LearnWell: 8 Helpful Tips to Declutter Your Life
The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) estimates that the average person spends at least one year of their life searching for misplaced items. If you’re looking to reclaim some lost time, learning how to declutter your home is an essential first step.
While it may seem like a daunting task, minimizing home clutter is about knowing where to start. Even better, it comes with a host of benefits.
The Benefits of Decluttering
Most people intuit that they will be happier once they get organized, it can be difficult to get started. You might think: “How can I start organizing my home?”
Writer and professional organizer Marie Kondo has even built an empire upon the allure — and the challenges — of getting organized. As you start to gain control of the clutter in your life, you’ll unearth positive results, such as the following.
Streamlining Household Chores
According to the National Soap and Detergent Association, getting rid of household clutter could eliminate up to 40% of housework in the average American home. While organizing your home might not seem directly related to household chores, getting rid of unneeded clutter can expedite the process by opening up surfaces, cabinets, and floor space for easy maneuvering.
When you imagine your ideal home, what does it look like? Chances are it is clean and airy, without extraneous items.
If this daydream sounds familiar, clutter may be causing you more stress than you realize. Clutter can cause financial stress, too. It is estimated that around 1 in 11 households spend upwards of $1000 per year on additional self-storage space.
Maximizing Your Workspace
With so many people working from home, striking a work-life balance at home is more important than ever. Home office organization can be an important part of finding that balance.
NAPO reports that 91% of people surveyed felt that organization was affecting their workspace — and 27% felt they were wasting an hour a day navigating their clutter. By opening up your office space, you can reclaim the time you are losing to digging through piles of paper and congested drawers.
Freeing Up Energy
Ultimately, organizing your home frees up more time to focus on self-care, passion projects, and simply enjoying your space the way it was meant to be.
How To Declutter Your Home: 8 Helpful Tips
If you’re feeling inspired by the multitude of benefits that come with decluttering, but you’re not sure where to start, try these organizational tips.
1. Start Small
It can be overwhelming to launch your decluttering efforts, but it’s important to remember that there’s no need to organize everything in one day. Instead, try starting with small projects. Organize one drawer at a time or set aside 30 minutes per day to work on a designated project. Over time, you’ll notice that your small efforts will start to add up.
2. Set Goals
Goal setting is an important part of the decluttering process. You can set goals based on specific projects, areas of your home, or your schedule.
For example, you might resolve to fill at least one bag of clothes from your closet to donate. Consider giving yourself one week for the project. Use lunch breaks or evening hours to work through the project. The following week, move to the next goal or area of your home.
Remember to update your goals over time! Maintaining your decluttering effort is much like pruning — it’s more effective when you keep up with smaller projects regularly.
3. Give Back
One way to motivate your seasonal cleaning is to find an organization to whom you can donate old clothes and items. There are many places to donate. Giving new life to your unwanted items can do wonders for inspiring you to work through the decluttering process.
As you go through your apparel, be honest with yourself about what you wear and what has been sitting in your closet untouched.
4. Create a Checklist
Creating a decluttering checklist is a great way to keep your organizational efforts on track. Break down each area into smaller sub-projects.
For example, the kitchen portion of your checklist might include:
- Donating old cooking tools
- Organizing your recipes in a binder
- Reorganizing the kitchen drawer
A checklist can help you celebrate accomplishments along the way as well as keep you on task.
5. Make Designated Piles
Using designated piles or boxes, split the belongings in question into four categories:
As you work through the rooms in your house, use these categories to give you a clear action to complete for every item.
6. Use Before and After Photos
Using before and after photos can be a powerful tool for keeping your decluttering efforts moving forward. When you have photographic evidence of your hard work, it gets easier to get to work on the next section of your home.
7. Seek Out Inspiration
If you’re looking for the ultimate decluttering inspiration, pick up a copy of Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up.” This New York Time’s Best Seller is packed with methods for organizing your life — and finding joy along the way.
8. Invest in Quality Storage
On your decluttering journey, investing in great storage materials can make a world of difference. Consider products such as the ones below.
A Quality Desk Stand
If you’re working from home, a multi-purpose monitor stand like this Herdzi Monitor Stand Riser is a must-have. With handy drawers, a phone stand, and multiple storage spaces, this stand gives you the flexibility to declutter your home office in style.
When you reorganize your kitchen, consider stocking it with containers like the Utopia Kitchen Glass Container set. These glass containers can replace everything from cereal boxes to Ziploc bags, so you can organize your kitchen sustainably.
If you’re looking to go all-in on organization efforts, consider investing in a closet system like the Starter Set from Wayfair. Closet organization systems can be pricey, but they make it easy to see all of your items at once and maintain your decluttered lifestyle long term.
Get Started on Minimizing Home Clutter
Whether you choose to start slow or take an entire weekend to revamp your living space, the most important step of the decluttering process is getting started.
You may be dreaming of more space to workout at home or a quiet corner for morning yoga. Let the vision of your dream home spark joy in the decluttering process. Then, take a deep breath and get started!