what to keep when decluttering

What to Keep and What Goes When Decluttering?

Piles of clothes and household goods can accumulate after a while. There are many reasons to explain why you have been keeping things around the house for a long time but haven’t cleared away the messes, including being too busy, overwhelmed by the clutter, and wanting to save things in case of needing them in the future. To help you in your decluttering efforts, the tips below focus on how to decide what to keep and what to toss.

Currently in Use?

If you are using the item then, yes, it stays. If it is something that you haven’t recently used because it’s off-season, such as a raincoat, yet plan to use next year, it is also a keeper.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a use for something, then it’s not necessary to keep it on hand. It is only taking up valuable space in the home.

Is it Sentimental?

If you are keeping an item because it brings back memories, that is entirely understandable. But putting childhood belongings into a box and storing it in the closet isn’t utilizing it.

In this case, consider displaying those items and donating newer decor you’ve collected that doesn’t have sentimental value. Or, take a photo of something that has been packed away for decades so you can remember it always and donate the item to charity.

what to keep when decluttering

Is it a Duplicate?

Over time, it’s natural to accumulate multiples of an item. Sometimes, you neglect to throw out the older version.

If that’s the case, then donate the extras as you likely only need one set of oven mitts, one teapot, and one set of measuring spoons. The chances are good that you won’t miss the duplicates.

Could Someone Else Use It More?

While you might have the occasional use for something, think about whether it could be better used elsewhere. For instance, you might have a set of dishes that you use once a year, or clothes hanging in your closet in case you one day fit into them.

If someone else could benefit from these things more than you, then consider donating them. It is easier to decide what to keep or toss when you put it into perspective like that.

If Your Time is Worth More

Another way to tackle decluttering is by thinking about whether maintaining the possession in question is worth your time. Does the item warrant keeping if you need to dust or polish it regularly and don’t need it?

When You’re Not Sure

There are bound to be items that you’re simply not sure whether to keep or donate. In this case, fill a cardboard box with the goods and put it away for a month.

If you don’t use anything from the box in a month from now, then you don’t need anything in it. It’s time to give it to a charitable organization.

Final Words on Decluttering

As you put items into piles to keep or donate, you will likely also come across things that are broken or so well-worn that you make a third pile for things to toss. Check with a local recycling center to see if old appliances that no longer work can go there rather than into trash to help the environment.

For more tips on sorting what to keep or toss and anything else related to home decluttering, reach out to our professional organizers today. We’re here to virtually support your organizing needs as well!

decluttering

5 Reasons Why Decluttering is Good for You

If your closets, bookcases, and drawers will barely close as they’re so full of possessions, many of which you no longer use, you are not alone. Everyone has a stash of clothes, books, or other items that need sorting. If you have been putting off decluttering, these five benefits might motivate you to start right now.

1. Wiser Buying Choices

Have you ever bought something spur of the moment and then never used it? You work too hard for your money just to throw it away like that.

A decluttering session might reveal that you have bought certain things, such as gadgets or clothes, that have gone unworn or unused. It will likely be difficult to get rid of them, which is a big lesson to be more mindful of what you buy in the future.

2. Bigger-Looking Space

Now that you own fewer items, you can enjoy the benefits of the open space. Rooms will likely appear larger than they did when they were cluttered.

Plus, the minimalistic look is sophisticated! Sometimes, less really is more.

decluttering

3. Time Saver

Once you organize the closet, an entire room, or even the entire house interior, you will likely find that you are much more efficient. There will no longer be piles of stuff to look through to find scissors or something else. Now you will have fewer items at the end of your project, and each thing will have its own “home.”

4. Mental Health

Think back to how you cringed when you looked around at the mess before. You might have felt a weight on your shoulders as you thought about the future cleaning task.

Seeing that clutter daily at home can be cluttering your mind, whether you realize it or not. Eliminate the stress and anxiety by decluttering now. The mental freedom you feel at the end of the task can be amazing!

5. Physical Health

Clutter can hurt your physical health too. When you feel stressed about your home environment’s chaotic state, your muscles tense up.

Tense muscles in your jaw, chest, back, and other parts of your body can lead to painful movements. Not only that, but clutter can attract dust too, which isn’t good for allergy sufferers. To avoid these complications, make organizing the house a priority.

The Many Positives of Decluttering

As you sort through the material possessions, the benefits mentioned above are likely to begin to show themselves. At the end of the project, look at your clean, tidy living space and feel good about getting the work done. You will likely want to keep it looking that way as you’ll enjoy the many ways that decluttering is good for you.

