5 Tips For Cleaning, Organizing & Decluttering

image from here

While Justin and I are still taking advantage of low income housing as we attempt to pay off our debts, we are also trying to declutter and organize our belongings. We're both hoarders at heart, so I'm not going to lie when I say that decluttering is tough.

1. Sell Things on Ebay

Or Bookscouter.

Or Poshmark.

Or Craigslist.

Garage and yard sales were once the only way to make money off of your old stuff, but that's not the case anymore. Thanks to the internet, it is far easier to sell items you own and make room for more stuff.

I once read about a person who only bought a new piece of clothing if he sold or got rid of an older piece of clothing. In that way, you aren't paying for more hangers in your closet, and you aren't searching for more storage space. It's a win-win. Your home stays decluttered and you get a new outfit.

You can do the same with books, electronics, toys and other objects that you find typically clutter your home. Perhaps after selling enough, you will be able to take that dream vacation you've always wanted … or go on a much needed date to the movies… You never know!

2. With regards to clothing:

• Get rid of one piece of clothing for every piece you buy (as mentioned above).
• Buy lots of neutrals or go-tos. If you wear lots of jeans and dress pants, it might be smarter to buy a skirt to wear with a top you already have then to buy a dress. Of course it is also worth considering if you will ever wear that piece of clothing again. If you won't, don't buy it.
• Take advantage of return policies. If you haven't worn an item after a week of owning it, consider returning it. You probably won't wear it.
• Poshmark makes it easy to sell clothes. Take a picture with your phone and use the app to submit it to their marketplace. Then wait for someone to make an offer or buy it.

3. Use Different Boxes or Containers to Hold Things As You Clean.

When you go to clean a room, have a box for immediate donation, trash, and to sale. After you are done cleaning, immediately take the items in the donation box to Goodwill, Salvation Army, another family, etc… and trash the trash. From that point you are only working with the things you wanted to keep and the things you wanted to sale. Plus, your house is that much cleaner!

4. Over time…

Clean as you go. It's much easier to get rid of things once every few days/weeks/months than it is to do everything in one day. In fact, I could see it being a fantastic goal to get rid of one thing every day for 365 days of the year. Imagine how many fewer items your home would have!

5. Ask yourself:

• Would you buy it again? How much would you be willing to take if someone offered you money for it right now?
• Do you use it or wear it? Put a sticky note on each item of clothing you have, if you don't wear an item this month or this year, consider selling it or donating it.
• Would someone else appreciate this item more than you?
• In the case of groceries, will it be consumed this week/month/year? If you aren't planning on consuming veggies or fruits within the next 5 days, don't buy them. And even if you are, if you aren't planning on consuming 20 pounds of veggies or fruits in the next week (or turning them into something delightful and less time bound like jelly), don't buy them. Clean out your fridge every time you go to use an item. If it's old, toss it.
• When giving a gift, ask if the gift fits the person's personality or if it is something you would find useful. If not, don't give it. Don't contribute to others' hoarding problems by contributing products to their home that they will only keep because you bought or gave them something.

What are your favorite methods to organize, clean, and declutter? Have you heard any of these tips before?

* I'm participating in the SITS Girls' February Writing Prompts. Are you?

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