Clutter creates stress, even if we don’t know it. You come home to a messy house or apartment and instantly all of the stresses of the day seem magnified. Why not clear out your space? It doesn’t mean getting rid of everything and living a minimalist lifestyle (who would want that?!). It means de-cluttering and getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, so there’s plenty of room for the essentials and the things you want.
The key to de-cluttering is remembering that you can’t keep everything. Things are just that, so keep in mind that a clear, open space will contribute to the most valuable thing of all — your clarity and peace of mind.
- Make it fun by cranking up the tunes. Create a playlist on your MP3 player of your favorite songs of the moment or any high energy music that will make you want to move. You will be amazed and surprised at how much music can change the tone of your energy. It motivates you to clean and get the space in shape and it may even make the process, dare we say it, fun. For many of us, music puts us in the zone, which means we’re more likely to be productive and stay on task.
- Split items into three categories. You want a keep, donate and sell. Be ruthless when going through your closet if you have a ton of clothes and hardly enough space to store it all. If you haven’t worn something in over two months, it can likely be donated unless it is a seasonal piece (i.e. a coat that hasn’t been worn because you’re in the midst of summer). Donate items that are in wearable condition and do not have any holes, tears or stains. Items that you perhaps spent a lot of money on that still have value can be sold on an auction site like eBay or on Craigslist. There are also apps that allow you to list clothing for sale on your social networking sites.
- Tackle what you know you can handle for the day. Depending on the time commitment you want to give to cleaning, you want to set yourself up for success by mapping out what you plan on getting through that day. That may be one bedroom or just the living room, or one side of the house or apartment. It’s up to you, but remember that biting off more than you can chew can add to the stress and there’s nothing wrong with committing to one room only.
- Give yourself a deadline for selling clothing. After you’ve cleared out the trash and donated your clothes, you don’t want the pile marked “sell” to hang around for weeks. Give yourself an afternoon to list all of your clothing and remember to take clear images of the items to post with the listing, so people know what they’re getting. Ship each item out as it is purchased and see that “sell” pile dwindle down in a couple of weeks.