Do you want to help someone else enjoy these benefits too? Then consider giving them a gift certificate to help them tackle their own organizing project. Tell them about the positives you’ve felt after clearing your home of clutter and see if they want to do the same. If so, then you’ve got the perfect gift for their birthday, Mother’s Day, another special occasion, or “just because.” Share the joy of a tidy space!

declutter where to start

Declutter – Where and When to Start

As you look around the house, do you wonder how the piles of paper got so big or when you lost sight of the back of the closet? If possessions seem to be accumulating and you’re not quite sure where to start when it comes to tackling the project, the tips below can provide a good starting point.

First Steps in Decluttering

Begin by deciding which space to declutter first. If it is a room, focus on only a portion of it at first to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Then, think about how you would like the living space to look at the end of the project. Keep that vision as you make decisions about what to keep and where to place items on counters or in drawers.

Making Positive Changes

Next, clear an area where you can make piles to sort the possessions. Designate piles as keep, donate, or sell.

As you clear away stuff, box up the donation and sell piles so that you are not tempted to take back the items rather than part with them. Perhaps most importantly, start to practice the habit of only buying what is necessary to nip the urge to accumulate new things in the bud.

At the end of the project, step back and look at how different the space looks now than before. Make a pact with yourself that you will keep it looking this clean and tidy. As you start to enjoy the area, you’ll likely find yourself regularly clearing away any new clutter to maintain the minimalist look.

Have a conversation too with the family about how they can help you to keep the home looking its best. Explain that you want a clean, organized residence and that their assistance is necessary. Once they know that a tidy home is important to you, they’re more likely to join in and lend a hand.

declutter where to start

When to Start Decluttering?

Now that you have the tools to begin to declutter, the next question is, when to start doing it? Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, you likely are spending more time than usual at home to help reduce the associated health risks.

To find a positive in this challenging time, why not look at tackling clutter now? Perhaps it is creating a home office in a bedroom or living room, for example, while temporarily working from home. Or, it might be another room, a closet, or the entire house that you want to get into order.

During a time in the world that is creating stress for many people, start to find peace in the home so that it can become a place that can be a retreat rather than where you feel trapped during COVID-19.

If you want to bring in a professional for guidance, virtual organizing services can help you. The support services from ClutterBGone occur via phone or video calls at times that are convenient for you.

Set goals and meet them with an expert, all without worrying about another entering the home. Rather than putting off the task, declutter living spaces while spending more time than usual inside and create a place that brings less stress than before.

how decluttering reduces stress

How Decluttering Your Home Reduces Stress

Clutter does more than just take up physical space in your home. It also weighs heavily on the mind, adding stress and anxiety to your life. Wherever possible, alleviating life’s stressors is a good way to maintain your health, so it’s important to make home organization a priority. Let’s further examine how decluttering your home reduces stress.

Clutter and Stress: What is the Connection?

House clutter refers to anything that’s not used, wanted, or needed but is kept inside or outside of the property. This “stuff” creates a chaotic living area and boosts stress because it hinders your ability to focus.

Furthermore, cleaning up clutter and making important decisions about what items to keep, donate, or toss can be an emotionally draining experience. The feelings and memories associated with certain things makes them hard to separate from, and just thinking about doing so can trigger anxiety.

Organizing takes time too that you might not feel like you have in an already busy day. And moving things out of the way to do tasks at home or to enjoy a hobby like knitting can be both annoying and inefficient.

There’s also the nagging sensation that you still have that decluttering task on your to-do list. You’re not alone if you find it’s already the evening, you’re tired, and you haven’t gotten to the organizing step.

The clutter goes against what you are looking for in a home. Your home should be a place to relax and take away the worries of the day, not to add to it. Taking back your sanctuary matters, so don’t put off the activity; instead, create a strategy to clear the clutter in the smoothest way possible.

decluttering reduces stress

Gain Back Control

Rather than letting clutter get the best of you, take back control. But when you feel a strong attachment to physical items in the living space, the overwhelm can make taking any action difficult, if not impossible.

In this case, bring in a professional to help you get a handle on the clutter that is harming your emotional and mental well-being. Having someone more objective than you about the material items can guide you through the process.

An expert organizer helps you declutter in a gentle and supportive way, as well as suggesting options for where to store items for maximum functionality around the home. Simply having someone else hold up a shirt or figurine to ask you if it’s for the keep, donate or sell pile can be a great relief because touching something yourself can reinforce your emotional connection to it.

Letting Go of Clutter

Stress can accumulate along with clutter at home. It’s not only messy areas, but also the large number of physical items in plain sight and hidden away in closets that negatively impact your mood.

