Decluttering and minimalizing may have the highest return on investment of all home maintenance projects; because they can have a significant effect on the look and feel of your home and they’re both free! If you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of this undertaking, you can begin by breaking the process down into smaller steps, and take the time to celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Here is a list of considerations for you to think about as you are preparing your home to sell or if you are looking for a way to bring order and organization into your home:
- Find a Charitable Donation Centre. The process of downsizing and the decisions you make about what to keep and what to get rid of can be emotionally arduous. Choosing an organization that benefits your community to donate your belongings to, can make it much easier to part with the things you no longer need or use.
- Create a “To-Keep” List. The “To Keep” list has two purposes. First, it ensures you don’t get too carried away in the process and get rid of something that you may later regret. Second, it will help you to part with the things that didn’t make it on the list.
- Large and Expensive Items. Address your large and/or expensive items first. It may take some time if you decide to sell any of these items online. You may need to make multiple trips to the donation store or to the dump. The cleared space will be helpful for moving and organizing for the rest of the process.
- Prepare Bags and Boxes. Label clear plastic bags or cardboard boxes for your donations, items to be packed, and items to be thrown away.
- First Run-through. During your first run-through, stick to easy decision items. Part with anything broken, unused, outgrown, outdated, etc.
- Closets, Drawers and Cupboards. These areas are where you will store your necessary items at the end of the process so you’ll need to free up some space. Sort through each area, eliminating things you no longer use.
- Garage. After unwanted items have been removed, place like things together in labelled bins and store them on shelving. Large items can be hung on wall hooks to free up extra space.
- Sentimental Items. It can be difficult to let go of sentimental items and it’s okay to keep some. But if you keep too many sentimental items, your space can become cluttered and difficult to organize. Taking pictures of a sentimental item can make it easier to part with.
- Declutter. Clear horizontal surfaces throughout your home, including countertops, dressers, the top of your fridge, etc. Keep décor items, artwork and personal items to a minimum.
- Second/Third Run-Throughs. Go through your belongings a second and maybe even a third time. You will have had time to think about some of the items you may not have been ready to part with the first time through. Hopefully, you will not have had any regrets up until now, which will give you the confidence to make some of the more difficult decisions.
- Downsize Furniture. As you clear the clutter from your space, you will find that you need less furniture to hold your things. You will hopefully be able to clear excess furniture, shelving, cabinets, etc.
- Organize. It should be much easier to organize your space after the downsizing process is complete. Keep like things together in bins or baskets. Try to use clear bins and labels to easily find your stored items. Tuck the baskets in closets, cupboards or other storage areas. Paperwork is best kept in filing boxes, organized and labelled by subject.
Well, there you have it. A list of ideas to hopefully get you on your way to an organized and decluttered home. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you are interested in more ways to help prepare your home for the market, you can check out this post: How to Prepare Your Home to Sell. If you would like to further discuss preparing your home to sell, or if you’re looking for a real estate agent, please get in touch. I would love to work with you!