Whether you’re selling or staying in your home, cleaning helps clear the mind, reduces stress and gives us a sense of accomplishment. However, it’s hard to really clean around too much stuff so the first step is to de-clutter.
For some this is overwhelming, so I suggest breaking this down into manageable steps:
As oppose to this:
1. Make 3 piles.
- GIVE AWAY
Yes, I know I said three. But for some people they need that MAYBE pile. Just keep it small!
2. Now, start with the GARBAGE and discard it immediately. Do not look back!
3. Next, my favorite pile: The GIVE AWAY pile. If you have family members who want or need this furniture or clothing, ask them to pick it up in a reasonable amount of time or you need to donate it.
Where to donate?
Every city has charities and organizations that give to those in need.
- In Calgary, we have the Making Changes Association where women can give gently used clothes, purses shoes etc. for women in transition. The Calgary Drop-in & Rehab Centre takes clothing, blankets, coats etc. Organizations such as Neighborlink or Women In Need will give your clothing, furniture and household goods to people in need. You can also call a local church that may be able to tell you about a family who can use your excess items.
4. On to the MAYBE pile. This is the most difficult pile, which is why I normally don’t include it. Go back through the items. Does the clothing still fit or do you have room for that extra furniture or small appliance? Ask yourself why are you holding on to it?
For example, many people are still holding on to magazines. Take a picture of the articles you have been hoping to refer to in the future and start a digital folder.
5. The KEEP pile of course is the easiest one. Put each of its items where they belong immediately. If its clothing hang it up. If it’s a book get it on a shelf.
And that’s it. Not an easy process, but well worth the time you take to get this done once a year.
Now start cleaning!!