Advertising would have us believe that the key to happiness lies in acquiring the new-and-improved, the latest and the best, but as with so much of life, too much of a good thing can be a problem.
Modern homeowners rarely engage in the old-fashioned custom of spring-cleaning, so it’s possible to look up all of a sudden and realize that you are overwhelmed with stuff that’s been accumulating for years. That may be lack of organization rather than over-accumulating, but if you’re looking around and thinking that it is time for a clear out, you probably need to consider how you’re going to tackle it.
The first thing you should do when figuring out if it’s time for a home clear out is to sort things. Start in one room and remove everything that does not belong in that room. If it is not used there, it shouldn’t be there. This can be overwhelming, so start by tossing the unused things into boxes or laundry baskets. Go through the boxes or baskets one at a time, sorting things by function or by the room in which they do belong. Once everything has been put away, leave the rest in the boxes or baskets and move on to the next room.
Once you’ve made your way through the entire home, if you have a whole pile of stuff left over that has no apparent use and no particular place it belongs, it is definitely time for a clear out. The good news is that you’re already one-third of the way done with it.
Everyone has sentimental items that serve no purpose and don’t need to be on display but can’t be let go of. If you have more storage space than unusable things, you don’t need a clear out. But, if you have boxes of items stuffed in every storage space and most of them have not been opened in years, it’s time to get to work.
Sort the items into boxes or bins labeled, “keep,” “sell,” “donate” and “trash.” Once you have everything sorted, pack up the things you intend to keep. Sort them like with like and nestle them into clearly labeled boxes. If you have more things in the “keep” box than you have space to keep them, you will need to get ruthless and go through them again.
Selling or donating things you no longer want or can no longer use is not only one way to clear out your home, but it’s also a way to make some extra cash and to make someone else’s life just a bit easier. Websites like Etsy.com are great for selling handmade products. Other online recycling sites provide efficient and simple ways to sell unwanted CDs, DVDs and games. Check your newspaper or free sales sheets to find swap meets or advertise a yard sale once you’ve figured out what has to go. If the going gets tough, remind yourself that clearing out your home not only gives you a sense of freedom and control, but also clears space to accumulate new stuff.
Alexa Dashielle is a veteran web content writer specializing in matters of the home, especially those dealing with decorating, organizing and knowing when it is time for a clear out.