Things have a way of accumulating over time. Books half-read sit on a desk, expired coupons become forgotten, and sometimes entire drawers and closets can slowly fill with junk that goes essentially unused. Even the cleanest home can develop a cluttered look that makes it appear unkempt no matter how much you sanitize the surfaces. Tackling the job can feel overwhelming, but the easiest way to declutter your home is to go room by room and categorize everything as save, store, or toss.
The “save” category is for things that are valuable or occasionally useful. Hardbound books in good condition, toolboxes, or games all fall into this list. With these sorts of items, organization is important. Install a bookshelf to place your books worth keeping, find a dedicated shelf or drawer for tools and games, and make sure such items remain accessible but out of the way. The important thing is to find or make a spot for them to belong, so that they don’t end up contributing to the clutter.
The best items to store are seasonal or rarely used. Holiday decorations are worth keeping, but because they’re only brought out once a year they don’t need to take up space in easy reach. Likewise, winter clothes don’t need closet space in summer. When storing items, it is important to keep conditions in mind. Consider a climate controlled storage facility for items that may be sensitive to environment.
Some things don’t need to be stored or saved – they belong in the rubbish or re-cycling bins. Oftentimes, useless items simply gather over time over the natural course of living in a home. Going through the piles can help make clear what is truly necessary. Is the old notebook still needed? Do the extra sets of earpieces for the headphone deserve a permanent spot on the desk? It is easy to become so accustomed to seeing some items lying around that we fail to note whether we require them unless we’re purposely examining them.
When decluttering, resist the urge to dump everything in boxes to get them out of the way, as it will only create a problem later. Be patient: sort through each room individually, and if closets and drawers are full, sort through them first so that space can be created. Keeping what you need on hand, and storing or tossing items that are taking up room, can transform a cluttered mess of rooms into a clean and peaceful home.