything that holds bad memories for you. This could include things like unflattering or embarrassing photos and gifts from exes or friends that you aren’t in contact with anymore. Remember your home should be your sanctuary so get rid of anything that brings back bad memories or makes you feel unhappy!
Does This Item Fit?
If it doesn’t fit you let it go! Why open your wardrobe every day only to see a reminder of something that makes you feel less than great about yourself? When you open your wardrobe you should look forward to seeing things that make you feel happy confident and beautiful when you wear them.
Let’s Begin! Clearing Clutter The Easy Way
The easiest way to begin decluttering your home is to start with only one thing at a time, whether it be a whole room or even just a single thing like a cluttered wardrobe or countertop. Start small!
Have your category boxes, baskets, or spaces ready, and then start on your first item. Don’t overthink things too much! Try to work quickly, and if you get to an item that you genuinely aren’t sure about, then don’t waste too much time thinking about it. Simply put it aside and you can come back to it later. Don’t get yourself bogged down though! Just keep reminding yourself that by clearing clutter you are making space in your home, your mind, and life for new things!
Each room you work through will most likely have different things that you need to get rid of. Here are some ideas of things to throw away in each room:
- Anything that has expired or is past its use-by date.
- Dishes or plasticware that have lids that are missing.
- Lids with no matching containers.
- Chipped dishes or mugs.
- Mugs that no one uses anymore.
- Take-out containers including plastic forks, spoons, as well as ketchup and spice packets.
- Old calendars, takeout menus, and old recipe books you no longer use.
- Broken appliances and kitchen gadgets.
- Old dishcloths and rags.
- Old household cleaning products and detergents
- Cutlery and kitchen utensils that are broken or aren’t being used anymore.
- Old shopping bags.
- Old makeup, nail polishes, hair products, perfumes, and toothbrushes.
- Anything that has expired including medications, makeup, vitamins, supplements, sunscreens, etc.
- Old sponges, razors, empty bottles, washcloths.
- Anything that is broken.
- Old burnt-out candles.
- Plants that are dead or dying.
- Clothes that don’t fit anymore.
- Anything that is stained.
- Anything you haven’t worn for 6 to 12 months including shoes, old underwear or pajamas.
- Any clothing or items that are broken or worn out such as old t-shirts, belts that have cracked, or jewelry that is broken.
- Socks and gloves that don’t have friends.
- Any underwear or socks that have holes in them.
- Bras that are broken or that don’t fit anymore.
- Old candles.
- Broken coathangers.
- Old handbags that are broken or that you don’t use anymore.
- Worn out shoes that you can no longer walk in.
- Worn out duvet covers, pillow case covers or anything that is out of style that you know you won’t use again.
- Old magazines or books.
- Old remotes.
- Old décor or broken items.
- Dead or dying plants.
- Cords that aren’t used anymore.
- Old movies, DVDs, CDs, or VHS tapes… yes, I even had those when I cleaned out!
- Puzzles or games with missing pieces.
- Clothes or shoes that are too small, broken, or stained.
- Broken toys and games. Toys that haven’t been played with in years.
- Broken pencils, crayons, paints.
- Games and toys with missing pieces.
- Books that are old, falling apart, or just aren’t being read anymore.
- Old books or magazines that are out of date.
- Stationery that is dried up or doesn’t work anymore.
- Old batteries, cellphone chargers, cords.
- Old receipts, bills, invoices or papers you don’t need anymore.
- Out of date software/equipment.
If you are decluttering your messy home for the first time it can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be! Just take it one room at a time, declutter what you can, and keep on decluttering! The more you declutter, the easier it gets.
How Do You Declutter Your Home In 7 Easy Steps?
To help you get started with decluttering your home, we’ve put together a free Declutter Your Home Checklist along with 7 easy steps to get you started! Hopefully, this will make cleaning your messy house a little easier and far less overwhelming!
Once you have decluttered each room in your home you will find that it becomes much easier to keep the rest of your home clean and organized. You will have more space to move around in and you will be able to focus on the things that are important to you. You will find that your mind clears up and your energy levels improve. And of course, your home will be a much more pleasant place to be!
I also find that once I have decluttered my home it makes it easier for me to declutter other areas of my life such as my closet and my email inbox. By decluttering your messy home you are making room for new things to come into your life such as new ideas and inspiration, a new job, a new project or even new opportunities. Say goodbye to your messy home forever! Have fun and remember to reward yourself for your hard work!