March 30, 2012
Television shows like Clean House and Hoarders showcase just how disorganized and cluttered houses can become. Few of us fall into the category of hoarders, but many of us do need to simplify our living space and get rid of what we don’t need. As consumers, we have the propensity to overcrowd our homes with things. Every year or so, it’s a good idea to discard some stuff. If we wait too long to do so, cleaning out our homes can become a nearly impossible project to finish. We may have to enlist the help of a professional organizer or evaluate cheap storage options.
It’s important to target certain areas of your house at a time. Below are some suggestions about how to clean out specific areas.
Closets are an ideal place to start. They should be scrupulously organized at least every two years. Begin with your bedroom closet and then work your way to the other ones. Carefully examine every single thing you have in every single closet. If you have not used or worn it in the last two years, it needs to go in a pile of stuff you are going to dispose of. Once you’ve finished going through all your closets, you can take the throwaway pile to Goodwill or another second-hand store that accepts donations. If you lack sufficient shelving or racks in your closet, you should consider installing some to aid in organization.
Address your biggest problem area, the garage. The garage is where we tend to store just about everything there’s no room for in the house. You should clean this area out every single year. You should also make an effort not to put all of your excess things in the garage. You can clean out the garage in the same way you cleaned out your closets. Make a pile of the stuff you have not used in a year and donate it. Shelves and racks can be particularly beneficial. Put them up yourself or hire someone to help you do it. Get tools and gardening equipment off the ground and on a shelf. Try to clear out enough room to park at least one of your cars in the garage, if possible.
Organize everything else. Go from room to room in your house. Pay special attention to old books, hobby supplies, CDs, and movies. See-through, clear bins from companies like the Container Store can be used to store household items you frequently make use of. If you have more than fifty CDs in your house, think about converting them to MP3s on your computer and discarding them. If you have a Kindle, Nook, or other eReader, you can get rid of some of your book collection. Similarly, if you have a Netflix account, it may be time to evaluate what movies you can sell or donate.
Donate, sell, or throw out what you can. Efficiently organize the rest. If you still lack the space you truly need, locate a self storage facility that will be able to house some of your stuff.
Resource: Margot McClelland is a guest post writer on the subjects of homes and lifestyles.