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Declutter For A Fresh Look

One of my favorite things to do is declutter so I decided to write about it and maybe help someone who wants a change but doesn't know where to start. I think this topic is especially important during a time when people still aren’t doing a lot of shopping in person, and supply chain issues make it challenging to buy new furniture. Here we go...

Start with 5 minutes at a time. If you’re new to decluttering, you can slowly build momentum with just five minutes a day.

Give one item away each day. This would remove 365 items every single year from your home. If you increased this to 2 per day, you would have given away 730 items you no longer needed. Increase this number once it gets too easy.

Fill an entire trash bag. Get a trash bag and fill it as fast as you can with things you can donate at Goodwill or your favorite charity.

Donate clothes you never wear. To identify them, I simply use the "have I used this (whatever piece of clothing) this (whatever season you're in)?" method. For example, once September approaches, I know I won't be wearing any summer clothes anymore that year so I go through my summer items and if I didn't wear it during the summer months, the probability of me wearing it next summer is slim to none so I know it's an item I can part ways with.

Create a decluttering checklist. It’s a lot easier to declutter when you have a visual representation of where you need to get started. If you're completely clueless; closets, cabinets and drawers are a good place to start.

Take the 12-12-12 challenge. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to be returned to their proper home.

Take before and after photos of a small area. Choose one part of your home, like your kitchen counter, and take a photo of a small area. Quickly clean off the items in the photo and take an after photo. Once you see how your home could look, it becomes easier to start decluttering more of your home.

Get help from a friend. Have a friend or family member go through your home and suggest a handful of big items to throw away or give to someone else. If you defend the item and want to keep it, your friend has to agree with your reason. If they don’t agree, it’s time to get rid of it.

Use the Four-Box Method. Get four boxes and label them: trash, give away, keep, or re-locate. Enter any room in your home and place each item into one of the following boxes. Don’t skip a single item, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. This may take days, weeks, or months, but it will help you see how many items you really own and you’ll know exactly what to do with each item.

Let’s challenge the notion that each bedroom needs a large dresser, that every dining room needs a large hutch, and that every living room needs a couch, loveseat, and armchairs. Most families can get by with a lot less, and decluttering can make a space feel much larger and fresher.

- Raph




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