19 Sep What to Ask Yourself When Decluttering
Decluttering to Sell…Did that strike fear into your heart? Does the thought alone overwhelm you? Then you need to do it!
There are as many different styles of decluttering as there are types of people. Some prefer the 5 minutes a day method while others dedicate a weekend and just get it over with. This is a Real Estate Blog so I’ll assume you are decluttering to get ready to sell, evaluate your square footage needs, or are looking to downsize. If these are your reasons you should do a massive over haul, but first congratulations on realizing it needs to be done. Decluttering is one of the most important and least expensive things you can do to increase your homes appeal. So go forth and declutter every drawer, closet, and cabinet. Leave no item in your house unevaluated!
Check out our post “Am I Ready to Downsize?”
Now the hardest part, “Where do I start?”
Start with your easiest room to get into the Declutter mentality. Easy doesn’t mean empty, It refers to how hard you will have to think about what you’re letting go. For most people the bathroom is the best place to start. You’re in there every day, know exactly what you use and don’t, and most people aren’t emotionally attached to their drawer’s contents. An added bonus is once finished decluttering any room you get a wave of motivation to attack the rest of the house. Act quickly and use that to your advantage!
Go through each room and evaluate everything; then ask yourself these questions:
Have I used this in the last year?
If not then get rid of it.
Is this easily replaceable?
If you can walk into a store and buy a newer version for the same price it’s replaceable.
Do I need this many? (Tupperware containers, pots and pans, towels, blankets, etc.)
There is nothing wrong with back ups but if you have a cabinet of Tupperware and only every use five at once then start trashing, donating, and re-gifting! A helpful tool is to set goals. Try to get rid of 1/3 of your Tupperware, towels, and blankets. If you notice you aren’t even using that cut out another fourth.
Am I keeping this so I don’t waste money?
This is a big one for people and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you’re not using it you already wasted the money, now you’re just wasting space too.
Am I keeping this for sentimental reasons?
This one’s tricky and needs a second set of questions:
Do I remember where I got it?
If you don’t remember the value let it go.
Am I keeping it out of obligation?
There is a polite amount of time to keep something and it’s not a lifetime. It’s your house! You’re in charge! Get rid of it!
Does it bring me joy when I look at it?
If you still smile when you see it and it brightens your day then it’s a keeper!
Do I want to keep this forever?
This is a powerful question that should be used on every item you own as well. It puts the item in perspective. If you don’t want it forever then you might as well get rid of it today.
A space saving idea is to make a scrap book with pictures of all the knick knacks you’re getting rid of. Write down it’s sentimental value, how you got it, who you were with, why you picked it. Record what ever memories are attached to it.
Is it broken, is it worth fixing?
If it’s broken then decide if it’s worth fixing. If it’s been broken a while and you haven’t fixed it yet it means you don’t need it. Carefully consider the condition of every item too. If it’s fraying, is covered in duck tape, or is otherwise on its last leg let it die with dignity! You don’t have to wait for it to break the moment you need it.
Is it worth packing, moving, and unpacking?
Ask this even if your just thinking about moving, or getting a head start on cleaning for future plans to sell or downsize. It ties into the “Do I want this forever?” question.
My mother had a saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Make a place for everything in your home, and return it when your done using it. Like any habit you need to actively work at this and enforce it for every family member. Eventually it will become second nature to you. This coincidentally happens the same time your start living in a clean house!
My team and I are happy to answer any questions you have. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see a post about! Call me at 612-889-6496 or email at [email protected]