Whether you are downsizing for a move, settling into your new home, or just looking to spruce up your long time dwelling – the start of the new year is the perfect time to declutter. Studies have shown that clutter does more than just get in the way – it can have profound psychological, stressful effects as well. Set yourself up for a stress free year with these easy decluttering tips.

 

Set Goals

Having a game plan and setting realistic goals will make decluttering a breeze. Be specific about what you hope to accomplish and put it in writing. Use a calendar or planner to schedule specific tasks in advance.

Start Small

Identify which tiny projects will give you the most satisfaction. Whether it is the shoe pile in your entryway, one corner of a room, one shelf, or one stack of magazines and papers – these small victories will empower and motivate you to tackle the bigger projects.

Focus On One Area At A Time

It is easy to get pulled into another clutter zone and desert the project you originally started. Stay focused and finish decluttering one zone all the way to completion. If you move sporadically throughout the house without a plan, you will have multiple unfinished projects – which may be demotivating.

Establish A Routine

Incorporating decluttering into your routine can be challenging at first. Once you’ve tackled the big projects, on going maintenance will be a breeze. Set a regular decluttering schedule based on your lifestyle. A little time spent decluttering daily is the best way to maintain an organized household. Be careful when purchasing new items for your home as it can easily lead to clutter. Use the “one in / one out” method to keep your home decluttered. For example: if you bring one new book into your home, purge one old book from your collection.  

Looking For A Challenge?

The Oprah Closet Hanger Experiment : To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. This experiment could also be applied to a number of clutter areas in your home (cleaners, toys, linens, tools, hobbies and craft items).

The 12-12-12 Challenge : A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house.