Ahh the holidays at last.
With long hot days ahead, it’s the perfect time to tackle some serious decluttering – especially if you’re considering putting your home on the market in the New Year.
So before more stuff comes piling in over Christmas, grab a coffee and have a read of our ultimate step-by-step guide to decluttering your home over the holidays.
On the first day of Christmas, let’s declutter!
Before you start unwrapping more stuff at Christmas, take a good look at the stuff that’s been piling up in hidden corners of your home over the years (yes, we’re looking right at you 90’s excercyle in the garage). But since we know there are various levels of attachment, here’s a simple rule-of thumb to figure out if you should keep it or junk it:
Have you used it more than once this year? Are you sentimentally attached to it? Can you (honestly) see yourself using it at least twice or more in the next 6 months?
If you answered no to all three questions, then the item has to go. If you answered no to two out of three questions, get a second opinion on throwing it out. And if you answered yes to all three questions, congratulations...you get to keep it!
While this is a great way to start, decluttering needs a lot more commitment. To help you maximise the level of clutter you can eliminate from your home during the holidays, here are five key tips:
1. Do a 12 days of Christmas giveaway:
The Christmas carol “The 12 days of Christmas” was all about receiving presents each day. But in our challenge, we suggest doing the reverse. Try to give away one item from around your home for 12 days. These could include items of clothing, old tech, shoes, supplies you bought for DIY projects that never took off...the list is only limited by your imagination.
2. Corner your clutter and then eliminate:
Sometimes, looking at your entire home as a decluttering project can be overwhelming. Instead, pick one corner of your home and make that area the focus of your decluttering effort. This area could be as large as your garage, your closet or even just a draw in your study desk!
3. Create ‘clutter-free’ zones:
Pick an area of your home that from today has a zero tolerance towards clutter. This could be common areas such as the dining table, the kitchen counter or even under the bed. Once you’ve mastered keeping one area of your home clutter free for a week, simply add more areas to this list. By breaking the problem into parts, it prevents you from getting overwhelmed and every small success spurs you to push even further.
4. Give yourself a limit:
Sometimes the reason we end up with clutter is because we surround ourselves with too many choices. To eliminate this, try to give yourself a fixed number of choices for a month. This could be one item of clothing for 30 days, or sticking to using one watch, or one perfume. At the end of 30 days, look at the items you haven’t used and evaluate which ones you didn’t miss using. Eliminate those immediately.
5. Get the whole family involved:
While each of these steps is a great way to get a personal start, remember de-cluttering is not a solo project. Make it a point to get the entire family involved in the declutter mission. To make this more exciting and less of a chore, you could try the ‘fresh eyes’ approach. In this approach, make each family member look into another family member’s stuff and pick 5 things they feel needs to be disposed of. With this method, you can get an objective opinion that isn’t biased by sentimentality.
Serious about getting your home ready to sell in 2016? Then download our free eBook ‘How to get ready to sell your house’. It’s packed with practical tips and information on the process of selling your home.