Happy New Year!

If you have decluttering and purging on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re not alone! They rank up there with losing weight and quitting smoking. But many people are discouraged when the task is daunting, and they don’t finish the job. Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

Break the Task Down

If you set aside an entire day and try to declutter your whole home at once, you’ll get tired and quit.

Instead, set aside an hour for only ONE thing. Perhaps it’s your closet, or a corner of the basement.

Breaking down your organizing into manageable sized chunkswill let you see results, and that will inspire you to keep going.

Don’t Do Half a Job

If you leave a kitchen cupboard half-done to start a closet, at the end of your decluttering session nothing will be finished. Wrap up one before starting another.

That includes removing the items from your home. If you are throwing them away, put them in the garbage. If you are donating them, put them in the trunk of your car, ready to drop off. If you are passing them on to a friend or relative, put them in a box in the garage.

Don’t Assume You’re Finished

You are never done decluttering because new things will always find their way into your home. Set aside time every month (or every six months) to repeat your decluttering.

This is the point that makes most people feel like a failure in decluttering. You only fail if you don’t declutter at all!

Things to Consider Before You Sell Your Unwanted Items

You’ve purged, sorted, discard and reorganized… now you are left with boxes of things you no longer want or use, and you’re ready to get rid of them. They still have a lot of use left in them and perhaps they also represent a large dollar figure.

So now you’re faced with the decision… sell or donate?

Many people do a combination of both, and before you decide if selling your unneeded items is right for you, you should consider the following points:

Selling takes effort

Whether you decide have a yard sale, sell on eBay or Kijiji, take it to a consignment shop, or put an add in your local paper, there is work to be done. You have already worked so hard to declutter that you may decide enough is enough.

Selling takes time

Be prepared to wait for a buyer. In the case of a yard sale, you must also invest the time to prepare for the sale, plus a full day of your time.

Only you can determine what your time is worth. Consider your home and working life to decide whether the time spent will be worth the small amount of money you will make.

Speaking of which…

You will not recover your investment

Regardless of what you spent on your items, in the eyes of others they are in fact “used.” This means that you won’t be able to get top dollar and you must avoid feeling insulted when you get a low offer.

Do your homework. Look on eBay to see what similar items are selling for. as well, consider shipping and packaging costs. And don’t forget that consignment shops charge a commission.

You will not see the results of your purge immediately

Items awaiting sale will be in your home longer, depriving you of the instant gratification the purge would give you. Depending on the size of your home and the location of their storage, boxes of unwanted stuff might hinder your ability to use your rooms to the fullest.

They may not sell

In other words, they might be around for a long time, and you might even change your mind. They might find their way back into your cupboards and closets. Or, you may decide after a while to donate them after all.

Am I prejudiced toward donation?

Does it show? If you have something that is definitely valuable by all means sell it; however, I love the feeling of passing unwanted items to people who can use them. Whether you give them to a friend or relative, or donate them to charity, you get the satisfaction of making another person’s life better, and that’s a feeling money can’t buy. Of course, anything of sentimental value should be offered to family members first.

What are your clutter hotspots?

Look around your home and identify the areas that always seem to get piled up with clutter:

  • top of fridge
  • bedside table (or the floor beside it)
  • desk
  • table in front entrance

You get the picture! The same spots — over and over — fill with clutter, despite your desire to be more organized. The reason you and your family choose these places to set down objects that don’t belong is because they’re convenient places.

The key is MAINTENANCE! It’s that simple, yet that difficult. Decluttering is only the first step; afterwards, take an extra look at your hotspots each day and tidy them before they get out of hand

How decluttering can make you feel good

There is nothing quite like decluttering and organizing your home to give you a warm fuzzy feeling! Here’s why:

Bright, Open Space…

Decluttering removes all the unused and unwanted items from your home, leaving only the things you need, love and use. Rearranging these and organizing them into the newfound space will leave you with a light and airy home.

Eliminate Bad Memories…

Decluttering will lt you examine each item for usefulness, but it will also reveal your feelings toward a particular thing in your home. If it reminds you of an unpleasant person, event, or time period in your life, don’t keep it.

Be a Positive Role Model for Your Children…

When your children grow up in an organized home they are more likely to follow your example in the future, when they have homes of their own. Many adults are disorganized because they were never taught by their parents — don’t let that be your legacy.

Help Others…

Decluttering gives you an opportunity to pass on your unused items to people who can really benefit from them. Sometimes you know who these people are and you can give them to friends and relatives. Or, you can donate them to charity.

Protect the Environment…

Every item you donate or pass on to others is one less item that must be manufactured using natural resources. In addition, it means one less item in landfill. Either way, it’s a win-win situation!

Why can’t you stay decluttered?

You finally finished decluttering your entire home and you’re so proud of yourself! But two months later — MORE CLUTTER! What happened?

You Thought Decluttering was a One-Time Job…

Decluttering is a lifestyle. It will be something you do regularly for the rest of your life. Granted, it will be easier each time, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you are finished with the process forever.

You Haven’t Examined Your Shopping Habits…

Decluttering is one thing, but you also have to keep the clutter from returning. Many times we are the ones who are guilty of bringing clutter back into our homes.

Before you donate your items to charity, take a minute to examine them.

Why did you buy them in the first place?
Were they impulse purchases?
Had you intended to use/read/wear them but never got around to it?
Did you buy them only because they were on sale?
Did you buy them and use them, but now they are outdated or worn out?
Would you buy them again if you saw them in a store today?
There are no right or wrong answers, only what works for you. Only then can you shop with the mindset that you will not buy anything that will re-clutter. Perhaps you can replace the word “declutter” with “decumulate.”

Your Family is Not Onboard…

You can never declutter successfully without the cooperation of every person in your household.

Your husband and kids must also be able to purge their unused items on a regular basis, and it goes without saying that they must not bring in new clutter to replace the old.