The New Year often comes plenty of resolutions we rarely keep. This year, do yourself a favour and decide to get your home — or office — decluttered. Decluttering has many benefits, such as helping to reduce anxiety, keeping you focused and also saving time whenever you can find things easily. You can even drum up some extra cash if you discover items you can sell. A storage unit can help with your decluttering efforts, helping you to make this one New Year’s resolution you keep.
The Benefits of Decluttering
First, to provide some encouragement we want to take a look at the benefits of decluttering:
Excess things in your life cause clutter. Visual clutter leads to a cluttered mind. If you keep your home free of clutter you are reducing the number of things that are fighting for your attention. A clean room allows you to decrease the things your mind is trying to process, allowing you to focus on more important things.
2. Enhanced creativity
Although you might envision a New York artist living amongst the clutter of their Soho loft, maintaining a minimalist environment actually enhances creativity. Chances are their ‘clutter’ is probably mostly works in progress and the tools of their trade, which is not really considered clutter. Because your mind is not preoccupied with clutter in the room it can thrive and become more productive, getting those creative juices flowing.
3. Better sleep
As a result of your newly found Zen state and improved focus, you will have less anxiety and also a smaller list of things you have to clean. In fact, studies have found that if you sleep in a cluttered room you have an increased risk of developing sleep issues and disturbances.
4. Better Mood
Clutter is “visual noise” which can make you edgy and cranky. It can also make your space seem smaller and cramped, which can set you permanently on edge.
5. More Space
Decluttering also frees up both storage space and living space making your home more comfortable and appealing.
The best way to start decluttering is to just get started. Going digital with these is a great first step, quickly reducing the things that tend to pile up, namely papers, DVDs and CDs:
- Rid yourself of the magazines and newspapers and subscribe to digital publications instead
- Get paperless billing so everything is either sent via email or text, OR your payments are made automatically, which will also save you time
- Use Kindle or Kobo instead of books
- Start streaming and store everything on the cloud or with a music and movie service to clear away all those CDs and DVDs
Assess your Storage Space
Consider the storage space at your disposal and come up with a plan of how you can get the best use out of it. This will do two things to assist in your decluttering efforts:
- It will show you how much storage space you have
- It will show you how much clutter you have
When you really look at your closets, garage, condo storage space, attic, basement, etc. you will see how badly you need to declutter. This includes your dresser drawers, kitchen drawers and cabinets, shelving units, wardrobes, etc. This is a major part of decluttering, as often things stored in the home are out of sight and so out of mind. By going through everything you have stored in every room, cubby hole and box, you can rid yourself of anything you don’t need, freeing up space for the things you do.
Save It, Store It, Sell It or Toss It
Decluttering is pretty simple, albeit time-consuming. Go through each room and sort your belongings into three categories:
These are the things you need, want and use every day, or on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in the last couple of months, you don’t need to keep it out.
2. Store it
These are the things you need, want and use but only do so sporadically, such as holiday décor, winter clothing and equipment, seasonal sports and outdoors equipment etc.
3. Sell it
These are the things you no longer need but think someone else would find of value and pay money for. If you’re not sure, have a quick search on eBay to see if its something people have been able to sell. Then put it online, have a garage sale, or take it to a pawnbrokers
4. Toss It
This is anything you haven’t used in ages, that is broken or serves no purpose whatsoever. This toss it pile can then be sorted into trash, or if it is still in good condition and could be used by someone, donate it to an appropriate charity or thrift store.
Once you’ve gone through your sorting process you will find you have more space. You want to use it wisely with these organizing tips:
- Look for places in your closets and storage spaces to put up simple standing shelving units to keep things organized and increase storage space
- Use bins and containers with like items together and label everything to make it easier to find stuff
- Use space-savers designed to hang over a door ideal for things like shoes and accessories to maximize small bedroom closets
Get a Storage Unit
Once you’ve gone through the decluttering process you will find you might have a number of things that are best kept in a storage unit. Some ideas would include:
- Holiday décor that is taking up space and only used once a year
- Furniture that no longer fits into your home but that you might need in the future
- Collections you don’t want to part with but also don’t need to keep in the home
- Documents and paperwork you don’t want to throw but don’t need frequent access to
- Seasonal clothing
- Camping equipment
- Books, media and DVDs you couldn’t part with
Create a Declutter Maintenance Plan
Part of the decluttering process includes having a maintenance plan in place to stay decluttered. This could be a monthly decluttering to look for new piles of paperwork, magazines, etc. that you can keep under control. You can also do quarterly checks of major storage areas such as your garage to make sure you aren’t becoming a hoarder again. Last but not least, stop all that consumer impulse shopping and try to part with your need for material things. This will greatly help reduce your belongings to free up space AND have the added benefit of reducing your spending. Try these anti-clutter strategies:
- Develop a buy it if you need it attitude by thinking about whether you really need it before you make an impulse buy
- Try to stop impulse buys altogether; if you didn’t have it on your shopping list, you didn’t need it in the first place
- Envision having to find a place for the item you are buying to help you decide if it will fit into your life
- Don’t allow yourself to be seduced by sales and remind yourself that if you don’t need it, don’t buy it
These tips will help you become a decluttering expert and have bragging rights you actually kept one of your New Year’s resolutions. If you’d like more information about storage units, call Jiffy Self-Storage at 416-745-4339 or contact us here.