Concerned about clutter? Daunted by downsizing? Whether you’ve been in your home for many years, or only for a shorter time, it doesn’t take long to accumulate so many things.
And no matter how much you’re attracted to the idea of simplifying your current space – or sorting and packing to move somewhere smaller – it’s not unusual to feel daunted by the size of the job.
Starting small can be the key to calming your fears. Here are six things you can try to begin cutting the task down to size.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of sorting through your whole house, try starting small and decluttering one drawer, cupboard or area at a time. You’ll enjoy a sense of satisfaction from getting the process underway and feel energised to continue with another space.
- Some people find it helps to start in an area where things with less emotional attachment are stored. This could be the laundry, kitchen or bathroom where you can identify and dispose of products that are out of date or no longer used.
- You might find the hardest things to let go of are those to which you have an emotional attachment, like gifts from friends and family or mementoes from your travels. One way to keep the memories while letting go of the objects is to take a photo of each item before donating or passing it on. Another option for items of great sentimental value is to offer specific things to family members who might treasure them.
- It’s also helpful to be decisive when sorting out a cupboard, room or other space. Create a ‘yes’ pile and a ‘no’ pile – resist the temptation to start a ‘maybe’ pile! It’s a good idea to get the items you’re not keeping out of the house without too much delay.
- Perhaps you’ve accumulated too many clothes but can’t decide which to get rid of. Try this trick. Hang all your clothes in the wardrobe with hangers facing backwards. After wearing an item, turn the hanger right way round. After a few months you’ll have a much better idea of what to keep and what to donate.
- If you love books it can be very difficult to let them go. Make a start by sorting through your shelves and removing unused reference books which can be donated or otherwise disposed of. After you’ve freed up some space it will be easier to tackle sorting your fiction collection as a separate project.
There’s great satisfaction in making a start on something you’ve been thinking was too big and too hard to tackle. Once you begin seeing the results, you’ll feel encouraged to keep going. And no matter whether you’re planning to move or to stay in your current home, you’ll enjoy the benefits that come with getting your stuff sorted!
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