As an adult, you have probably hoarded a lot of life’s memories and diligently put them in a box, wardrobe, attic or guest room. It is difficult to throw away physical things that have meaning to us, right? I definitely understand this because I was a hoarder as well. I didn’t like to throw away stuff and had items of clothing over a decade old. Books that I would never read again, clothes that hadn’t been worn for several years, even VHS tapes were still in a box gathering dust.
This type of behaviour is bad enough in a large home but it is really self-sabotaging in a small home. Space can be limited enough in small homes, just with necessities, however if you hoard unnecessary items as well, then a small home becomes even more claustrophobic.
If you are reading this article, then you probably want to get started with decluttering your small home. Well, here are a few tips that may help you get started in getting back some of that much needed storage space that your clutter is taking up.
- Start with 3 boxes – To begin, have three boxes or bags ready and go to the area where all the clutter is. One box is for things you want to keep, the second box is for things to recycle or bin and the third box is for things to give to charity organizations.
- Be ruthless – Start with the mindset that this has to be done and don’t over think your decisions. Clothes are probably going to be a big part of your decluttering mission, so ask yourself “when was the last time I wore this item of clothing?”. If you haven’t worn it in 6-12 months, then you probably won’t want to wear it again. Yes, there are items of clothing that will still have the price tag on it, however if you haven’t worn it in several months, then put it down as a poor shopping choice and give it to charity. Someone else will appreciate it more.
- Have a friend or family member back you up – Having someone else to help you make decisions will make the whole process a lot less painless. There will be a lot of ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ moments on whether to throw out certain items, therefore it is good to have someone else there to help you decide. A person without sentimental attachment to that item will be more ruthless and decisive. An extra person or two will also make it more fun. Why not make an evening of it and have some snacks and drinks with friends. Decluttering can be fun and maybe your friends will see some stuff they can take off your hands.
- Don’t be over sentimental – It can be difficult to get rid of certain things but try not to be overly sentimental about trivial items. For example, many people associate certain memories with items of clothing. A graduation dress, a first day at work outfit, a sports kit when you played a sport several years ago, a party outfit that you wore to a certain celebration. These items have been kept as memories, physical items linked to positive memories. This can be the same with kid’s toys, prams and nursery things.
- Keep heirlooms and important memories – It is important to really decide if certain things are important or not. Keep heirlooms. The first day your daughter went to school may be a major event for you, therefore keeping her little school uniform as a memory is understandable. However, keeping that black dress you wore with the girls 5 years ago because you looked great and it was an awesome night, is not a reason to hold onto it. To put it into one sentence, ‘don’t keep symbols that are related to small events’. Also if you have bulky VHS tapes of memorable events, then transfer them to CD and digital. You can back them up on more than one copy.
Decluttering can be difficult, especially the longer you have been in one place. If you have been in the same home for several years, then it is easy to gather things as time goes by. It is not easy to throw things away because it is human nature to hold onto things that are our belongings. The problem is, many of our belongings are just gathering dust and don’t have any real meaning in our lives.
If you declutter your small space, then I promise that you will feel a lot better after it. It will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. The main benefit of decluttering is that you will get your room or your wardrobe back. And of course, you will free up some valuable space in your small home. I hope you found the top 5 decluttering tips for small homes helpful. Now start planning your decluttering party.