Thankfully, you don’t have to feel a tightness in your chest or a headache every time you open the front door and see disorder. Begin to enjoy your living environment again by eliminating the stress that comes with having too much stuff.

From taming clutter hot spots like drawers and countertops to space planning, we’re here to help you create a calm living environment that is functional for everyone in the household. Call us to start working with experienced and friendly organizers to restore order to your home. We’re here to help you!

decluttering when downsizing

Decluttering Hacks for Downsizing Your Home

Decluttering a home because you are downsizing can be an anxious feeling. You are probably feeling like you will need to make some hard choices with what stays and what comes with you. The key to decluttering when downsizing is to get rid of things in your life that you don’t need, while keeping what you need. It sounds simple enough, right?

However, when it gets down to reviewing specific items, you may feel like you are overwhelmed with how many choices you have to make. We’re going to make the whole process easier for you by giving you some neat decluttering hacks for when you have to downsize your home.

Follow the 1 Year Rule

You are naturally going to try and hang onto things that, practically-speaking, you should just get rid of. We are talking about sentimental things and items that you feel may be used some day. However, if you haven’t used something within the past year, you probably won’t be using it in the coming year either. If you probably won’t use it the coming year, you probably will never use it at all. Let this time of downsizing finally be the time when you part with things that you aren’t using.

take pictures when decluttering

Take Photos of Sentimental Items

Some things are truly sentimental with memories that you simply find unbearable to part with. Not to worry! There’s a solution for that, which is to take photos of them. This is especially useful for unique and bulky things that will take up too much space in a downsized home. Memories last a lifetime, but having pictures of your sentimental items can help those memories stay fresh. Besides, you can have as many photos as you want, since digital photos take up no physical space.

Now that you know some decluttering hacks, the whole process of decluttering while downsizing should be easier for you. If you are still feeling overwhelmed with the whole process, that’s alright! ClutterBGone can help you with the entire process, so you can focus on other aspects of your move. Downsizing your home can be stressful enough, so make it easier on yourself and have a helping hand from professionals who know how to make the decluttering process a smooth one.

holiday decluttering tips

Stress Less with These Holiday Decluttering Tips

The holiday season can be stressful and overwhelming for many of us. One of the best ways to avoid holiday overwhelm is to declutter and this doesn’t mean putting things away so that they’re “out of sight out of mind” because even though you’ve stowed the clutter away, you know it’s still there. Here are some quick holiday decluttering tips to help you out just in time for the holidays.

So Many Toys!

For those of you with children, you know they will be receiving more toys than they need –  adding to the masses of toys they already have. If your child is old enough, explain to them that it’s important to make room for new items.  They can donate toys that are in good condition that they have outgrown or don’t use anymore to children who are less fortunate. Here are some suggestions:

  • Throw out broken toys
  • Throw out games and puzzles that are missing pieces
  • Donate gently loved toys that are no longer played with
  • Display sentimental toys or stuffed animals on a shelf

holiday decluttering tips

Holiday Décor

Some people like to change their holiday décor from year to year and amass a mountain of decorative items that serve no purpose other than to take up storage space. If you have holiday décor items that you no longer use or want, either donate them or post them on your favourite buy and sell site to make a little extra cash. It’s a great way to offset holiday and New Year spending.

Holiday Kitchen Woes

If you’re hosting for the holidays, there’s a good chance you’re stressing over the state of your kitchen. It’s difficult to keep this high-traffic area clean and tidy but with some advance planning you can host and not destroy the kitchen in the process. Do as much baking and prepping of side dishes in advance as you can then remove all things from the counter that you will not be using. Do you have a slap-chop that sits in a cupboard and doesn’t get used? Get rid of it! We often receive gimmicky gadgets for the kitchen that profess to make our lives easier but sit unused year after year. Free up valuable cupboard real estate space by getting rid of:

  • Broken and chipped dinnerware, bakeware, glass and mugs
  • Broken utensils
  • Donate or sell small appliances that you do not use

That’s a Wrap

Sort through your ever-growing stash of wrapping supplies. Recycle ripped and crumpled wrapping paper and gift bags. Throw out flattened bows and torn tissue paper. Simply get rid of any wrapping items that you will not be using again. It’s also a great idea to purchase a wrapping organizer which will help to keep these items sorted and stored in one neat and tidy container going forward.

 

Even a small amount of decluttering can go a very long way in creating an enjoyable and memorable holiday with family and friends.

