Does your home look like an episode of “Hoarders”? It’s hard sometimes to purge and easy to become attached to stuff, but it’s also necessary – if not a safety factor! – to keep ridding your place of stuff you don’t need or use, even if it’s stuff that has been around forever and you can’t seem to get rid of it. Find the time to purge:
Start in one room (probably the one with the most clutter and junk) and completely finish that room before moving on to the next.
Have your tools ready
By tools, we mean boxes, bags and garbage bins. Getting rid of stuff means it has to move, so piles on the bed, couch or floor don’t walk away on their own. Decide in advance what your choices will be for where your stuff will go when it leaves you. Most divide their stuff into things they want to donate to charity, things they want to try and sell, things they can give to a friend or family member and things that have reached the end of the road and need the garbage bin. Have the appropriate containers ready for each pile.
If it’s time to purge – get judgmental
Go through each item in the room, whether it’s knickknacks, decor items, clothing, shoes, even furniture! Pick it up or have a long stare at it. Think about the last time you truly felt any emotional attachment to the item. If that has never happened, think about how much the item gets used. Don’t assume an answer of “all the time” means the item should stay. Does it serve a true and meaningful purpose to a room? Yes, a couch in the TV room is necessary, but perhaps the 3 side tables and two coffee tables are more junk-holders and getting in the way of navigating the room than they are useful accessories. Clutter gets in the way physically and makes your home feel smaller and more cramped. Get rid of stuff you don’t use and don’t need. If a clothing item hasn’t been worn in the current season or the same season last year — it’s out. Donate it or give it to your sister who admired it when you wore it four years ago.
Use a manual
Last year, Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” was a bestseller both in books and in lives looking to purge and get rid of stuff that was formerly hard to get rid of by many. Social media was full of posts by people who felt free and uncluttered after reading this book and following its directions. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, this and many other books like it can help motivate and guide you through the process.
Don’t stop until you’re done
Set aside a day or week and keep at it until your entire home is rid of all that stuff you don’t need and don’t use anymore if you ever did. The purge is truly finished when those containers are delivered to their destination — the charity, the new homes or the dump. It’s sometimes an emotional journey to say goodbye to things, but try to remember that the memories of those things won’t disappear! Take a photo of them, if you like, and add a little description about the things to remember why you felt they were special. In a digital world, you don’t actually need the stuff to remember that stuff, and you’ll feel great with a home that has more space and less clutter after you purge.