There’s no getting around it: homes accumulate clutter. From junk drawers to rarely-worn clothing, our possessions can start to get overwhelming in a hurry. The good news is? Taking strategic steps to tackle this challenge can help you simplify your life—and your living space—this new year.
Here are five simple steps for managing your clutter in 2020…
1) Set the tone for the New Year
The best way to set the tone for a clutter-free year is by making a plan. To start with, be aware that paring down your belongings takes time. Try the 20-10 method. Start by choosing a task you’ve been putting off—like organizing your bedroom closet. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and get to work. When it goes off, reward yourself with 10 minutes of relaxing. It’s far easier to complete an unpleasant chore when you know there’s a break coming up!
2) Replace old items when you get something new
Most people are reluctant to get rid of old possessions, even if they’re never used. One of the easiest ways to begin weeding out things you no longer need is by getting rid of duplicates. Holiday gifts are a great place to start. If you got a brand new espresso maker, now might be the time to donate the old one. Once you’ve got the most obvious items out of the way, perform this step in each room of your home.
3) Purge your closet the smart way
An overabundance of clothing can be overwhelming, but there are ways to make paring it down less complicated. Here’s a useful trick: turn all of the hangers in your closet so that they’re facing forward. When you hang an item back up after wearing it, turn it back around. In a few month’s time, you’ll notice that some of your clothing hasn’t been worn. Chances are, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable donating these pieces once you’re aware that they’re simply taking up space.
4) Mindfully move things to storage
To tackle your clutter with confidence, try the four-box method. Start by finding four boxes and marking them with the labels “keep,” “toss,” “donate,” and “store.” Next, choose a room you’d like to tackle. Look at each item and decide which box it belongs in. If you’re having trouble, ask yourself a series of questions to help clarify your attachment to it. How often do you use it? Will you miss it when it’s gone? Do you get any true enjoyment from it? Continue this process until each area of your home is decluttered!
5) Manage your paper trail
A new year represents a clean slate. Why not start by eliminating some of the paper in your life? If you don’t already have one, consider buying a mail basket. This simple step can help prevent those unruly stacks of magazines and envelopes from accumulating around your home. You should also pay attention to your home office. By purchasing a few small sorting bins, you can keep papers organized inside your work space. Don’t forget to recycle any paper and catalogues you don’t need right away!
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