There are many reasons to get rid of the clutter inside and outside your home. Maybe you want to get rid of stuff because you’re downsizing your home. Perhaps you want to make things simpler so you’re free to travel. Another good reason to get rid of stuff is to liquidate assets so you have money to try new things. Still another is to organize your stuff so your family knows where to find important documents when you’re gone. Whatever the reason, here are a few tips on making the job as smooth as possible.
1. Decide why you want to unclutter and get organized.
Set goals for why and where you want to end up after you’re done. For example, I want to have $5000 to make a down payment on a small RV so I can travel, or I want to take 3 truckloads of stuff to Goodwill so I can move into a condo. Setting goals reminds you of why you’re doing what you’re doing, even if the going gets tough.
2. Take stock of what you have.
When you stop and look around you with new eyes, you may be amazed/overwhelmed at how much you have accumulated over the years. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just go through each room with new eyes and make decisions.
3. Have everyone in the household pitch in
Teamwork is in order to get this big job done in a timely manner. The members of your home may have different reasons for getting rid of the clutter, but if you all pitch in the job will get done before you lose interest.
4. Start small so you won’t get overwhelmed.
Take it step by step, room by room. If you’ve got a lot to do, start with a closet. The more you do, the better you get at it. If you simply can’t get started, think about getting a professional in to help you. A caring friend can add a helping hand as well.
5. Devise a system.
Use bags or piles labeled Keep/Throw/Charity/Storage. Having a specific bag to put each thing in helps you move forward instead of becoming overwhelmed because you can’t think of what to do.
6. Keep it going with anything that enters the home.
The amount of personal mail, junk mail, newspapers, flyers, and magazines that come into your home each month can be staggering if you put off dealing with them. After you get them initially taken care of, it’s easier to handle any incoming paper on a daily basis.
7. Document the little things.
You may have an attorney handle your will, but sometimes there are little things you want to let you kids know about. Perhaps you want to tell them your computer password or about any of the forums you attend online. Maybe you want to give them the combination to your storage shed. Write it all down on one sheet of paper and give one to your kids and a copy to your attorney.
Uncluttering is never a fun job but it’s one that gains momentum as you go along. Keeping in mind WHY you’re doing it will help. The amazing thing about clearing out all that stuff is you feel so good when it’s done. Suddenly, you feel free to go on and try new adventures in your life.
You’ve gotten rid of the old and cleared the way for the new, and I’m not just talking about new material possessions, although there is nothing wrong with that, but brand new freedom.