Happy Holidays from us here at ClutterBGone!

organize your computer

How to Get Your Computer Organized Before the New Year

‘The way we do one thing, is the way we do everything.’ Iyanla Vanzant

Homes, offices, garages – these aren’t the only areas of our lives that need a little organization once-in-a-while. The end of the year is a great time to also declutter your computer. Getting your computer organized can help get your New Year off to a fresh, clean start. Here are some suggestions on how to do just that.

Back Up

Backing up files can save you a lot of headaches and potential loss of data should any files get accidentally deleted. You can back up your data to your computers’ hard drive, an external hard drive, or the cloud – these are just some examples. TechTarget provides an in-depth explanation on the different types of back ups and which might suit your needs best.

Organize Your Documents

Many of us tend to file documents on our desktop when in a hurry or unsure of where to file an item. I wasn’t aware of this until recently, but filed documents on the desktop slow down your computer’s speed and performance drastically. Files on the desktop are also not as protected if something were to go wrong with your computer. Avoid slower computer performance and losing your files by simply creating file folders in your Documents area, or in the cloud with Google Drive or Dropbox.

clean up your computer

Declutter Your Inbox

I have yet to meet someone who enjoys cleaning out their email inbox. De-cluttering an inbox can feel overwhelming and thus, we avoid the task and our inboxes feel full and unorganized quickly. Take the time to create folders on your email server and file emails if you’re hesitant to delete.

If you’ve got a ton of emails from which you’ve subscribed to receiving, you can use the feature we’ve mentioned before, unroll.me. This program scans a list of all of your subscriptions. From there, you can decide which to continue receiving and which to unsubscribe from.

Uninstall Programs

Another way to get your computer organized is to uninstall programs we no longer need or use. Take a look through all the installed programs on your computer by selecting your computer’s Control Panel, Programs, Uninstall Programs. Uninstalling some unnecessary programs may free up disk space and make your computer run a little quicker too.

Clean Up Duplicate Files

Just like it’s unnecessary to have more than one of the same item at home, it’s also unnecessary to have more than one of the same file. Duplicate files can be those files you saved twice to different locations or multiple downloads of the same file. There are third party apps that will scan for duplicates. Techspot has listed a few to review.

It’s easy to accumulate clutter on our computers with unorganized files and programs. Taking the time this season to de-clutter your computers will save you time and ensure a more stress-free and productive year ahead.

organized bedroom

Tips To An Organized Bedroom Space

Your bedroom is the first thing you will see every morning, and the last thing you see every night. An organized bedroom will help you sleep, put you in a better state of mind, and help you get your days (and nights!) started on the right foot.

If you’re ready to de-clutter your bedroom and turn it into a beautiful, serene, and organized place, here are some top tips on how to do so.

Organized Bedroom Tip 1: De-clutter Your Bedroom

Even the cleanest bedroom will look chaotic if you simply have too much stuffed into drawers and bursting out of your closet. Go through your clothing, shoes, and accessories – and be honest with yourself. Does it fit? Have you ever worn it? Are the tags still on and you bought it 2 years ago?

Donate the items you have never used, haven’t worn in years, or don’t like anymore. If it’s too stained or damaged to donate, start a toss pile. You’ll probably also find stuff that actually doesn’t belong in your room. You can put them in a pile to take to the correct room after you’re done in the bedroom.

Reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ you have will make finding the ‘stuff’ you truly love easier – and will also help you better organize what’s left.

donate clothes to declutter

Organized Bedroom Tip 2: Improve Storage Efficiency

Do you know what’s lurking under your bed? Storage units like roll-out drawers under your bed can help you turn this space into extra storage for off-season clothing, extra bed linens, or other items you don’t use very often.

If you’re planning on updating your bed frame, choosing one that has a storage unit for the head board can add space for books, pictures, and other decorative items.

There are lots of wonderful ways you can add more space for storage, such as laundry bags that hang from the back of your door, to hanging shoe organizers. Figure out what you need more space for, and check out the many options available.

bedroom storage

Organized Bedroom Tip 3: Put Things Away Neatly

Once you’ve de-cluttered and gained more storage space, fold your clothing as you put it away, and store your lose items neatly in boxes. You’ll be able to fit more in if things are put away properly. It will look better – and you’ll feel better about it too.

Organized Bedroom Tip 4: Detail Your Vanity Top

Our night stands, vanities, and other bedroom surfaces tend to pile up with clutter quickly. Clearing them off and making them beautiful will not only make your bedroom a more pleasant place to sleep, it’ll make you less likely to clutter it up again.

Ideas for beautiful vanity top organizers include displays for your jewelry, decorative boxes, or nice baskets. You can get creative with what you choose to put on top of your vanity, including DIY items as well as those available at shops.

