How to Declutter your home

How to declutter your home

Clutter, it sneaks up on us so easily. In this informational piece, I will be giving you the basics on how to declutter your home.

The first way is to give everything away and just leave what you absolutely need to survive. Obviously, you either have no time or are running from something, if you do that.

I used to be an Air Force brat, moving every two and a half years, so when I retired and stayed in the same house for more than seven years, I discovered that I didn’t have the habits of decluttering every few years.  I needed to learn how to do that without moving.

Hi, I’m Toni from the site 1p61.com. (Online Shopping) My site focuses on living well despite an increasing cost of living.  I promote businesses that teach people how to become more employable, give good interview answers, and how to get good bargains on many different items, including clothes, movies, cooking like the restaurants you like, how to publish books, fly free, get a facelift without surgery.  All kinds of things that are interesting to me and, I hope, to you.  I’m constantly updating my mall, because that is what it is, an Online Shopping Mall for people who are looking for good deals.

I also like to give people the opportunity to learn from my research interests and needs.  Right now, I am focusing on decluttering.  See below for the first of several informational blogs on that subject. My 1p61.com site has a category called Reference Learning.  I put my informational blogs there as well as other books or sites that can help you in life.  For example, my Reference Learning has a site you can go to for making sure your Interview Answers are all that they can be to help you get a job.

When does Clutter become too much?

The book, ‘Downsizing The Family Home’ by Marni Jameson, gives some really good advice on what to save and what to let go. There are many situations other than the constant military moving that people run into.  This book is focused on moving her aging parents into a smaller place and doing the same for herself. But, the principals can really be used by those who find that clutter has almost become hoarding.

I am only summarizing her excellent book.  But, if you want to buy it, I saw it in a catalog for $16.95, then found it at my local library after having to put it on hold.  It is a very popular book.

Lifestyle Clutter

Or, when you get to where I am, which is that the clutter of excess paperwork, and material things make it hard for me to hire good housecleaner.  I have accumulated too many things.  I have motivation to let stuff go, but don’t want to throw away anything that still has value.  And, what do I do with those things?  What is the stuff that is valueless and what has value and how do I choose which is which?  What do I keep, sell, donate or trash?

Let’s get to the guts of decluttering.

First, I want to note six points Marni made about downsizing your parent’s home and moving them into a facility that will be safer for them.  And, one of the concepts that struck me was that she moved them when they were still both alive. That way, they could still have each other in the new situation. And, they wouldn’t be coping with grief while the decisions on what to take and what not to take were made.

  1. Safety.  Are they falling or making driving mistakes.
  2. Health.  Is their eyesight failing, or do they have less energy to keep things up.
  3. Hygiene.  Are they wearing the same clothes several days.  Do they have a slight, but discernible odor, which indicates they are not showering as frequently as they did before.
  4. Housekeeping.  Is there cobwebs in the corners?  How often do they dust or vacuum?  Is there a lot of clutter around and not picked up?
  5. Meals.  What is in the refrigerator?  Is the food spoiled.  Are they not eating right and losing or gaining weight because of poor diet?
  6. Social Life.  Has their social life dwindled to little or nothing because they don’t have the energy to have people over or to go out like they used to.

First: Mindset

Something I have had to do, is change my mindset.  I tried giving my treasures that I had held onto for my kids, to my kids.  They either said no, or sent them back, with a no thanks Mom.  After reading this book and experiencing the need to declutter, my mindset changed to Liquidate and clear out. Thus, I found it easier to realize my valued sentimental items were not needed by me or my children.  They were only interested in pictures.  And, every picture needed to have names so they knew who they were seeing.  

I set up a memorial for a very valued friend last year, so this is something I know how to handle. Walgreens, Sam’s Club and other places can take your pictures, scan them, let you set them up in books and write something on them and make as many copies as you want.  This is easy to do and I did this for my friend’s memorial. Then, giving those books to her sons is one of my happiest memories.

Sorting out the needed from the not

Initial sort has these questions.  Do I love it? Do I need it? Will I use it? And, is it still in good condition?

Do the needed cleaning out in small increments. Take a closet for your first project.  First clean everything out. Put back what you absolutely will use. One of the hints I head about closet cleaning for the timid Is to wash everything so it is in its best shape.  Then, turn the closet hangers around so the ends are facing you.  Use your clothes that year as usual, turning to the back anything you wear as you put it back. At the end of the year, pull out anything that hasn’t had the hanger turned around.

This can become a lifestyle

Make this type of lifestyle a way of life.  Do you have something really sentimental that gives you all kinds of good vibes when you hold it.  Keep that one thing.  Good memories are great.  But, keeping everything can overpower your life. The mantra for getting rid of clutter is toss, sell, keep, unsure.

Garage, Estate and Rummage Sales

When planning for a garage sale, post on Craigslist, EstateSales.com and PennySaver online.  Weekends are not the best days.  Buyers or, quite often resellers, look on weekdays and come early in order to get the good stuff. She priced by figuring out what it would cost in a thrift store minus what she would pay someone to take it.  In my experience, some thrift stores will pick up items for free, so they can sell them.  So, take that into account.

A garage sale implies that you are cleaning out unused items. An Estate Sale generally means the whole houseful of items is on sale. A Rummage sale has the implication that it is up to the buyer to find what they want to buy in piles of stuff.  DO NOT say you are having an Estate Sale if you do not want people in your house trying to buy everything, even towels on the rack in your bathroom.

My next informational blog will talk about what to do with the stuff you have that is possibly valuable.  And, if you have the time and energy to go for the best prices for your stuff.

Again, I am Toni from 1p61.com.   I have an Online Shopping site that you might want to check out.  I hope so.  All the items I show are the best and most unusual I can find to help people live in this every changing economy.