Due to the conditions the COVID-19 pandemic has created, you may find yourself spending much more time at home than you normally would. This could present a challenge or an opportunity depending on your mindset to organize your home, downsize clutter and take care of some of the projects you have been meaning to get to. The biggest hurdle for most renters or homeowners to overcome when they start to downsize is overwhelm. That’s why it’s important to start with a detailed plan of attack before you dive into the project.
Making a plan
Take an inventory of how much storage you have in your home, and what you would like that storage to be used for. Often, storage spaces get cluttered with miscellaneous items because they have no clear purpose to begin with, leading to feelings of overwhelm when you start to sift through them. Outlining the purpose of each storage space will insure that the proper items go where they will be most useful and easily accessible.
The second part of the plan is to go through your home room by room and decide what that room will be used for, and what items belong in that room versus another part of the house. During the process of living in a home items can drift from room to room based on use, especially if you have young children. Establishing the proper place for each item will make the process of cleaning up and decluttering that much easier.
Sorting through the items
Sorting and categorizing your belongings is another huge hurdle to overcome, and it often comes with an emotional element as you will be looking through things you likely haven’t seen in months or even years. When deciding between what will be kept and what will be thrown away it’s helpful to use the “one year rule” which in its simplest form means if you haven’t used or even thought about the item in the last year you should consider getting rid of it.
The second most important part of sorting is being strict with your “yes” and “no”. If you decide something is a “maybe” it will just go into another pile that will have to be sorted through later anyway. This is where the emotional element comes into play, as you will likely have to say goodbye to a few things that at one point were very special, but no longer have any use.
Most items of value can be sold on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace but if you have a friend or family member who you think would enjoy something you should give it to them as a gift. Any items that are left you can donate to a local thrift store like Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity.
When we say consolidate memories, we are talking about the sentimental items in most people's homes that tend to sit in a box collecting dust rather than being properly enjoyed. A great example would be pictures, which even when contained in photo albums can take up a ton of space. Consider buying a digital picture frame that will cycle through all of your favorite photos without the need for a shelf containing bulky photo albums.
The second category that most sentimental items fall into is keepsakes and family heirlooms. This could be anything from a movie stub from you and your partners first date to an antique your grandmother left you. For smaller items, you should consider creating a scrapbook or some other creative way to display an assortment of items. Not only will this bring back some fond memories when you see the display from across the room, but it will also give your guests a chance to ask questions about particular items. If you don’t have any room to properly use or display bigger items, consider giving them a new home with another family member or repurposing them into something you can use in your current home.
We hope you found some of the advice above helpful, and we wish you good luck on all of your home organizing projects!