You’ve decided 2019 is the year to sell your place and look for your next Las Vegas dream home. There’s just one problem, after a few years of collecting this and that, your house is filled to bursting with stuff. Before you even think of staging your home for sale, packing up for the big move, or doing any updates, you need to declutter.
Like most of us, you probably find the process of sorting through, and parting with your collections a little bit overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be! Follow the suggestions below to help move you through the process with less stress and more inspiration.
But how do you decide what goes and what stays? And what do you do with the things you plan to remove?
Don’t get caught up in rules that say you can only keep an arbitrary number of each item. Look at your possessions with a critical eye and determine whether they still fulfill their purpose. Have you worn this piece of clothing in the last year or so? Five years?
Do you really need to keep shelves full of books now that you have an eReader? Does the item still make you happy or provide enjoyment? Or, do you secretly hate the china that was passed down from your great grandmother? If you’re only keeping it because you may need it someday, because it was a gift, etc., let it go.
Saving for a rainy day is a great idea when it comes to income but only contributes to clutter and stress when it refers to collections of stuff. Chances are you won’t be able to find it anyway when you do eventually need it because it will be lost among all the other stuff. Keep the items that make you happy or still have purpose in your life and let the others go to someone else who may be able to use them. Trust me, once they’re gone, you won’t miss them.
The term,‘divide and conquer’ is a clich for a reason. It works! Facing an entire home full of possessions to be addressed can easily make a person want to quit before even beginning. Try tackling the issue one room at a time.
Still overwhelmed? Break rooms up into small sections and tackle a closet or collection completely before moving on to the next.
As you move through your house, sort your items into one of three piles; stay, go, and garbage. Immediately put the garbage into a bag someplace where you no longer have to look at it.
If you have a big house and family, and have more possessions than most, you might want to consider renting a storage bin. It’s perfect for packing all those items you won’t need prior to your move. It also provides a place to store them away from your home, keeping your closets and garage nice and organized.
The things you plan to keep should be organized into their proper places. The items that are going (perhaps bound for charity), need to be removed from your house altogether.
Books, old records and electronics that are slated for removal can be traded in for gift cards or cash. Amazon has a trade in program for books and electronics that gets the items out of your home with free shipping and an easy interface. Fund your next Kindle, or your love of eBooks by trading in books from your shelves and older devices. If Amazon or other similar services aren’t taking an item, consider donating it to a local school or library. Even if they can’t use it, many of them hold yearly sales & auctions to raise funds for programs.
If time is on your side and you have more valuable items that you’d like to sell, consider having a garage sale or advertising specific items online. While garage sales can get rid of a lot of stuff in a short time, they are incredibly labor intensive. You have to advertise, make sure everything is clean, well presented, priced, and if it doesn’t sell, you’re still faced with the job of removing it.
Take unwanted clothing to consignment shops and help to fund an upgraded wardrobe. Or take clothing to donation boxes for Goodwill or Salvation Army. Area shelters are always looking for clothing and items they can provide to those in need. Many cities also have charities that provide clothing, toys, and other much-needed items to foster parents for the children who often have nothing more than the clothing they are wearing.
It is a lot easier to let go of your precious possessions when you see how much use and joy someone else can get out of it. Imagine donating extra professional clothes to someone just starting out in their career. How much joy can your children’s unwanted toys provide to a new generation of kids? Possessions sitting in boxes or cluttering up all the spaces in your house serve no useful purpose and won’t help you sell your home.
Once the clutter is sorted and disposed of, organize what you’re keeping. Then start that staging project to show off your home to the best advantage. If you’re moving, it will be so much easier to simply pack what’s leftover and move it into your new home. And now you can update your home without taking the clutter with you. No matter what your ultimate plans, decluttering is a great way to start the new year with a clean slate.