It takes time to make a bedroom beautiful again. It didn’t get disorganized overnight, and it isn’t going to be perfect in just one day either. Take your time sorting out the bedroom, and break it up into small pieces if you need to. Even a small amount of progress will make you feel better about your room, and better about yourself too.

And of course – if you need a little extra guidance and support – we are just a phone call away!

decluttering for beginners

Decluttering Guide For Beginners

Tired of your cluttered home and dreaming of starting afresh? We hope this decluttering guide for beginners will allow you to enjoy your home in style!

Start With Storage Spaces

Before you start decluttering rooms you need to make space in your storage areas. This can include the garage, basement, attic, cupboards, closets, wardrobes, and anywhere else you have things hiding away! This is an easy place to start clearing out possessions that are just gathering dust in storage. On top of this, you’ll need to have fresh space to start storing and re-organizing your home. Trust us, you’ll appreciate the extra space once you start decluttering!

decluttering your home

Make Piles

Decluttering can be an overwhelming process and unless you have a professional organizer at your side, it can be tiring work. On top of this, decluttering can also be emotional too. It’s difficult to say goodbye to our possessions. For many of us, there will be things we want to keep; some we want to clear away, and then a lot that will be in-between. Do you want to keep it or not? This is where the pile method comes in! Start a pile for the things you are keeping and then another for the items that you’re not sure of. This is the “maybe” pile and you can come back to this later. You don’t need to make the hard decisions all at once. For the things, you’re definitely getting rid of have bags ready to store them in.

Be Prepared

Before you start decluttering you need to be prepared. We recommend purchasing extra strength garbage-bags and some cleaning products. Also, make sure you have a selection of storage boxes, and paper and pen to jot down notes. By starting prepared and ready to go the decluttering process will be more seamless and simple.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Decluttering may seem like a simple job, but once you get started it’s easy to get snowed under the sheer amount of things to do! If possible, ask some friends or family to come over and help with your de-cluttering. You can even make it fun and offer some pizza and drinks afterward! This is a great way to make the process more fun, simple, and quick.

Donate To Charity

After you have finished decluttering donate your unwanted possessions to charity. However, make sure you get in touch with local charities first to see if they accept donations. You may need to do a few trips to get rid everything. Keep in mind that you should only donate items that are in good shape, anything beyond use should be disposed of beforehand.

When you’re decluttering make sure you take your time. It’s important to go at your own pace and keep motivated. After you’ve finished, sit back, relax, and enjoy your brand new space! If you need a little extra support, we here at ClutterBGone are here for you! Contact us today for a consultation.

How to Begin Decluttering When Feeling Overwhelmed

How to Begin Decluttering When Feeling Overwhelmed

The clutter that accumulates in our homes can easily get out of hand leaving us to feel defeated,
distressed and overwhelmed. Clutter adds to our daily stressors and is an external expression
of our internal state of mind. When we are already struggling; becoming motivated to declutter is
a daunting task but it is one that will help you to feel calmer and more in control of your life.

Make decluttering easy on yourself with these easy steps.

Starting Small

Planning to declutter does not mean that it has to be done in one hour or one day. Set yourself
up for success by setting 15 minutes of decluttering activity. When the time is up, stop and
move on to another activity. 15 minutes of decluttering daily will give you the results you want How to Begin Decluttering When Feeling Overwhelmed
without feeling overwhelmed.

Plan

Make a plan; is there one room that needs really, really needs to be decluttered? Consider
starting there and the other spaces will follow. Block time in your calendar for this activity.

Enlist Support

Calling on a friend or family member for help is a great idea. They can help us stay on track,
they make the process much more fun. As friends and family have less sentimental attachment
to our stuff they can also help to provide perspective on whether or not an item really needs to
be kept, donated or tossed. A professional organizer is also worth considering as they have
many tips and tricks to make decluttering easier and efficient.

Distract Yourself

Not from the clutter but from the task. Listen to uplifting music, podcasts or audiobooks while
you work on the area you want to declutter. You may find that this is helpful and allows you to
accomplish so much more than you had originally intended.

Celebrate Success

Consider setting a date for a party or get together to celebrate your new decluttered space.
Not only does this give you something to look forward to it can also motivate you to stick to your
plan and accomplish the mission.

You will feel so much better when your home is a place of peace and comfort, a true escape
and safehaven from the chaotic world around all of us.

Remember, we here at ClutterBGone make it our mission to help alleviate the stresses that clutter can create. Call us for a consultation to see if hiring a professional organizer is right for you!