You don’t have to become a minimalist to experience the liberating feeling.
If you want to get your house ready for sale, if you are about to move or if you just feel like you need to reduce your possessions, get started today! Do you ask yourself where to even begin? This systematic guide will help you to get through the process easier.
Don’t work through room by room but build categories. Clothes are a good example. You have them in different rooms. Go through each room and get all the clothes you can find, pile them up and work your way through. This might seem overwhelming first but it is much more effective.
Go through your house in one hit
Depending on how much you own and how easy you can let go of things the process might only take one weekend or more. Once you start, keep up with it no so it doesn’t take longer than necessary. If decluttering takes months, it may become demotivating and lose its appeal.
Think about what to keep without thinking about where to put it yet
When working through the categories, decide what to keep and what not without putting it in its place yet. You can figure this out once you complete the entire category. This way you avoid keeping things just because there is still space in the drawer.
From rational to emotional
Start with the least emotional items first. Marie Kondo, a Japanese bestseller author (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) recommends to stick to the following order: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous and then photos and other souvenirs last.
Do you use it because you have it or because you need it?
The most pointless household article I have ever owned was an egg cooker. It is handy no doubt, but it needs space and you can cook eggs in a pan with almost the same effort. Of course this is the same for the kettle, but I just drink tea way more often than I cook eggs. Go through your things and think about what do you personally actually need.
Important memories don’t need a physical souvenir
The most difficult to give away are the things that we keep to remind us of positive experiences we had with important people. If these old entry tickets, receipts or notes are starting to add up, it is unlikely that you ever go through them again and they just become unnecessary ballast. If it helps you to know they are not completely lost, take pictures of them before throwing them out.
Reverse the question
You don’t want to get rid of things because you might need it later on? Ask yourself if you have used it in the last two years. If you haven’t you probably won’t use it later either and even if, you could just buy it new instead of storing it for so long.
Can I get rid of rather than can I still use it
Just keep what you actually need or use now or in the nearest future. There is no point in storing so much clutter just in case. Allow yourself to buy it new if you really should need it again.
But my grandchildren might like this
Are you keeping your children’s toys or even cloths for your grandchildren that you might eventually have in the future? Don’t! Unless you have something with a special emotional value, sell or donate it now and just buy new toys when the time comes.
Giving away instead of throwing out
For many people it is easier to sell stuff or even give it away for free then to throw it in the bin if it technically still works and could be used by someone else. You may even earn some money or at least save money by not having to deal with the disposal.
Second hand stores and online platforms
There are many second hand stores that are happy to take your furniture, cloths or household items. Make use of the online platforms which make selling real easy. You just take a picture, write a brief description and wait for people to respond and negotiate a pick up time.
They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. There are different charities in New Zealand that are happy to take the items you would like to get rid of and find a new home for them.
Keep it clean
Once you went through this process it will be much easier to keep your household clean. Now for all the items you choose to keep, find the perfect place where they should go and then all you have to do is put them back where they belong after using.
Everything back to its spot
As easy as you put a fork to its drawer, every item should have its place to go. If it doesn’t, it is clutter and it needs to go. So find a place for every item you want to keep.
Free your mind
Decluttering is not only something you do to have less stuff to move, it also relieves a lot of stress. You will notice that you are less distracted and find it easier to focus on what is important to you. To tidy up your mind, your surroundings need to be clean first.
Most people might not like the process of decluttering but the outcome is satisfying and absolutely worth the effort. We wish you the necessary energy and we hope this guide will help you to prepare for your house viewing, your move or merely piece of mind.