So, after a good long look at your house, you’ve decided it’s time to jump on the decluttering train. There are few things more freeing than doing away with unnecessary excess.
But wait — before you even start down that path, you’re going to need to figure some things out first.
These five questions are the perfect preparation for your journey to a clutter-free life. Take the time before you start decluttering to answer each of them and see how much easier it makes the entire process!
1. How Am I Going to Declutter?
The very first thing you need is a plan of action.
Now’s the time to decide how you’re going to go about this whole deal. Do it before you get started, so you’re not wasting time unsure where to go next.
What rooms are you going to declutter? Is this a one-room deal, or are you tackling the entire house?
Figure out who is getting involved in the effort. It’s good to know if you’re going this alone or if your friends and family are pitching in. You’ll have a better idea of the workload you’re taking on.
If other people are helping you out, go ahead and assign jobs to those people.
Finally, what’s the timeframe look like? A deadline could add motivation just as well as pressure. Or is this a more leisurely effort that’s only going to get done when you have the time?
Either way, having a decluttering schedule in mind will definitely keep you on track to finish as soon as you possibly can.
2. What Do I Need to Get This Done?
Once you figure out the “how,” you need to figure out the “what.”
The mechanics of how your decluttering will work will determine what sort of things you need for the job. Getting all your supplies together before you begin will make it easier to go go go.
If you’re going to have zones to place items to keep or get rid of, find a way to separate them. Create an area for things that go in other rooms in the house. Mark the zones with tape or lay down yardsticks.
Do you prefer bins for your things? Go ahead and get those first.
Make sure you have trash bags to throw any garbage you find in the process. Immediately throwing away items you deem as trash will make you less likely to put them back in the long run.
Maybe you want to make this a two-fold mission and do a deep clean as you declutter.
Gather all your cleaning supplies before you even look at your clutter. Have it all on standby in the corner of the room you’re working in so it’s easily accessible. It’ll make your life so much easier.
3. How Will I Determine What to Get Rid Of?
Here’s where you get down to brass tacks.
Even if you have the determination to declutter your entire house, it’s not as easy as it sounds to run through and start chucking things. It’s best to establish a system to decide what you’re going to keep and what has to go.
Figure out what your criteria are for what stays and goes.
Will you base it on how long it’s been since you’ve used something? Does the sentimental value play into your decision? What gives an item value to you?
Keep a good list of questions (yes, more questions) on hand for those tougher items that you just can’t seem to decide about. Once you make it through them, you’re more likely to successfully convince yourself you don’t need that thing after all.
And isn’t that the whole point of decluttering?
4. Where Is Everything I’m Not Keeping Going to Go?
Don’t just let all those bags and bins of things sit around your house!
Put a plan in place before you begin pulling everything off your shelves for all those things that won’t be staying. Whether you plan to donate them, sell them, or throw them away, you need to know exactly how that goes down.
Go ahead and decide where you’re going to sell different things like electronics and clothes.
You can drop donations anywhere of your choosing but know where that’s going to be. You can even schedule a donation pick-up to give yourself a timeframe to have everything ready to go.
Throwing things away is pretty simple. Just make sure you have room in your trash can!
5. How Will I Stay Motivated?
One of the most challenging things about decluttering is how big of a project it can end up being. Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep yourself excited about the entire journey, and you may feel like quitting halfway through.
Do. Not. Give. Up.
Instead, prepare yourself for the hard times before you dive in. Know exactly what it is that keeps you motivated and have it ready to go so you can keep your energy up from start to finish.
Create a playlist of all your favorite songs to blast through your house. Queue up some episodes of a podcast you love or the audio version of a book you’ve meant to read.
Pull a friend in by calling them on speakerphone or video chat so they can keep you company through the long haul!
One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated, though, is with a good old fashioned time limit.
Schedule an event at your house and plan to have every bit of it decluttered by the time you’ll be hosting. It’s hard not to stay motivated when you know you can show off all your hard work at the end.
Make your decluttering journey more manageable by getting ready before you even begin. You will end up getting results quicker and easier if you properly prepare.
Just use these five questions as the starting line before you run the race. They will keep you from getting tripped up or losing your wind along the way and have you crossing the finish line feeling like a champion!
Dominique Daniels is the Business Manager at The Marq. With over five years of property management experience, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She finds joy in helping current and future residents and makes The Marq a place everyone loves to call home.