Minimalist living is all the rage. It seems that everyone is on a decluttering binge, whether you already do it once a year or simply chose to get started during the downtime of the pandemic quarantine. Getting items that you no longer need or use out of your space is a lovely way to get the fresh feel of moving into a new space without all the work.
Creating space in your home is not as hard as it may sound. You’d be surprised at how much is extra within your house or apartment. While you don’t have to get rid of everything extra, you don’t have to live with it underfoot.
The one thing you want to avoid is regret. Many people have followed the minimalist regimen only to discover that they gave up things they really valued. These may be items kept for sentimental value or for actual monetary value. You can slim down your belongings and furniture without overdoing it. In fact, it can be fun and rewarding.
How to Declutter Your Home in Three Steps
1. Get Rid of Duplicates
It is said that one of the signs of adulthood is that you have a favorite cooking spoon. If you have a go-to spoon, spatula, or pancake-turner, get rid of the duplicates. Donate them to a family shelter or look for an organization that fosters teenagers that have aged out of the foster care system.
Once you have gotten rid of the duplicates, put down rubber mats on the bottom of your drawer to keep things from sliding around when you open the drawer. You will love the order and the ease at which you can find your favorites. If you have keepsakes that you do not use but cannot give away, consider renting a small storage unit for keepsakes.
Likewise, if you are keeping family furniture or other valuable pieces, you could decrease what’s in your way without giving them up. Seasonal storage is a logical way to preserve your family heirlooms. After all, furniture is an investment. If you aren’t sure, just look at the ads for even the simplest pieces of furniture these days.
Just your side tables are worth $300 for a matching pair. A wooden dresser may go for $300 on the online marketplace, but just try replacing it with another one. You’ll spend $1,000 or more to get a high-quality wooden dresser. That makes saving your furniture one of the smartest decisions you can make for your budget today and far into the future.
2. Declutter Early in the Day
One of the biggest challenges in how to declutter your home is decision fatigue. The act of decluttering requires you to make a lot of decisions in a short time, so do it when your brain is fresh.
For example, if you have a closet of clothes to clean out, enter the space with:
- a black bag for garbage
- a white bag for donations
- boxes for items to sell
- plastic bins for what you want to keep
Anything stained or worn goes in the black bag. When it is full, take it to the dumpster. Anything that does not fit can go in the donation or sale container, but be certain to get these items out of the house.
Things to keep in the plastic bin will get one more sort. As you pull them out, try them on. Do you really like them? Do they fit well? Could you wear them tomorrow? If yes, hang them up. If not, put them back in the plastic bin. Before you buy more clothes, shop the bin.
Another idea is to use seasonal storage for your off-season clothes. You can put all of your winter things away and have plenty of room in your drawers and closet for your summer clothes. You can buy boxes or get free boxes from a number of sources.
3. Try Out Seasonal Storage
A self-storage locker is a wonderful spot for holiday decorations and pool toys. Cleaning your garage may be the best place to start for many people. If you cannot park your car inside because you have too many pool floaties, rent a car storage unit. A car is a valuable investment that will decline in value each day it is sitting out in the weather.
If your attic is too hot, your basement is too musty, or you don’t have any outdoor storage ideas, you can put your seasonal items in storage.
You may want to store extra furniture, but you aren’t sure which pieces need to go. One way to determine this is to count how much furniture is in each room. If you go over 8, and the room isn’t your large living room, there’s a good chance you have too much. Consider putting away tall pieces that may make a room seem smaller due to the wall space they consume.
You can also count up how many of each type of furniture you have. How many desks? Bookcases? Dressers? Chairs? Sometimes the answer is easy. You can slim down what you are using, but you keep it in the family, ready to be used when it becomes needed again. A 5 x 10 storage unit doesn’t cost that much, but it may allow you to thin out your cluttered rooms. The cost of a 10 x 10 storage unit is equally reasonable.
Some families make each new season visit to their self-storage unit part of your holiday tradition. They get a pumpkin spice coffee and go grab their fall and Halloween decorations. They stop for ice cream on the way home with all of their summer fun gear. They bring the team to gather their seasonal sport gear.
The kids will love visiting the unit to gather all of the Christmas or winter decorations. These moments make life special and make the decorations themselves more meaningful and better appreciated.
Minimalism and austerity have their place, but many of us prefer a homier atmosphere. If you love the marble rolling pin your great aunt gave you and never plan to make a pie in your life, keep the rolling pin. The goal should be decluttering with no regret.