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8 Simple Tricks to Decluttering your Home

August 11 2017
August 11 2017
Simple Tricks to

We all have clutter. It's just a fact of life. What's really interesting about my work is that I get to see people in their homes “au natural” -  toys strewn across the floor, laundry half folded, dishes in the sink, and I’m never phased by it. I’ve grown a sort of tolerance to clutter and the ability to see through it to the real “bones” of a home.

But home buyers don’t usually share my special talent, which is why I’m a huge advocate of decluttering - and not just for preparing a home for sale, but for everyday living as well. The reason is pretty simple. It's been shown that living in a decluttered, minimalist and organized space helps us focus better, make faster choices and feel less stressed. Who doesn’t want that?

In the process of helping teach my clients how to declutter their homes, I’ve gotten quite good at breaking down the seemingly daunting process into 8 Simple Tricks to Decluttering your Home:

  1. Create 3 piles. Label them: trash, give away and keep. Each item in every room must go into one of these three categories. Consider each item, whether you use it, want it or need it in your home and life. If you’re one of those people who have a hard time parting with stuff, consider why you’re attached to it, or resistant to throwing or giving it away.

  2. Start with your wardrobe. I’m not sure why, but simplifying my closest seems like the easiest place to start. There are a couple different ways to approach your wardrobe. One is Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment, where you hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. And after you wear an item, you return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. Another popular method is Courtney Carver’s Project 333, which challenges people to wear only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s a great way to really pare down what you actually wear and what’s just filling your closet with clutter.

  3. Now, go room by room. When we look at our whole house (and yikes, our garage), the thought of decluttering can become overwhelming. Best to start little and start small. Focus on one room at a time. For example, the office or your bedroom. Get a huge cardboard box, plop it in the middle of the room and dig in.

  4. Get comfortable saying goodbye. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven't used in the last year, or things you think you “might day”. Just stop yourself right there, and throw it in the donate or trash pile.

  5. Create a place for everything. Clutter is created when your things don’t have a designated place to go. So to fix that, you must have a place for everything. This means investing in file folders, boxes, bins, recessed storage and built-ins to organize bills, kids toys,

  6. Create new habits. Get in the habit of throwing something out every time you buy something new. This especially should be applied to kids toys and clothes!

  7. Go paperless. The best way to tackle incessant paper clutter is to go paperless. We no longer receive bills in the mail, everything is paid online or on autopay. And let me tell you, it's so much less stressful. For actual paper you do need, create a home filing system. This is useful for organizing important documents like tax returns, medical records, home deeds/leases/contracts, passports, social security cards, and insurance.

  8. Streamline gift giving and receiving. This is my best tip for preventing clutter in the first place. Years ago I let all my friends and family know that when they come over to my house, they shouldn't bring any gifts. Little knick knacks and doo hickeys are well intentioned but are a huge contributor to household clutter.

Now, if you’re getting ready to sell you our home, we approach decluttering from a completely different perspective - that of a buyer!

We consider how your home will be best presented to a potential buyer, how its features will be best highlighted and what will attract the most buyers to your home. For more info, check out our Essential Home Staging Tips or reach out for a private consult.


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