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If you really want to know the truth, the quickest way to declutter your home is to get someone else to do it! Do you have a friend known far and wide for having a super organized house? If she (or he) is a little OCD about keeping their house orderly, chances are they’ve been itching to get their hands on your house! If all of your friends are your typical pack rats (birds of a feather stick together, right?), you can always call a professional organizer.
The Benefits of Outsourcing A Decluttering Mission
Hiring professionals have one major advantage over a DIY decluttering mission—they don’t have any emotional attachments to all that bric-a-brac that’s been robbing your house of space, and will toss out unnecessary items quickly and decisively.
To ensure that something of value to you does not end up in the trash (i.e., that heirloom porcelain figurine, or a cushion that your grandmother made you), all the stuff deemed junk can be placed into boxes. After a month or so, go through the boxes and salvage those few items that you can’t live without, but set a limit on the number! Remember, the point was to declutter, not reclutter!
DIY Decluttering Tips
Enlisting a friend may potentially endanger a friendship, and professional organizers do come at a price. A DIY decluttering mission is probably less risky for your social life and is less costly. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you complete your decluttering fast.
Dedicate Time for the Task
Take time off from work, send the kids to their grandparents, and if you work well with your spouse, have them also take time off to help. The point here is that everyone knows that a certain day is The Day of the Declutter, so you can’t wiggle out of it! Also, designate how much time you are going to spend in each room. Set an alarm clock to go off once your time in a particular space is up, and when it goes off, proceed to the next room.
Go Room by Room
Get three large bins marked “not sure,” “for donation” and “for junk removal.” Then take each item you find in each room—on top of tables, desks, couches, counters, bookshelves, etc.— look at it, and consider which bin it belongs in, but do it quickly. Follow your first instinct about each item. When was the last time you used it? If you haven’t used it in a while, chances are you never will. If you can’t decide in less than thirty seconds, it belongs in the “not sure” bin.
Tackle the Closets
For many, the idea of throwing out our clothes and shoes is a bit like giving up our first born! But you have to be ruthless. If you haven’t worn an outfit in a couple of years, you’re likely not ever going to wear it, but someone else still might. Unless a piece of clothing that hasn’t fitted or flattered your figure in years resembles a worn-out rag, it should really go into the “for donation” bin. Otherwise, into the “for junk removal” bin it goes.
Don’t Work Tired
That’s when we start being less decisive! If you’re exhausted, or have grown bored with the task, you just might start throwing everything into the “not sure” bin! Rest for awhile when you start to feel fatigued, and remember to stop for snacks and meals.
Remember, the key things are to make up your mind to do the decluttering within a specific time frame, and to be decisive and ruthless about each item. Act like you’re a military commander! The survival of your home depends on killing off those unused, unnecessary, dust-gathering items!
If you’ve done your job well, you’ll probably end up with several “for junk removal” bins, as well as some bulky or heavy items to be donated or thrown out. In that case, call your local junk removal company—they’ll help you dispose of everything fast. Once it’s all done, you’ll feel a great sense of liberation, and will happily look forward to that gracious, spacious living that a decluttered home always inspires!