Declutter Your House

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Whether you’re planning to sell your treasured home or simply looking to create a more livable nest, fall marks the perfect time to organize and declutter.

As days grow shorter, hours spent inside expand. Get rid of items you never or barely use to make room for better things to come. It took a while to accumulate all that stuff, so give yourself time to release it. Break it into steps so you can feel a sense of accomplishment along the way. Start by creating three areas: keep, toss, and donate. It feels easier to part with something when you know others may benefit.

Round one: All in the family
Start from the top, the attic. Enlist family members to go through stuff they’ve collected over the years. Photos are especially difficult to throw away. If you have time, consider scanning them digitally or saving old negatives for later. It’s fun to relive the old days as you uncover holiday decorations, dolls, toys, school projects and notebooks, clothes, albums and CDs, and other reminders of good times past. Tell your kids to pick a few of their favorites and toss the rest. Then, follow your own advice and don’t look back.

Round two: Unfit or in fashion
Go through every item in your closet, including clothes, shoes, purses, belts, and hats. Wardrobes have become more casual over the past few years, so get rid of some of your more formal office attire. If you’re tired of clothes getting wrinkled from overcrowding, give them room to breathe. Try on older items and donate what’s no longer a good fit or in fashion. If something comes back in style, you have the perfect excuse to go shopping. Take a realistic approach. Will you ever be the size you were in college? If chances are slim of fitting into those skinny jeans, consider donating them to a worthwhile cause.

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Round three: Common areas
Go through every cupboard, drawer, and closet in your living room and kitchen. You’re starting to gain momentum, so don’t stop now. Strive for a more minimalistic house. Imagine staging your home as if you were selling it. If you are, then this part is even more critical. Take down items that have hung on those walls for ages. You’ve probably grown blind to their beauty by now. Clean kitchen cabinets, counters, and drawers. We all usually have so much more silverware, appliances, and dishes than we ever need. It feels refreshing to let go of unused possessions. Make room in your cabinets for the assorted kitchen canisters, air fryers, and blenders crowding your counters. Confront those overstocked pantries. Donate extra canned goods and toss expired items.

Next, tackle the bathrooms. Create a minimalistic, inviting, spa effect. Place lotion bottles and sundry items out of sight, but keep them accessible. Clear drawers of expired medicine, make-up, and assorted goodies. Then, scrub everything until sparkling new and transform your bathroom into a soothing oasis.

Round four: The garage
Do you park your cars in your garage or simply store junk? How many coolers do you really need? Hold a garage sale and get rid of old tools, bleacher chairs, and other unused household items. Sell your unwanted furniture on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Or donate it to the Salvation Army or other worthy cause. With a little effort, you can make some money and declutter your house at the same time.

The finale: A new beginning
Go through everything again. When you realize how great your house looks with more organization and less clutter, you’ll want to continue. Afterwards, rearrange your furniture or apply a fresh coat of paint. Perhaps it’s time to create a whole new look. Imagine how much fun you’ll have redecorating and searching for the perfect items all over again.

Clean your house and clear your mind
Clutter is actually bad for your soul. Your brain craves order. Too many distractions make you lose focus. Especially now, when so many work from home, it’s crucial to clean out the cobwebs in your brain and living environment.

According to the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, ridding your home of clutter is one of the most important ways to promote chi, or energy flow. Clutter represents stuck energy. Clean your space and recharge your mind. It even helps lift your mood. Surround yourself with just a few of your favorite things and welcome positive vibes into your life and your family’s home.