Now is a good time to get some annual cleaning done, and yes, I’m talking to you. Even the most organized of people have some items they could do without. That’s why these 9 steps to knowing what to throw away and how to best approach the act of organizing will be a crucial part of getting some clutter out of your life.
From creating a plan to tackle the messiest parts of your home/office/life to knowing what items are ok to toss, recycle or donate— these tips are sure to come in handy.
So, come on. Get your act together and hoard no more. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. It’s time to feel a little lighter in terms of “stuff” this spring season.
1. Create An Action Plan
What areas need to be cleaned? What do you have the hardest time getting rid of? What’s your end goal? When do you have time in your schedule to do some de-cluttering?
Start out by getting these things in order before you start digging through your piles and have an even bigger mess on your hands. You’ve got to have the appropriate time to dedicate to a task like this, you know?
2. Set Aside Time Each Day To Clean
It may help you to do this little by little or to tackle certain areas on certain days. It’s best if you can take some time each day to organize until you’ve reached your end goal so that you don’t get burned out along the way. Just 20 minutes a day won’t be so bad!
3. Start With The “Maybe” Pile
An article in Greatist recommends placing things into separate piles, having one dedicated to things you might need. Then, place them in a box hidden away for 30 days. If you don’t find yourself needing to use them in that time frame, get rid of them.
4. Ask Yourself 3 Important Questions
- How often do you use the item?
- How expensive is it?
- How easy it is to replace?
You’ll begin to see what you really need and what’s truly important.
If you’ve got old receipts or other documents that you need, digitize them so that you don’t have a physical copy taking up space.
6. Get Rid Of Old Magazines
For whatever reason, old magazines are so easy to save. I’m guilty of this, too. Do you ever actually look at them again, though? I know this is going to be a little tough, but take a deep breath and go ahead and recycle those.
7. Throw Out Some Mementos
If you find yourself holding on to too many things because of their sentimental value, start to see what of those items you really need to have. Remember that memories don’t need to have a physical reminder. You’ll have the memory with or without the item. So, in some cases, it may be time to part ways.
8. Go Through Your Closet
This is often a very difficult process, but it’s also necessary at times. Go through your closet, and try the “maybe” pile with your clothes to make the purging process a little easier.
9. Check Expiration Dates
On food, medicine, makeup— check expiration dates. If it’s expired, then what are you holding on to it for?
Throw out, organize, repeat. This is often a never-ending process, or at the very least, one that needs to be revisited over and over again.
Make a plan for when you’ll reevaluate again and do yourself a favor in-between organizing periods— be a little more thoughtful about what you’re hanging on to. It’ll make this process so much easier. Here’s to a little less clutter (until next spring, that is)!