The clutter compounds gradually, covertly—a few extra trinkets in the living room and new outfits in the closet later, and the square footage of your home appears to have shrunk dramatically. Spring cleaning season has arrived and just in time, too—a few more little toys and you would become a bonafide hoarder.
Wholeliving.com suggests asking three questions: do I really love it, need it now or will I or anyone in the foreseeable future need it or love it? It’s a challenge to battle the ingrained sense of American materialism, but you’ll be all the better for it. Less is more.
- Storage: This space usually stores memories and forgotten things. Perhaps you’re reluctantly holding on to sentimental objects once belonging to lost loved ones. Let them go. If you’re keeping belongings that you can’t seem to dispose of, utilize storage units by CubeSmart to clear space from home away from home, without sacrificing the objects for the sake of saving space. Out of sight, out of mind. If you’re storing the entirety of your parents’ belongings in your basement, it’s vital to engage in a cathartic cleansing—their memories will remain in you, not in objects.
- Bedroom: Begin with your wardrobe—do you really wear every item of clothing? Wade through the pile of shoes and accessories and toss everything that’s collecting dust into a plastic bag. Store necessities in neat receptacles under the bed or for relocation to the garage or attic. Scrounge your dresser drawers for unworn clothing and other odds and ends taking up space. Maybe you can rearrange your room’s furniture to open up the space.
- Bathroom: Open the medicine cabinet. If it’s beginning to look like a pharmacy, there’s work to be done. Toss the expired pills, medications and anything that reminds you of past illnesses (don’t flush these down the toilet and poison the water supply). Clear the arid medicinal tubes and antiquated beauty objects. Old makeup exposed to air can develop bacteria—vanquish the dried lipsticks, liquids and gels. Wholeliving.com also suggests donating unused bandages and gauze to the charities and shelters that accept hospital supplies.
- Office: This is your workspace, especially for those telecommuters. The desk is a reflection of your lifestyle—are the facets of your life neat, orderly and compartmentalized or are they unorganized and scattered? Lose the legion of unused pens, paper clips and other supplies that aren’t touched. Consider losing your fax machine, printer and scanner and buy an all-in-one device in its place. Condense your important records and documents by digitally scanning them. It’s always better to store in digital space than physical space.
Donate or Sell
Thrift stores, antique shops and eBay buyers would be happy to receive your unwanted possessions. Every week, look for objects that you or your family no longer require. Recycle that six-foot stack of People magazines in the garage or the five bins of toys your kids have long outgrown. Your property is better off in the hands of an appreciative soul rather than collecting a decade’s worth of dust.
Robert Ramirez Robert is a freelance writer who specializes in carpentry, construction and do-it-yourself projects around the home.