Love is in the Air!

It is quickly approaching the middle of February, which means that love is in the air…..ooh la la.

You can easily and effectively show love to your home and show off your home with these useful top ten tips to declutter your home, make it more organized and fall in love again.

1. Set aside small bits of time to declutter.

Think you can effectively declutter your entire house in one day? Think again! Just like it took your home to get to the state of needing decluttering over a period of time, it will also take a lot of effort, energy and concentration to get it to a state of Zen. Not only are you sorting through and identifying lots of different items, you are making decisions as to what to do with all of your things. Instead of spending hours upon hours decluttering a space or room, work in small increments of time such as 15 or 20 minutes per session. Set a timer if you need to.

2. Remove and process clutter in different areas of your home.

It’s not uncommon to become “clutter-blind” or overly accustomed to clutter in a particular space. The clutter has been there for such a long time that you are used it; it starts to seem like it belongs in a particular area of your home! Once you move a stack of makeup clutter from your bathroom to your living room, it suddenly becomes clear that the clutter doesn’t belong there. Put things in perspective and process clutter from one room in an entirely different room. Collect clutter in a basket, box, bag or other container and move it to another room for processing.

3. Have a trash and recycling bag/bin handy.

You’ll want to make it as easy as possible to dispose of items when you declutter. In order to make things run as smoothly as possible, make sure you have trash and recycling bags/bins handy. For personal or sensitive papers and information, a shredder is necessary before discarding your personal papers. Once your decluttering session is over, place the unwanted stuff in bins outside of your house or apartment so it doesn’t have a chance to get back inside your home.

4. Declutter from top to bottom.

Have you ever heard that you need to start cleaning from the top down, well, this also applies to decluttering. When you clean your house, you’re getting rid of all the stuff you don’t want: dust, dander, dirt, fuzz, etc. Similarly, when you declutter, you’re either getting rid of, reorganizing or readjusting the location of items. Declutter your home from top to bottom, starting at the top level of the home, such as the attic or bedrooms, working your way down the bottom level, such as the basement or garage. Your home will undergo a total transformation and there won’t be any doubt as to whether or not you’ve decluttered a particular area of the house.

5. Declutter a room from the inside out.

Have a lot of clutter in a particular room? You may want to declutter this room from the center space to the perimeter or walls. Not only will you make it easier for you get in and out of the room, you’ll also be able to see progress that much faster. For starters, you’ll be able to see a clear floor space! Start with clutter located in the area nearest the door and then work your way from the center of the room to the walls. You may then decide to declutter items in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion inside the room so you can see the progress you’ve made. Turn on your favourite music as you go, makes decluttering seem like it’s less a chore and more fun!

6. Try the “grab and go” approach.

However, if you’ve got a lot of clutter in a particular area or space and aren’t sure where to start, simply grab a small stack of clutter and get to work. You could use a small basket, box, bag or container to temporarily house this small pile of clutter. This way, you have a small, contained and finite amount of clutter to process and focus upon without being overwhelmed with a large mass of stuff.

7. Make signs to help with the decluttering process.

Decluttering isn’t always about throwing stuff away, sometimes it means sorting through stack of items you actually want to keep. Whenever you begin a decluttering session, consider writing up small signs to help you easily identify what’s what. Sure, you could make small signs out of index cards with the obvious phrases of “Trash” and “Recycle,” but why not expand those cards to places where you’ll eventually need to relocate items? If you’re sorting through items in your kitchen and find items that belong in other areas of the home you could make cards that read, “Living Room,” “Home Office,” “Basement,” and so on.

8. Take an objective look at your things.

When it comes to decluttering, it helps to take a practical look at your belongings and how you are, or are not, using them. Ask yourself some of the following types of questions as you tackle your stuff: Have you used said item(s) in the past year? Are you making use of the item right now? Are you saving an item because you think you might need it in future? Do you like the item, or do you no longer have interest in the item? How is the item adding value to your life and home? Is the item weighing you down and preventing you from doing the things you’d otherwise like to do?

9. Let go of useless, broken, outdated and otherwise unusable stuff.

A broken toaster, an MP3 player from seven years ago, outdated fashion magazines…. what do these items have in common? For starters, they won’t be of much practical use to you unless you’re starting a memorabilia museum or collection. Broken, busted and otherwise unusable stuff just becomes a headache over time in your home. It sits there taking up space and sucks your energy and attention away from what really matters. If you’re looking for an easy way to decide whether or not to chuck something, ask yourself whether it is broken, outdated or unusable and whether you want it to be a part of your life now…and in future!

10. Don’t wait for the perfect time to declutter.

When’s the perfect time to declutter? When things are slightly cluttered or chaotic beyond belief? Actually, there is no perfect time to declutter. It’s all about learning how to keep things in check and under control. Take time to regularly declutter the rooms of your home so things don’t get too out of hand. You could set a regular weekly schedule to declutter small areas of the home to keep things neat and tidy. You’ll save yourself from marathon decluttering sessions in the future if you just attend to a little bit of clutter right now.

If there is any small piece of advice I can share, it’s something I remember from a job I had years ago (yes, I am still in touch with my boss and, yes, she will know where I got this from!). Here’s the advice – ‘Always touch a piece of paper only once.’ In other words, always put things away where they belong. Now that you have your home decluttered, you’ll know where things belong!

Want more tips on how to declutter? Interested in how to maintain your home and save energy and, as a result, money? Interested in finding out how to avoid the pitfalls of your reno project? You’ll want to attend my ‘Reboot Your Home in 2015’ seminar, being held February 18th from 7 – 9 p.m. at Century 21 Dreams Inc., Brokerage. Message me for further details – 416.575.4726.

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Jennifer Bourikas

Jennifer Bourikas

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Dreams Inc., Brokerage*
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