Let’s face it, there are not enough shallow materialist tchotchkes in the world to fill the void in your soul. Your house, though? Yeah, that’s pretty dang full.
You’re running out of room, and fast! It’s enough to make a person want to put their house up for sale and move to some faraway, isolated, snow-shrouded paradise. So, like, Canada?
Before you start looking at Banff homes for sale, though, here are four tips for how to declutter your space and hopefully salvage what little is left of your dwindling sanity.
Organize Things Into Piles
Trying to declutter often feels a lot like trying to claw your way up to the top of a gigantic mountain. So do what any land developer with a fistful of dynamite and a dream of building the world’s best parking lot would do: blow that mountain up into a million little pieces! Figuratively, of course.
Instead of trying to immediately separate the stuff you want to keep from the stuff you want to junk, start off separating things into piles. You can categorize items based on how sure or unsure you are about what you want to do with them, how often you use them, how valuable they are, whatever. Heck, organize them by color if you want. In the end, it will make decluttering a whole lot easier.
Don’t Try To Do It Alone
We are often our own worst enemies. This is true even outside of that one Star Trek episode where the Enterprise crew met evil bearded doppelgangers from a mirror universe. When you’re decluttering, it’s all too easy to give in to temptation and hang onto useless crap you really don’t need. That’s why you need an accountability buddy. An accountabilibuddy!
Having someone there looking over your shoulder, always judging you, and questioning your every decision, is a good way of keeping your hoarder instincts in check. A good friend is someone you can count on to give you their honest opinion, urge you onward when your resolve is shaky, and take your secondhand leftovers so you don’t have to feel bad about throwing them in the garbage.
Have a Use-It-Or-Lose-It Policy
Even with a meticulous organizational system and a ruthless “friend” constantly berating you for daring to have a sentimental attachment to your worldly possessions, it’s not always easy to know what to keep and what to trash. Sure, there’s the obviously useful stuff worth hanging onto and the obviously useless stuff that you don’t even know why you bought. But what about those items in between?
If you think you might have a use for something someday and are hesitant to throw it out, try this: put it and any other belongings you’re on the fence about into a storage container. Label the container with the date. Then wait a year. If over the course of that year you never once took those items out of storage or felt any need to use them, you probably never will.
Make Decluttering an Annual Event
Clutter is like a weed. No, not the good kind that makes you hungry for Doritos and fools you into thinking Cheech and Chong jokes are even remotely funny. The bad kind of weed, the kind that grows back no matter how many times you try to kill it at the root. Just like regular maintenance is the only way to keep your lawn under control, regular de-clutterings are required if you don’t want to end up in this exact same situation someday down the road.
Clutter doesn’t appear overnight. It builds up over time. To keep your home from slowly turning back into a bad episode of Hoarders, pick a date every year and mark it on the calendar as you’re decluttering day. It’s not quite as good a holiday as Christmas, but it’s a necessary one.