The Covid quarantine caused a shift in priorities for many people. For a lot of families time spent at home highlighted what they can live without, like an overabundance of stuff. Many chose to remodel their homes while others decided to move, sending the amount of homes purchased to a higher number than Americans have seen in almost 15 years. 

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Decluttering is not a new concept, although it got a big boost with the advent of clean up gurus. The most famous right now is Marie Kondo who recommends only keeping items that spark joy. 

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If you’ve been thinking about decluttering for a move, to make room for an office or just to have a more spacious environment. Here are a few practical tips to get you started. 

Make A Plan

Making a plan will help you get organized before you begin decluttering. List out the specific areas in your home that need work. It’s worth it to set a reasonable timeline that is achievable for each area. Take on one project at a time. You may want to start out with an easier area like a small closet to begin your overall task with a feeling of accomplishment. 

Use a Sorting System

A common system is using three bins with one for items to keep; one for items to get rid of; and one for items to put in storage. The keep box should be emptied after you finish decluttering an area. The items should go to an organized spot in your home. The get rid of box should be emptied as well. Throw away trash and put the items to be donated into a box in your garage or car. The final box of items should be put into a storage bin with a label to be taken to a designated storage area.

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Stick to It 

Decluttering can be a huge, tiring project. It takes time, effort and determination, but it will pay off with an organized environment. You should add breaks in your schedule. In fact, if you get overwhelmed, take a longer break or take a day off and then keep going. You have a plan to follow, stick to it! 

Rent a Storage Unit

A self storage unit can be used for a number of purposes. If you are simply decluttering for quality of life in your current home, it can be used for sentimental or seasonal items. If you are selling your home, it is invaluable to have a place off-site to store bulkier items like furniture, toy tubs and decor while staging the home for sale. If your house sells quicker than expected and you don’t have the time to declutter properly, an affordable 5 x 10 storage unit can be an option where you can sort through items making sure nothing goes in your new home that will not be used. 

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Be Charitable

To earn money, you can have a yard sale or enter your items in a consignment shop to sell. There’s also online marketplaces on social media for items that you consider valuable. Another option that will feel good is to donate to charity. There are local charities in most cities with clothes closets, food pantries, women’s shelters and children’s programs. They can use your items to meet the needs of others in your community. 

When moving you definitely don’t want to be unpacking items you haven’t used in years. Decluttering will give you a sense of accomplishment and give your family a fresh start wherever you choose to land. 

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Even if you aren’t moving, remember the ultimate goal in decluttering is adding to your quality of life. Many find that clutter adds to stress, so removing it will lessen stress. One thing’s for sure, you will be happy you took the time to declutter your space.