Let’s face it, you don’t want to wind up on an episode of “Hoarders.”
While clutter at your home or workspace – which may have become one in the same during the COVID 19 pandemic as working from home became the new normal – is an inevitable part of life in our consumer-based society, it doesn’t have to consume and overwhelm you.
Clutter can stress you out.
But stress not, Trash & Stash is here for the physical part – removing and hauling away your unwanted stuff.
Yet there’s an emotional and mental part of the equation too.
Making the decision to declutter is a significant hurdle to cross. You might be holding onto things of sentimental value. Or you might be holding out hope that someone you know could use some of the stuff you’ve been hoarding.
It’s best to have a game plan when you’ve hit that proverbial wall and decided you can’t take it anymore – that it’s time to declutter.
But you don’t know where to start.
Just like the dirty, sweaty work, we’re here to help you get organized too, so we enlisted the sage advice of a professional organizer and a professional clutter expert to help us compile Trash & Stash’s Top 5 decluttering tips.
It’s not hyperbole to state that decluttering can transform your life.
“It can absolutely change your life,” said professional organizer Shannon McAuliffe, owner of Georgia-based professional organizing business Purple Dragonfly, LLC.
“When you get rid of that physical clutter, then it helps declutter your mind. Decluttering your home really can change your outlook.”
1. JUST DO IT
You’ve made the decision that you’re going to simply your life. Declutter. Minimize. De-junk. Act on that impulse and get started, says Charlotte, N.C-area clutter specialist Lianne Hofer, aka The Clutter Consultant. “As soon as the idea of decluttering comes into mind, start sorting!” she said. “Even 10 minutes a couple of times can make a huge difference.”
McAuliffe, who is also director of marketing for the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Productivity & Organization Professionals agrees.
“If it’s going to take less than two minutes, go ahead and do it,” she said.
But in your zeal, don’t try to tackle the entire house in one day – start small. Concentrate on one room or space at a time. Focusing on one room at a time and completing the task will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, filling you with good vibes to continue onto other rooms.
“Because it is overwhelming, just take it one bite at a time,” advises McAuliffe. “You can do it in small increments you can do it in large increments. You can do it room by room, you can do it 20 minutes, by 20 minutes, as long as you’re doing something.”
And remember, while you want to harness that energy and inspiration, you still need a plan.
Which leads us to…
2. HAVE A MISSION
Know what you’re trying to accomplish by cleaning out a particular space, know what your goal is, set a benchmark. Make a commitment. You. Will. Declutter. You are letting these items go – physically and mentally.
“Have a purpose,” said Hofer. “When decluttering is done on a whim, it can be like a diet. If you’re not 100 percent committed to the process…it won’t work. The clutter comes back (sometimes super-fast) and it’s hard to fully let go.”
3. DONATE, DONATE, DONATE
If you’re steadfast in the belief that some of your junk might be another person’s treasure, there’s a great way to test your theory. Find a charitable or non-profit organization to give your stuff to.
Sort your things into donation piles. Some non-profit organizations will even come and get your stuff at no charge.
“Knowing your things are going to someone who needs them can help make it easier to let go of things,” said Hofer. “One better, donate some time to that charity.”
Trash & Stash can help deliver donations to the organization of your choice. It’s all part of our mission to divert materials from landfills as much as possible, while also supporting our local community.
Find out more about our donation services here.
4. CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS
You wouldn’t go into battle without tactical gear, now, would you?
Know thy enemy and choose your weapons wisely.
“Have the supplies needed before you start,” suggests Hofer. “Gloves if it’s an attic or garage, bags for clothes and boxes for glassware. As you move through a space pack them up for removal. Keep them light enough to lift or to use a dolly. Label the bags or boxes to where they are going.”
You’re nearing the actual removal stage, which brings us to…
Junk or Not... A few More Hacks for You
Now that you’ve committed to decluttering… here’s a few more hacks. Use our at- home quiz to help decide… junk or not. And then, check out our pro tips to make your junk removal service call easy and efficient.
5. THE LONG HAUL
Your items are sorted, collected, organized and ready to move out. There’s no turning back now!
“Line up your removal company if needed for the end of the day (or the next day) to take whatever needs to be picked up,” said Hofer. “So many times, I see people have piles that have collected inches of dust waiting for months or years to be removed.”