As many people continue to stay home to flatten the curve of Coronavirus, you may have more free time on your hands. When working with my organizing clients to declutter, organize and simplify their lives, they tell me that one of the top reasons they never got around to decluttering was because they didn’t have the time. Now that time is not an issue for some people, there are other obstacles to consider, such as children and other family members also at home, closed retail stores, closed donation centers, not to mention the stress of the current pandemic.
In a world where we have less control, taking control of your own home environment can be a stress reliever, and it can help to improve your well-being. If you’d like to work on home decluttering projects at this time, check out my tips below.
Schedule a time to declutter
If you have children at home, this may be more challenging, but try to schedule a short length of time (anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours per day) to focus on your decluttering project. Usually, after a few hours, decision fatigue may set in, so it will be best to take a break at that point, and resume another day.
Decide where you want to begin
Make a list of all the areas in your home in need of decluttering, and then list those in your priority order. Maybe your home office is your top priority at this time, or maybe the kitchen pantry. Begin in that one space and focus on it until it is complete.
Bring in 5 boxes, bins or bags to categorize items to be removed from that space
- Donate/Give Away
- Sell (only make this category if you have a plan on how and where to sell things).
- Move to another room or space in your home.
Toss or recycle trash and recyclables
Remove the trash and recyclables you’ve gathered, according to your local disposal and recycling guidelines. If you have an overflow of trash, contact a junk hauler, at this time, they are an essential service and still operating.
Gather donations and items to be given away in one place
I usually tell my clients to donate items as soon as possible, but that is not possible with most charities closed or not accepting household donations at this time. If you’re not driving, you could put the donations in your car, for when places re-open. If you have a garage, basement or spare room, you could store donations there. If you’re living in a smaller space, box up donations into one corner of a room. Place a sheet, blanket or tablecloth over the boxes to help eliminate visual clutter.
Gather items to sell in one other place, and make a plan to sell them
Separate anything you deem worth selling. If you plan to sell online, take photos, write a description, and post those online now, or save selling online or in-person to consignment shops for a later date after the pandemic. Give yourself a sell-by date. For example, If you decluttered on April 1st, and you plan to donate anything that you haven’t sold within 6 months, write “sell by October 1st” on the boxes you’ve gathered.
Disperse some belongings to other rooms
Take the time to bring anything from the “move to another room” pile or box, and place those in the room where they belong.
Organize items you are keeping
Once the space is decluttered, you can place the items you are keeping back into that space in an organized manner using containers that you already own.
Make a shopping list for storage products needed
With many stores closed, and to practice social distancing, you probably don’t want to shop for new organizing supplies yet, unless you feel comfortable ordering them online. At this time, just make a list of what you need for the space you’ve decluttered. You will want to take measurements to help with finding the right storage products that will fit your space. For example, maybe you need bins, baskets, drawer dividers, or labels. Then order these things for delivery, or make a plan to shop for them once stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Move on to the next space
Once you’ve completed decluttering in that one area, now you can move onto the space that is your next highest priority. Repeat this process until you feel every space on your list is decluttered.
For a more detailed and personalized look at what will work for YOU in YOUR home, feel free to contact me for a free phone consultation to discuss your organizing needs and to learn more about On Task Organizing’s virtual organizing services.