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Whether you are selling your home or just out to get the best enjoyment out of life there are few things more liberating that decluttering, or removing junk, from your home. Just the fact that you can see bare hallways and smooth kitchen counters makes a person breathe a little easier.
Most people in the country have a home with a certain cluttering to it. The problem is that clutter creeps up on you slowly, so gradually that you never notice it until you literally trip over something in the middle of the floor. It is only at this time that you finally realize that your whole house is clogged and the panic sets in. Now you want it cleared way immediately. But where do you start?
Each home has its own particular clutter areas. These are natural places that attract keys, mail, newspapers, school bags and magazines. Not only do these clumped items look bad they suck away valuable space and turn an open-concept house into a mausoleum-style home.
Many people think that decluttering begins with getting heaps of cardboard boxes and stuffing the carnage into them. However the job of decluttering your home requires a mental refit before you begin the physical one. You have to think long and hard about how you want you life to continue. For example, if you have no intent on getting rid of any of your valued possessions and other clutter then the best way to declutter is to rent a mini-storage and truck the mess away. If you are really into cataloguing the heaps of valuables you can make your mini-storage unit into an organized warehouse. However, at the rate you collect things you need to keep renting more units. The best option is to do what we like to called decluttering triage.
The Decluttering Creed: If you have a loose item that you haven t used in two years, then turf it.
Now, pumped with these words follow these simple guidelines for getting organized:
1. Cupboard and Bookcase Cleanse: Starting in the spare room rummage through all cupboards, bookcases and closets.
2. Furniture for Decluttering: Buy furniture that not only offers style along with storage. For example, a chest of drawers can look good in the living room if it is placed well. A bench with a storage hamper will work great in the hallway and will store shoes, boots and small seasonal items as well as provide a seat to help you put on your shoes.
3. Basket Cases: Baskets are not only stylish they can help to prevent things from piling up around the home. Better yet a small shelving unit in the front hall can use slide-out baskets to store keys, sunglasses, sunscreen, hats and scarves. A basket shelving unit in the living room is great for magazines and newspapers and will help to declutter the area.
4. Buying Habits: Buy what you need, not what you would like buying a tennis racket for when you get around to taking up tennis. The odds are you never will but you will trip over those rackets ever time you walk into the storage room.
5. Storage Containers: Buy storage containers, the see-though ones if you can. Get a labeling system going for items such as the out-of-season clothes and sporting gear like skates. These work well for craft supplies too and other clutter.
6. Take Advantage of Unused Space: The Europeans are great for having all the comforts of home in a small apartment. This is because they make use of every empty space for storage: under beds, extra shelves in the closet, on the back of the door. Another trick they use for decluttering is to use curtains to hide shelves or storage areas under staircases. In this way the apartment walls can be full of shelves but you only see great-looking curtains.
7. A Little at a Time: If you ever see a large construction project is is a lot of small projects rolled into one. That s how you should attack your decluttering otherwise you may get overwhelmed as you open each closet and see clutter to the ceiling. Start with the smallest room and be thorough. Then pick the next larger one to do next weekend.
8. Three Piles Theory: Many home shows talk about the three pile decluttering approach:
This is really easy to do on a basement or garage floor. The donations are garbage are bagged up and shipped out. But then comes the hard part: carving away at the keepers. Get yourself in a ruthless mood and cut away of the keeper pile. It s not easy but concentrate on the task. Then bag this up and get it over to the donation bags. Out of site, out of mind and you have cut your clutter down almost 2/3rds.
There are professionals who can build basement and under-the-stairs storage for decluttering. Consult our Contractor Directory or simply post you project online and a contractor will contact you.