Clutter is evil. It gets in the way, it makes your home look messy, it takes up valuable space and it has you running around in a constant quest to clean it up. But don’t just clean it up—get rid of it! And now is the perfect time to embark on this journey so that you can start the new year in a clutter-free home. From our Maryland home cleaning company, here are a few ideas on how to fight the evil clutter and what to do with it.
Let go of Heirlooms
Unwanted inheritance may not be such a big problem in the U.S., but it’s definitely rampant in Europe where century-old furniture keeps exchanging hands from generation to generation. But here we sometimes also get stuck with grandma’s china cabinet or grandpa’s work bench that just do not fit anywhere.
If you have furniture sitting in your storage (or piled up in your basement), doing nothing but collecting dust, consider getting rid of it. You’ve already appreciated the gift and the love that came with it, and it’s time to let go. We are not suggesting that you carry your great-grandmother’s old trunk to the dump. If it’s in a decent shape and has historic significance, sell it online or at an auction. Or donate it to a museum or a historic home in your area. If you don’t plan on moving any time soon and there is no room for this furniture in your home, it makes sense to let someone else enjoy it.
Go Through Your “Just in Case” Items
So your sister in law was getting rid of her dehydrator and you offered to take it off her hands. Just in case you are in a mood for banana chips. But guess what? You barely ever cook at home and you don’t even like bananas! And now this thing is taking up your precious cabinet space.
Let’s be honest, we often buy things that we don’t need right away but that we may use in the future. We do this because these things are on sale and maybe even free right now. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as it’s done in moderation and you actually end up using the items you bought. And if you don’t, well, that is essentially hoarding. When going through your clutter, try to remember under which circumstances you purchased a specific item. If you can’t remember what motivated you back then and you don’t use the item anyway, get rid of it.
Fix it or Toss it
Most of us probably have something broken in their home. Maybe it’s an old laptop that needs a new hard drive. Or maybe it’s a slow cooker that’s missing a lid, and the replacement lid costs as much as the new slow cooker. So you have all these things that technically can be fixed, but who’s going to fix them?
It’s time to decide what these items are worth to you. Will you pay for that broken wall clock to be repaired? Will you spend the time to glue the broken leg to the dining room chair? Don’t leave it for later. Decide this now and you will eliminate clutter both from your home and from your head.
Commit to a Schedule
Decluttering can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of stuff and have trouble letting go of potentially useful things out of practicality. That’s why you will need to set a schedule for yourself to make sure you get things done instead of sitting and reminiscing over an old picture frame you never got to use. There is a challenge called 40 bags in 40 days focused on decluttering one area a day, which should result in one bag (of any size) of stuff you are getting rid of. This is a good way to keep yourself motivated, and there are even online communities of people doing the same thing in case you need support. What do you do with all these bags? These are your four main options: toss, recycle, donate or sell. And here are a few specific places where you can do this. Don’t let deciding what to do with your stuff hold you back. If you don’t need it, put it in the bag and you will figure out the details later.
Invest in Experiences, Not Stuff
It’s one thing to declutter your home, but it’s another challenge to keep it free of clutter in 2016. It’s easy to fill all that space you just made with more stuff that you barely use. One tip for keeping the clutter down to a minimum is to spend money on things to do rather than things to have. For example, instead of another bag or a pair of shoes, you can get tickets to a concert or a local art venue. Instead of a bread maker or a food processor, you can take a cooking class to learn how to easily cut and make bread without these appliances. An appliance or a piece of clothing will eventually break down, rip or fade, but the experience from doing something fun will be with you forever.
After you take out all the clutter, you will probably end up with many new surfaces to clean. You’ve already done a lot, so let Immaculate Clean give you a hand with cleaning and help get your home ready for the holidays!