There was a time in my life where I couldn't stand the site of my garage, office, and my bedroom. Why? Clutter. Like many people, I'm busy shuffling kids, work, and activities. Unfortunately, this led to an ever-increasing pile of junk stuffed in closets, rooms, and hallways. I just didn't have time to catch up. Enough was enough. So I gathered the family, set aside a weekend, and removed the garbage. I know I'm not the only person in the world fighting the Battle of Clutter so I thought I'd share my knowledge. And here it is: How to Declutter your Home Fast in 8 easy steps.
Gather your Supplies. You'll need a few supplies to get the ball rolling. I recommend:
*Large boxes, blankets, or tables: For sorting your treasures.
*Dumpster or garbage cans and trash bags: You'll be amazed how many things you'll throw away. If you plan to declutter a number of rooms and have the time, I would go for it and rent a dumpster. More information is available from your local trash hauler.
*Rags and Cleaning Supplies: Be prepared to clean every nook and cranny of every room you declutter. I would make sure you have floor cleaners, wall cleaners, shade dusters, etc. I couldn't believe some of the dirt I found in my garage!
*Sharpies/price stickers or masking tape: A garage sale is a great way to get rid of old treasures. Now's the time to price these items. It saves a lot of time when you're setting up your sale if you're merchandise is ready to go.
Label your Staging Area. As you remove things from the room you're working on, you should place these items into one of three categories: Keep, Sell, or Toss. You'll need an area for each of these. If you label them, it's easier to keep track of them. This is especially helpful if people are helping you (highly recommended).
Start with the most clutter-filled room. Why? There's a high temptation to keep adding junk to junk heaven when you start somewhere else. You want a clean slate.
Clear the Room. That's right-remove EVERYTHING! Every box, every book, even every piece of furniture if you can. I'll even go a step further and say you should set up your staging area outside so these items are far away from their original resting place.
Categorize your treasures. Try not to ponder over this question. If you haven't used it in a year or more you should either throw it away or sell it. I know this is a tough call but you're in a battle. A battle for your home. And want to win right?
Clean the room. Break out the cleaning supplies and be ready for the gum your son stuck to the windowsill or the soda spill your husband hid from you a year ago.
Clean the items in the keep and sell piles. Few people look for dirty items at garage sales. When you clean them you raise their value and increase the chances that they'll sell.
Price your Sale Items. If you aren't having your garage sale tomorrow, it's the perfect time for pricing and storing. Try and schedule a time, however, as you shouldn't start a new pile of clutter.
You'll be amazed at how much clarity enters your life when you declutter your home. I certainly was. No longer do I walk through my home with a snarl on my face. I feel lighter, healthier, and happier. And because we did it quickly, I didn't have to look at the clutter still remaining. Have fun and enjoy the benefits inherent with a clutter-free home.
TL Erickson writes for her website, nifty-garage-sales.com where she discusses everything garage sale including ideas for decluttering, garage sale pricing, tips, and signs, as well as information on moving sales and online garage sales.
TL Erickson resides in SW Missouri with her family.