Whether you’re trying to downsize for a move or just need to get rid of the clutter, getting started can be the hardest part. One look in the closet that is piled from floor to ceiling can make you want to shut the door and walk away and the memories we associate with our belongings can make it even harder to let go. Here are a few tips that can help make decluttering a little easier:
- Start in a “low-stakes” area. Start in the bathroom, kitchen or linen closet. Those are the rooms that contain items you aren’t as sentimentally attached to. Open the cabinets and throw out the out of date or nearly empty bottles and jars. Go through your linens and weed out those that are frayed or worn. Get rid of plastic containers that don’t have lids anymore. You’ll make quick progress and find motivation to move on to the next task.
- Set limits. Don’t try to do it all in one day. Decide how long you want to spend on the decluttering project and set a timer. When time is up, stop for the day. It’s easy to get caught up in the process but setting a time limit will help you stay on task and not get caught up in the memories of each item. If you don’t have a timer, decide on how many boxes you want to fill for the day and stop when you’ve reached that number.
- Take time to relish the memories. Letting go of things is hard. For the most sentimental items, take the time to remember, smile, or grieve so you can move on. Consider taking a photo of treasured items and making up a photo album. Then sort the items into the appropriate box and move on to the next thing.
- Share your treasures. For heirloom items or things that have a significant meaning to you, pass them on to family or friends. Consider writing the associated memories down and giving it to your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews along with the item. But don’t be surprised or hurt if they don’t want everything. People live a faster paced and more hectic lifestyle these days. China, silverware and other things that take up a lot of room (and don’t go in the microwave) might not fit into their daily life.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you find that the task is just too much for you, either physically or emotionally, get some help. If family or friends can’t help, consider hiring a professional organizer. They won’t have the sentimental attachment that you and your family have and it might make it easier to decide on what is essential and practical to keep.
If you need help with downsizing or decluttering, give us a call at 817-330-9235 or send us a message. We have resources to help!