Clutter is a common problem for most of us, especially people who have lived in the same place for a while. We keep clothes that don’t fit, just in case they might one day, or stock the kitchen cabinets full of appliances we don’t ever use. Don’t even get me started on the sheer amount of papers I’ve got piled up right now.
Decluttering and letting go of things can be pretty difficult. If you’ve amassed enough stuff, it can even be overwhelming, leaving you unsure of where to start.
To get you started, here are the biggest areas to tackle first when trying to declutter your space.
Shed the Clothes You Don’t Wear
It sounds like a no-brainer, but we’re all guilty of it. Admit it: You have an article of clothing with tags still on it, hanging in your closet right now. Or you’ve kept a pair of jeans that haven’t fit in years, just in case you finally lose enough weight to squeeze into them again.
But the truth is, if you never wear it, it doesn’t need to take up space in your closet or your drawers.
Create a pile of all your clothing and go through it one item at a time. If it’s something you haven’t worn in the last year, it needs to go. Anything that doesn’t fit, you never wear, or doesn’t “spark joy,” donate it to someone who will get some use out of it.
Pull the Plug on Appliances You Don’t Use
Much in the same vein as getting rid of clothes you don’t wear, you should stop storing those appliances that you don’t use. I know that the bread machine is useful, but do you use it? Did you buy a vegetable spiralizer a couple of years ago in hopes that you’d start eating healthier but decided that “zoodles” just weren’t for you?
You could free up plenty of cabinet or counter space by getting rid of these items that you don’t use. You’re not going to wake up and magically love zucchini noodles. Just donate the unused appliances already.
Take Care of All Those Cords
In this day and age, everything has a cable, a charger, or an adapter. Everyone inevitably winds up with a bin or drawer somewhere full of phone chargers, plug adapters, USB cables, HDMI cables… the list goes on. Do yourself a favor and tame that mess.
If you currently own the appliance, phone, or other tech device that cords belong to, wrap them up neatly and label them accordingly. And then throw away any cords or cables that go to old devices that you no longer use or that you have duplicates of. You’re never going to need 5 ethernet cables, and you’re definitely never going to need the charger to a phone you don’t own anymore.
Scrutinize the Paper Stacks
It’s easy to amass a ton of paper. With all the catalogs, bills, and coupons that arrive in the mail, paired with school work that kids bring home or magazines that we enjoy, it can pile up fast.
Sort the paper piles into three categories: important papers, like bills or tax information; things to keep, like the best of your kid’s artwork or a magazine that you would like to read again; and toss/recycle, like old mail, expired coupons, or other junk.
Try to switch to online banking, paperless billing, and digital subscriptions to magazines to reduce the incoming paper in the future. If your kid is bringing home too much that you just can’t let go of, try documenting it digitally by taking photos to keep in an album instead of keeping each individual piece.