Updated December 3, 2019 . AmFam Team
Pursuing your dreams and focusing on the things that matter is difficult when there’s too much clutter in your life. Whether you struggle with organizing your home or simply own too much stuff, we’ve got some tips that’ll help you get your valuable space and peace of mind back.
With any big project, starting can be the hardest part. And if your entire home is disorganized and full of stuff, it can be even more daunting. But take these tips into account, go step by step and your home will be clean, organized and welcoming in no time.
Without jumping in to the actual act of decluttering, list the rooms you want to get organized before a specific date. Give yourself a deadline on each room, but don’t make the schedule too tight. Putting together a rigid schedule is a surefire way to get behind on decluttering and abandon it altogether.
Get to work on the first room on your list — and only that room. Clutter can be intimidating, so it’s crucial to avoid tackling multiple rooms at once. No matter how grand your decluttering plans are, going piece by piece will give you gratification every time you finish up a room.
If you can’t carve out the time to declutter a room all at once, don’t start it. Jumping back into a half-cleaned room and picking up where you left off is harder than it sounds. Don’t rush the process — it takes time, but it’s worth it!
At this stage, empty the space out completely. It can be tempting to start sorting items – don’t! Simply remove them and put them aside until later. Plus, seeing the space empty and open can help spark ideas for organization later.
Now that you’ve got all the stuff out of the room and are looking at an empty space, it’s time to rethink the room altogether. Check out our tips for revitalizing your once-messy space.
First and foremost, get rid of all the dirt, dust, grime and cobwebs from every corner of the room. Disorganization and dirtiness go hand-in-hand, so make sure your space is squeaky clean before you move on to the next step.
Did clearing the room reveal any hidden damages or wear? Take the time now to fix up the space and resist the urge to hide it behind your stuff again.
This is your chance for a fresh start! With the space now empty, use your creativity to spruce it up. Whether it’s just a fresh coat of paint, a new color scheme or even re-positioning shelves, you can bring new life to every single room.
It’s time for the most satisfying part of your decluttering project. With the pile of items you pulled out of closets, drawers and corners of the room in front of you, use these tips to figure out what to get rid of, what to keep and where everything will go.
This is the most difficult step! Some things will be easy to let go of, others, much harder. If you’re not sure whether to get rid of an item, ask yourself: have I used this in the past year? Does it have sentimental value? Does it still work? If you answer no to all three, it’s time to sell, recycle, donate or throw it out.
You’ve hemmed and hawed and finally decided what you’re keeping. Now, pair similar things together: outdoor gear, vases, jackets, batteries, shoes, art materials — the list goes on. It can be helpful to make piles on the floor to see how much of each category you have.
While you start putting your things in groups, take time to create an inventory. Use our home inventory spreadsheet to help you log all of your valuables and identify duplicates you can get rid of.
It’s time to get creative! This step may involve shopping for containers, buckets, baskets or hangers to hold and display your sorted items. Resist the temptation to buy this stuff early on — if you buy too much storage material, you’ll be more likely to store things you should’ve gotten rid of while decluttering.
It’s time for the most satisfying part of the project — check out our tips for putting a cap on the decluttering process, admiring it and keeping it clean.
This is where the magic happens! Put the least used items up high or in the back. Make sure the things you always use are front and center and at your fingertips. Want to make sure everything stays organized and easy to find in the future? Add labels to storage containers and shelf spaces.
Take a moment to sit back and relax – your hard work is complete! Now your only job is to do your best to keep everything organized.
Once you’re done, make sure you’re doing all you can to protect the valuables you’ve kept by asking your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) about personal property insurance. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re getting the protection from the unexpected and peace of mind you deserve with your homeowners insurance.