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Decluttering Before the Holidays

If you’ve lived in your home for at least a few years, you know how easy it is to collect items that eventually turn into clutter. The end of the year, just before the holidays, is one of the best times to declutter your space. It’s a great opportunity to take stock of the items you have, sell or donate items to charity, and make room for items on your Christmas list.  

Start with the basics 
Decluttering a home can be overwhelming as a whole. It’s important to take it one room at a time. The most important rule is to finish what you start. That end goal could be to complete a room within the same day or the same week. Whatever time frame you establish, make sure you meet it. 

Establish a system for sorting 
Clutter occurs when items that don’t add value to your life begin to accumulate. Although you may like something, it’s time to assess the item’s purpose and how often you use it when you’re decluttering.

Set up piles for the things you want to keep or toss. If you’re undecided, it’s okay to make a maybe pile and revisit it after you’ve sorted through the remaining items. As you go through the process, you’ll find your ability to let go will become easier. 

How to let go
It’s important to remember that we hold onto items because we develop an attachment to an item, whether it’s useful or not. As you’re evaluating the items, be honest with yourself. How often do you use the item? Are you going to miss it? Will not having the item make you less happy?

When it comes to clothes, aim to keep the clothes you wear frequently. If you’re grappling with letting go of a shirt you like, but only wear once a year, that’s not a frequently worn item. Is it worth it to allow an item to take up space when used so infrequently?

Some people have difficulty giving up items because their monetary value isn’t recoverable. They attach value to the possession rather than its use. Come to terms with the fact that you cannot recover its monetary value whether you keep it or toss it. Evaluate an item strictly on its frequency of use. If you’re not using it, let it go.  

Tackling smaller areas 
If decluttering entire rooms and closets is too overwhelming in the beginning, try focusing on surface areas. Take one surface area at a time and completely clear it off. Evaluate each item as to whether you should keep or toss it. If you’re keeping it, evaluate whether it serves a purpose on top of the surface or if it’s better stored until used. Remember, not everything needs to be on display. 

Possibilities for the toss pile 
From your toss pile, decide what will go to charity, what to sell, or what to throw away. Consider the possibilities of what your items could accomplish:

  • Donate to those in need
  • If new or unused, gift the item to a friend for Christmas
  • Have a yard sale
  • Sell each item individually online

Either way, your’re doing good for others or possibly making extra money just in time for the holidays. 

Decluttering a home can be challenging, especially when you’ve created attachments to items. It may take a second round of decluttering to feel completely accomplished. In this case, practice makes perfect. 

Source: Budget Dumpster