Over the past couple of years decluttering has become a huge trend. There are claims from many different sources around the internet that decluttering improves your life in a myriad of ways including but not limited to: Reducing stress, improving relationships and even saving money.
Even if you don’t subscribe to the lofty ideals of minimalism, holding a garage sale can be a great excuse to clean out your home of dusty old items you may not want or need anymore. One of the issues around hosting a garage sale which is rarely considered until we are confronted with it is, “What should I sell?” Tips and advice for decluttering your home can actually be pretty useful for solving this dilemma.
I’ve compiled some of them here for you to consider:
One Room at a Time: Rome wasn’t built in a day, don’t expect to declutter your house all at once. Instead, set aside about a week before your garage sale and tackle a room or area every day. Picking through all your stuff and deciding what to get rid of can be time consuming and even frustrating or emotionally draining for some people. Tackling it this way will allow you to take your time and do a thorough job without being overwhelmed. Consider starting with your garage, if you have one, so you can then put aside items for the garage sale here. If you don’t have a garage, pick out a room for this purpose.
Three Box Method: While you are working, one room at a time, get three boxes to help you sort. Box #1 – Garbage. Box #2 – Things to keep. Box #3 – Garage Sale items. As you make your way through the house, sort all smaller items into one of these three boxes. Once you’ve done that, put them in their proper place right away, before you give yourself time to change your mind. Garbage the garbage, put aside garage sale items and organize and put away whatever you keep.
Turn Your Hangers Backwards: This one takes some preplanning. First take all the clothes you hang in your closet and turn all the hangers around so they face outward; as you wear and wash each item of clothing put it back in the closet with the hanger facing in as you normally would. After six months or so you can clearly see which items of clothing you never wore as those hangers will still be facing the wrong way. Now you know which clothing items you should probably get rid of.
Listen to Your Feelings: It sounds pretty sappy but many people form strong emotional attachments to the things they own. As you sort through your things take the time to think about whether you have such an attachment to each item. If you feel like you would sorely regret getting rid of a particular item, then hang on to it until the next time you have a garage sale or do a donation run. Your feelings for it may change over time or you may just end up keeping it. I suggest buying a large storage tub and using it for a “memory box” where the only things you put in it are things from your past that you feel you cannot let go of, such as high school yearbooks, things given to you by important people in your life, special mementos and so on. This way you are giving yourself permission to keep the things that are important to you, but also limiting the amount of things you keep.
Be Realistic: Once you’ve finished, your house might not look like a perfectly organized house from a magazine; However, with time and effort, you can organize your space in a way that makes sense to you and feel more comfortable in your home, knowing you’ve cleared out unnecessary clutter from your life.
Decluttering and minimalism are very broad subjects and I’m sure I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg here. If you are interested in learning more, there are many more informative websites and blogs online about this subject.
As always, I appreciate any comments and suggestions below.