Whether you have already done your spring cleaning or it hasn’t yet crossed your mind, your home is probably full of stuff that you don’t need anymore. Your closets are overflowing, your drawers won’t close, and many things just don’t have a place. Plain and simple: You have way too much clutter. But how do you get started separating the important things from the junky things? Here are eight home organizing tips to help you ditch the junk and make downsizing less stressful:
1. Identify the junk
A lot of junk is easy to pick out, like old t-shirts you never wear, miscellaneous wires and cables, or birthday cards from years ago. After all of the obvious junk has been identified and thrown out, you can start tackling the harder things. One of the first home organizing tips to think about is sorting your items into different categories such as books, clothing, cables, gadgets, games, etc. Pretty much any item that you notice taking up too much space needs to be put in a category.
2. Avoid any “maybes”
Before you start going through your categorized piles, make a pledge with yourself to make only yes/no decisions. Relocation experts call it the OHIO rule: Only handle it once. Moving things in and out of a “maybe” pile takes time, and it’s probably the reason you have so much junk in the first place! With your home organizing tips in mind, sort every item into a “keep” or “toss” pile. Be ruthless. If it’s chipped, broken, or stained, get rid of it! If you haven’t plugged in that gadget for three or four years, it’s run its course. Only keep the things you know you absolutely need.
3. Don’t do it all at once
One of the most obvious and least considered home organizing tips is to avoid tackling the whole house in one sitting. Set a timeline, and take on one room or area at a time. Set goals for what you want to accomplish in each room. Going through all of your things can be a difficult process—so take your time!
4. Host a garage sale
Once you have accumulated all of the things you are ready to get rid of, consider hosting a garage sale in an attempt to sell your items. Price your items competitively, and you should be able to significantly reduce your junk load while also earning some extra cash!
5. Sell the big things online
If a garage sale is too big of an undertaking, you can try to sell items online through eBayÓ or CraigslistÓ. Craigslist is better for the big things like furniture or other difficult-to-ship items that you want to make a few bucks on. Price your items and set your minimums so you can sell on the first try!
6. Donate to charity
Donating your items is one of the best home organizing tips in the book, and one of the easiest ways to throw out your junk without actually throwing it out. Contact local organizations to see if they are interested in taking your items. The local Salvation Army or Goodwill are always good places to start.
7. Go digital
In today’s day and age, a lot of junk you have lying around your house could easily be digitally consolidated on a hard drive. Various documents, images, videos, notes, etc. can be converted to digital versions. If you have stacks of photos, old VHS tapes, and other things you want to keep but would be willing to toss if you had a digital version, consider investing some time in digitalizing your life.
8. Toss it
When you have finally exhausted all of your selling or donating possibilities and run out of home organizing tips to try, or if the item in general is not worth giving away, toss it. However, be careful when throwing away technology. Consider recycling old technology or use a site like Gazelle that will buy your dead technology.
Now that you have cleaned out your house, maintain your junk-free lifestyle! Getting organized can only help you better use everything you still have.