People often think of the New Year as a fresh start and a chance to improve their lifestyle. De-cluttering seems to be at the top of the list these days. Don't wait for spring cleaning to instill these new habits. Tackle your clutter now and feel less burdened by your junk in 2011.
This lifestyle change can be useful towards staging to sell your home or just keeping your sanity. Even if you do not plan to sell your home in the near future, you will be thanking yourself for implementing these beneficial routines when you are actually ready to move. Clutter is not a result of lack of space within your home; but a lack of having a system for keeping it under control.
Taking on different rooms or sections of the house one at a time can make the task seem less intimidating. It is easy to get overwhelmed, so perhaps work on just one room for the entire week. Don't set unrealistic goals for yourself or you will be left frustrated. Always have three items on hand while you de-clutter your home; a bag for trash, a bag for charity items, and a bin for things you want to keep and need to organize.
Our team at Triangle Home Staging & Design support The Green Chair Project, whose main goal is to "re-use furnishings while renewing lives in the Greater Raleigh". The Goodwill, Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity are also fantastic organizations to donate your items to. You are contributing to a good cause and don't forget that you can get a tax deduction for donating. One man's trash is another man's treasure...but let's focus on getting rid of your trash!
Paper seems to be a major culprit in clutter and can be the most difficult to organize. Invest in a filing cabinet (or two!) so that you can easily find those important papers you are looking for rather than searching through piles for hours. Once you organize all of your papers and put them into this new filing system, pick a day/time of the week that you will select as your paper organizing time. On that day, you will go through all of the junk mail, receipts, bills, sticky notes, and other paper materials that you have accumulated throughout the week. If you are able to stick to this schedule, you will no longer be swimming in paper. Don't forget to recycle!
Tchotchkes, everyone has them. Look at your knick knacks and ask yourself if they are truly worth something to you. There is nothing wrong with sentimental attachment to items, but only keep a few of the things you really cherish. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, "Have I looked at or used the item in the past year?" If you haven't, why on earth do you need it collecting dust under your bed? Answer: You don't! Be brutal with yourself or ask a friend or family member to help you who will be ruthless.
Sometimes you need to get to the root of the problem as well. While shopping, ask yourself, "Do I really need this? Is this either a useful item or something that I could forever put on display in my home to be admired?" Employ the "one in, one out" method. If you purchase a new pair of shoes, an old pair of shoes must go out. In the end, mindful shopping will leave you, your home, and your bank account much happier.
Getting rid of junk is freeing, relieving, and empowering. Don't allow material items to bog you down. The serenity of walking into a well-edited home with space, purpose, and a few items of beauty on display is refreshing to the mind and spirit. Life should be about the memories and experiences you partake in, not the amount of items you own!
Aritcle & Photograhy by: Emily-Claire Ballou, of Triangle Staging & Design
Please feel free to contact us at Triangle Home Staging & Design or 919-324-2225 if you need any assistance. We are here to help.
We are dedicated to moving the Home Staging Industry forward by offering the most relevant, comprehensive and innovative Home Staging Training that the industry has to offer through the Staging and Redesign (SAR) 3 and 5 day courses. For more information regarding our services and our training schedule, please contact us at 919-324-2225.