How to Decide What to Keep When Decluttering Your Home
Longer, warmer days, reemerging flowers, and budding trees signify not only the start of spring but also new beginnings. I like to look at spring cleaning the same way – as a new beginning – a way to remove the clutter, and dust that have accumulated over the winter, and to get ready to usher in the fresh days of spring.
Do you find it difficult to part with some things? Sentimental clutter—the items we have no use for but still cannot part with—is often the most difficult.
So, where do you begin? How do you decide what to keep and what to remove?
Below, we will look at the best ways to approach decluttering your home.
Decluttering an entire home can feel daunting and often overwhelming. Starting in a small area can make the task more manageable.
Start in one room, then divide that room into smaller sections, and set a timeline to complete each room. It could be an hour or two, or you may dedicate an entire day per room.
For example, if you choose the living room, start with the TV cabinet. Remove all items and place them onto the floor or a table. Organize into piles: books, DVDs/Games, board games, toys, decor/candles, etc. Sort through each pile one item at a time and determine which items serve no purpose and which you would like to keep.
Move onto the next section of your room. After each section is complete, remove the garbage, recycling, and any items for donation.
The last step is to dust and clean the room. You will be amazed at how quickly you can turn a messy, disorganized room into a beautiful space.
Give Yourself Grace
If you are unsure about whether you should keep a sentimental item or not, ask yourself these questions:
- ● Does it work/is it broken?
- ● When was the last time I used this item?
- ● Is it on display or kept hidden in a box or cupboard?
- ● Why do I feel attached to it? (Perhaps, you spent a lot of money on it, or it was a familyheirloom?)
- ● Could it be of more use if given to someone else?
By taking a few minutes to answer these questions, the decision to keep the item or not may become clear. Often, we hold onto an item because of the feelings it invokes within us. In other words, we are holding onto an item that takes up valuable space instead of holding onto the memories associated with it. If this is the case, consider taking a photo of the item and then donating it.
If you find you just cannot let go of something, make a note of when you decided to keep it. In six months, go back to your notes. If you still have not used the item, you will have more peace of mind donating or discarding it.
Go with your Gut
When considering whether or not to keep an item, go with your initial instinct. Emotional attachment can influence the amount of clutter we keep in our homes. Making a decision not based on emotion is best in the case of decluttering. Once you have decided, don’t second-guess yourself.
Bring Others Joy
This point touches on the question from above: could the item be of more use to someone else? If the item is in good shape, consider donating it, and try to imagine the new owners using it. Perhaps your grandmother’s old dining set is collecting dust in your basement. While looking at it may bring back many pleasant memories of family dinners, try reimagining it serving that same purpose for another family. Using this technique makes it easier and more rewarding to declutter your home.
Are you still feeling overwhelmed, or just not sure where to start? That’s okay! We are here to help! As professional organizers in Vancouver, we can make the decluttering and organizing process easier and give you the tools to keep up with it.
Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you bring harmony into your home.