So you’ve decided to declutter… Let’s face it, decluttering can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you’re in a time crunch. Chances are you’ve let a few things pile up with great intentions of getting to it all “one day”. Well “one day” has arrived, so where to begin?

START SMALL AND COMPARTMENTALIZE. 

A sure way to just give up and get frustrated is to take on too much at once. Try dividing up the rooms in the house and make a list of the areas you’d like to tackle. Put them in order of priority and try to stick to one item on the list at a time. If you start too many tasks at once, you’ll end up with an insurmountable mess on your hands and it can be both physically and emotionally exhausting.

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.

Once you have a list of areas you want to clear out, remember that it’s great to be ambitious, however, sometimes slow and steady will get you further long-term. Start with small goals and assess how much time you have to do everything on the list and divide it out a little each day so you can actually feel a sense of accomplishment, which will keep you motivated. Chances are once you get on a roll you’ll actually tackle more on the list than you thought you would!

KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS ARE AN EXCELLENT PLACE TO START. 

Because these areas are less emotional, than let’s say, clothing, or kids’ old artwork, these are easier spaces to tackle. You’ll find it a lot easier to discard expired food or toiletries than wrestle with that (lovely) scribbly picture your little one made years ago. Wiping down shelves and rearranging spices is logical and a much easier starting point. For resale, kitchens and bathrooms are the most important areas in a home that people will care about in terms of appearance and cleanliness, so these will also have the greatest impact.

*NB. remember that expired medications must be taken to your local pharmacy for proper disposal*

LIVING SPACE AND BEDROOMS. 

It’s amazing what piles up when we’re too busy to notice. Life gets crazy and you blink, and then all of a sudden you are surrounded by old magazines, newspapers and books that you’ve already read and have no need to keep. Thinning things out in living spaces and in particular, bedrooms is a truly refreshing experience and when you’ve finished you’re going to enjoy your space so much more! Again, try to start with  items that are less personal so it will be easier to decide on the keep vs. give away piles. Arrange things in a way that will be easy to maintain and will make it easier for you to access your favourite books or music.  Bonus- You will appreciate rediscovering some items that had seemingly disappeared and you will feel more content in your own space.

DONATE ITEMS TO CHARITY.

Remember that it’s worth the extra effort environmentally (and for good karma) to donate clothes, books, etc. or ensure that the items you are discarding are going to  homes where they will be put to good use! This way your social and environmental impact will be more gentle as well as being helpful to the community and the earth! Some charities like Habitat for Humanity will even pick up some items and give you a tax receipt! If you have time, you may even be able to sell a few items online and Facebook Marketplace would be a good place to post those items for sale.

SO MANY POSITIVE IMPACTS. 

Decluttering can be a transformative process. Less stuff equals less stress!  Cleaning just got easier and so did finding lost items. You’ll also find it easier to say no to silly purchases when you’ve recently done a major purge. Psychologically, it’s been proven that we are happier when we are surrounded by less stuff. When we let things pile up, we can feel like we are literally “buried”  both physically and mentally which makes it hard to  feel positive.

WORTH IT IN THE END.

Decluttering may seem simple, but it’s always best to have a plan. The time and effort are worth it in the end.  If you’re considering selling your home, potential buyers will certainly be able to appreciate your home more and have a much easier time envisioning themselves living in that space if it is clutter free.