A dirty home can be a big downer. Sure, maybe visitors aren’t coming over any time soon. But when dirt piles up it can become a problem. Dust and dust mites can cause allergic reactions and aggravate pre-existing health conditions. But before you tackle that deep clean, take some time to declutter and organize your home. It’ll make cleaning so much easier!
Studies show that household clutter increases stress and has an adverse effect on mental health. In fact, 91% of Canadians feel clutter negatively affects their lives. But taking control of your clutter can be easy if you follow these simple steps:
1. Make A Plan
We all have those corners of the house where stuff piles up. The basement, the garage, the attic, the closet… these are the areas that tend to collect all those trinkets and doodads (and gifts from Grandma) that you tell yourself will surely come in handy someday. But face it: if you haven’t touched it in a year, all it’s doing is taking up space. Luckily, it’s easy to take action!
Map out the cluttered spots in your home that need the most attention and schedule a few different days to tackle it. Breaking up the work over time can make it more manageable. Visualize how you’ll use the space once all the clutter is gone. Keep your eye on the prize and get to it.
2. Trash The Bad
First, get rid of all the things that are obviously trash. Grab some gloves, throw on some old work clothes, put on your favourite album, and get in the zone. Bring a garbage bag with you as you look over your clutter. If it’s broken beyond repair or starting to grow mould, trash it. Don’t stress about making decisions on what to keep at this point. Just make an initial sweep to identify the stuff that can’t be salvaged. This quick step will give you the momentum you need to tackle the harder work to come.
3. Sort Sort Sort
With all that trash out of the way, you now have some room to sort through the clutter. Start small, breaking the room into smaller sections. Sort that mountain of stuff into three piles: keep, donate, and store. This can be the hardest part because emotional attachments can confuse the process. It’s okay to cherish good memories. Take some time to reflect on what these items might have meant to you. Make peace with the past and then let go of the item so you can move forward. Remember these rules:
- If you don’t love it, need it or use it, it doesn’t belong in your home.
- Just because something is usable doesn’t mean you need to keep it.
- If you keep everything, then nothing is special.
This part of the process can be draining and take some time. Don’t forget to take breaks. Be honest with yourself and take it slow, but keep pushing forward. Before you know it, the hard part is over!
4. Donate The Good
By now you should have some piles of perfectly good items that no longer belong in your home. Throwing those things away would only add to the incredible amount of waste that ends up in Canadian landfills every day. Instead, why not donate those items to charity? Creating a profile on GiveShop is super simple, and it’s the first step to helping a wide variety of local charities and schools. Upload images of gently used items to the GiveShop marketplace and you’re all set!
When an item is purchased, the proceeds go directly to the charity of your choice (and you could even get a charitable tax receipt!). Curbside pickup makes it safe and easy to hand off the item, even during a pandemic.
Donating items through GiveShop means helping your community and the environment, and it will give you back space in your home that could be put to much better use.
5. Organize What’s Left
At this point you should be left only with the piles of items you’re going to keep and store. For any items that are staying in the room and going to be used regularly, go ahead and put them away. For items going into storage, box them up, label the boxes, and set them aside. Eventually you should store those boxes somewhere safe and out of the way. But if you haven’t used those items by next spring, then at least they’re ready and organized for the next donation pile.
Congratulations on successfully decluttering your home! Now your space is ready for spring cleaning. But maybe leave that for another day. You’ve certainly earned a break!