When selling your home, de-cluterring ranks #1, so why is it such a major problem? As a home stager and redesigner in Long Island New York, I've come across this problem all too often. When I strongly suggest they de-clutter a panic look comes across their face. Most of the time, my clients feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Since one of the services I offer is De-Cluttering & Space Planning, I give them suggestions as to where to start.
Paper clutter is usually the biggest culprit. This is my solution:
- Make time to de-cluter. Often clients don't set time to do this project, they run out of time, get discourage and quit!
- Eliminate as much distractions as possible. Arrange a play date for the kids and give hubby a project so they are out of your way!
- One Zone/Area at at time. By picking a zone and sticking to it until it's done, you will motivate yourself to move onto the next project.
- Identify it. Make a list of all the paper that is coming into your home
- Collect all the paper that is sitting on your counter, or tape to your frig, that you use on a daily basis. Create a binder that will hold all these important papers. This can include kids schedule, upcoming events, take-out menus, all that you can't file because as soon as you file it, you need it again. This will became you life-line. Store it where you can easily retrieve it.
- File it. Everything else can be filed, such as water bills, heating bills, receipts, car maintenance receipts or whatever you deem important. The filing system should reflect your family lifestyle!
- Shred all important document as you go.
- Start by going around in each room/area and just picking up items that can be discarded! This should be items that you no longer need or what. Just go into each room and start filling your bag. Do this each day until you have eliminate all unnecessary items.
- Once this is done, then you can go back and start to de-clutter room by room.
- The three pile rule. This will be helpful in eliminating clutter. Use one pile to keep, one pile to donate/throw away, one pile unsure. The unsure pile, I have a solution. Pack up these items in a box and tape it. If after six months you have not touch the box, toss it in the garbage, DO NOT OPEN IT!
- Once you have cleared out the unwanted items, you can going shopping for storage bins. There is no point in going shopping first if you don't know what you have or will keep.
- Maintain it! Now that you have things under control, maintain it, or it will become cluttered again! Make it a part of your routine!