Decluttering your home can be good therapy. Not only will sorting through items and moving things around give you a physical workout, it will give you a chance to do some mental decluttering too.
The process of deciding what to keep and what to pass on can be grueling, but it will help you sort out your current priorities. Every now and then you should revisit where you are in life, answering what is important to you at that particular stage.
Discarding what no longer serves you makes space for new things. That in itself can be invigorating.
But sometimes, we all need a little help. Here are three quick and painless tips to help you get started:
1. Sort through your items with a friend or relative
Downsizing your stuff often becomes a trip down memory lane. Going through your items with a friend or relative can be a time where you revisit special times associated with items. Photos and souvenirs were kept for such a time as this.
Be warned: As you wade through all your precious items, your emotions may be stirred.
Many people form sentimental attachments to items. They might remember who gave them what and why. They might remember events that caused them to make certain purchases. Details stored in their memories will come back as though it was yesterday.
The reason people don’t want to give memorable items away is they fear they will forget the special person or event associated with it. But to remember the people or special events, you don’t have to keep the associated items.
Take your focus off the items that merely rust, tear, or tarnish, and keep the memories instead. Enjoy revisiting special times. Acknowledge the events and free yourself to move on to make new memories.
If items trigger negative feelings, get rid of them. Only relive positive memories. It’s important you protect your emotional health as you get rid of clutter.
Avoiding the process all together isn’t the way to get through it, though. Simply go through a pile at a time, systematically, pausing for breaks if needed.
2. Assess each item’s monetary value
Many of the items you want to give away aren’t worth much in today’s market. Why would a young person want a gaudy 1970s lamp that takes up a lot of space when they can buy a lamp that better matches their decor?
Today’s generation doesn’t migrate towards antiques as previous generations did. There isn’t as much value in keeping certain items in the family for sentimental reasons as there used to be. We have so much to choose from for home decorating that we often don’t want old hand-me-downs.
Certainly discard or give away damaged and outdated items, and items that have negative emotions associated with them.
3. Follow these eight simple suggestions for letting go of sentimental items
If you’re preparing for a move or simply wishing to free up space, donate (here’s where to donate old clothes, books, furniture, toys, cell phones, and more) or discard some items.
Here are eight suggestions for working through the process:
- Handle the project in small steps. Take one section or pile at a time to sort through.
- Ask a friend or relative to join you so you have someone with whom to share your memories.
- If you haven’t used or worn an item for a number of years, then you need to have a good reason for keeping it.
- Always ask those you know if they’d like some of the items. It’s often easier to pass them on when you feel someone you know will appreciate them.
- Be cautious of keeping items because you think you could convert them into something new. Chances are you would have done so by now.
- If you can’t decide on what to do with an item, use our decluttering flowchart, put the item aside for later, or consider using a storage company like MakeSpace to store your item.
- Applaud yourself for creating a giveaway pile no matter how small it is.
- When you begin to feel overwhelmed or tired, tidy up and leave the rest for another day.
Decluttering and reorganizing is often tedious, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. But the result of having more space and less stress will be worth it.
Your spirit and mind may even feel a sense of relief as you finally deal with piles of items and papers that have needed sorting for so long. When the process is complete, you’re sure to feel better about the tidied space.
This article was written by King of Maids, a platform that makes it super easy for you to book a professional home cleaning.