Declutter Your Home
I have been preparing our house for the market and in doing so, I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff!
I am definitely the hoarder in our house. My husband could live out of two bags, use about five kitchen items each year, and doesn’t gather anything for future use or hang on to much for sentimental value. (Which probably means the items he has hung on to mean a whole lot more!) I am always tucking something away here or stashing materials there…all in preparation for “some day.” It’s also part of the teacher in me. Do you know many teachers that don’t have a ton of stuff or utilize every bit of storage available?
But, over the last several years, I’ve been fairly good about going through things every six months and weeding out a little here and a little there.
Today I’ll be sharing six simple ways to declutter your home and why you should!
GIVE THINGS AWAY
It’s nice to make money, but sometimes you come across something that you really think someone else could use and you don’t want to throw it away. If it’s the perfect fit for that person, they may adopt the item and add their own wear and tear! Anyone that’s had children knows that kids go through things so fast and it’s nice to save a little money by taking hand-me-downs from a friend or relative. If the receiver decides they don’t want the item, let it be. They’ll either get rid of it on their own or decline the offer. If they choose the latter, maybe the rest of this list will help.
If you know you don’t want to purge an item from your house AND you know that you will use it in the future, but it’s not an everyday use item, pack it up. We have several containers of things in our garage that are full of items we use once or twice each year. I have added close to 100 boxes of things to simply declutter our home while it’s on the market. I took a look at everything and kept the essentials (well, maybe even more than the essentials), and packed up the rest.
THROW THINGS AWAY
Why are we so scared of this? If something is torn to pieces or an odd part to something you already got rid of, toss it. If people keep declining your free stuff, it’s probably because it’s not worth much…to a lot of people. Get rid of it. This can even be your last resort, but is something you may need to do.
CONSIGN YOUR ITEMS
Search online for consignment sales in your area. They are often run locally and take place every six months around here. (That’s how I got into the routine of weeding things out over the last few years.) Some take place in churches while others take place in expo centers and at the state fairgrounds.
You can also search for local consignment stores that operate like a normal business. They stock their inventory and sell items consumers bring to them for a percentage of the sale price. Some give you the money upfront (like when I dropped off over $100 worth of books to a local store) and some keep your information on file and cut you a check every few months.
Consigning may require a bit of work on your part. You’ll have to register since you’ll be receiving a portion of the profit from the sale. You’ll need to clean toys, check books for markings, launder clothes, and maybe even tag items. You’ll want to clean all of your items and charge or replace batteries before approaching any consignment sale. The better something looks or runs the more likely you’ll cash in on it. But in the end, someone will buy your things at the price you set with no negotiation or direct sale on your part.
The pictures in this post are my car full of items for a consignment sale. I made almost $400.
Sell things directly if you wish. You’ll still want to clean things up and have a price in mind. You can post things online or you could hold a yard sale. I ended up organizing a neighborhood garage sale where four households participated. We advertised on various sites and hung up signs. It took a little bit of teamwork to have everything set up and someone to keep an eye on the children, but when the early morning turned into daylight, we were all pleased with the results.
Once you have given, consigned, sold, packed, and thrown things out, you can create an itemized list with the estimated value of remaining items and drive them to a local donation center. You can also donate to various organizations. For example, we have donated gently used items to our church. Either way you go, ask for a donation slip of some form as evidence that you donated the items. This will come in handy when you prepare your taxes!
WHY? WHY? WHY?
I could ask, “Why not?” Why aren’t you go through your things to know what you have, where it came from, and if you use it or need it?
But I’ll just tell you some reasons why you should declutter your home.
You probably don’t NEED everything you have. It’s just there. But, someone else somewhere might actually NEED it!
You don’t have the space for it. If you’re having to dig through a number of items to get to the one thing you’re looking for…and you do this a lot in various places around the house…you might just have to revisit what the space is meant for and why you’re cramming so much into it.
You want to be safe. You don’t want so much stuff that your house is unsafe or unsanitary. Now, I’m definitely not that bad, but it happens!
You’re like us and you’re getting ready to move. You want to show your house, not your personal belongings. Moving things out before you’re actually moving helps potential buyers see your home and what it has to offer. They don’t need to see that you can fill every inch of your cabinets and closets. They need to see the storage space available to them. They need to see your floor space, not your shelves full of collectibles and books.
Plus, the less you have the less you have to tidy, pick up, put away, or clean! You’re not just decluttering your home, you’re simplifying your life!
When is the last time you decluttered your home?