Decluttering is considered tedious and intimidating. But, you don’t need to throw half of your stuff away or spend eight hours cleaning up your whole apartment. There's a simpler way to declutter and it's called organization.
Of course, you will have to throw some of the things away. But, let's face it - you're not using them anyway.
A decluttered personal space equals a happier life. And no, we're not exaggerating.
Yes, You Need To Do It
You might tend to ignore the clutter and mess around you. We've all been there. But, the fact is that clutter causes stress and wastes your time. Just think of all the times you've lost your mind looking for something in the piles of clothes, or rummaging through unsorted boxes.
Being surrounded by tons of unnecessary stuff can also make you feel suffocated. Sorting things out will take the weight off your shoulders and motivate you to be more productive.
With a clean and organized apartment, you'll spend less time searching for things, and more time focusing on what you love, like hanging out with your friends and family, working and adventuring.
You can also make money by selling some of the stuff you don’t need on eBay.
And, a clean house improves your social and sex life because clutter is one of the main reasons why people don't invite friends over.
We'd say those are some solid reasons to start decluttering your home right away.
Organize, Don't Throw Away
When it comes to this topic, somehow the advice always comes down to getting rid of most of your stuff. Of course, hearing that makes every guy shudder. So, it's not exactly the greatest tip.
Now, here's a revolutionary idea. Before you throw away 80% of your possessions, how about just organizing your place better? It's possible with a good system.
We suggest organizing and upgrading instead of throwing away.
Don't get rid of the garbage bags just yet; you will still need them. But, the focus should be on organizing your place in a way that makes sense to you. This system will help you find anything you need in seconds.
Secondly, upgrade the items you don't use anymore. Here's what we mean: Instead of letting that old backpack sit around in the back of your closet, get one you will actually use.
Everyone should have one multi-purpose backpack. Ideally, with a padded laptop sleeve perfect for a daily commute, and comfortable shoulder straps ideal for a hike. Herschel Little America Backpack is one of our favourites because it fits all the criteria.
When it comes to the items you need to get rid of, develop a system. Divide the items into the good old "throw away/give away/sell" categories. But, that doesn't mean parting with clothing items or memories dear to you.
Here's an idea: forget about the "Have I used this item in the last year?" system and switch to "Do I like this item?" instead.
This means that keeping something in case you need it someday is not a good enough reason. Same goes for the presents you got from friends and relatives that you feel bad to throw away even though you know you'll never use them.
Only you get to decide how to organize your personal space. Don’t like that painting that was a present from your in-laws? Sell it. Can't stand the sweater your sister gave you for Christmas? Donate it. It really is that simple.
The upgrading system will allow you to have only the items you love to wear in your closet. And, when you know exactly what pieces of clothing you have and love, it makes packing for adventures infinitely easier and faster.
The First Drawer Is The Hardest
Today is the day! You will finally declutter your apartment. But, there's so much work. And you don't even know where to start. Maybe you'll just do it some other time.
As with everything else in life, the task might seem impossible until you get started. But as long as you come prepared, it's nothing that can't be done.
Set aside a good portion of time to do this. We're not saying it should take you eight hours, but you will need at least two or three, depending on the size of your home (and the amount of mess).
Don't start after work, when you're already stressed and tired. The whole thing will turn into an exhausting chore, and you probably won't finish in one go. You'll leave an even bigger mess for tomorrow.
It's best to do this over the weekend when you're relaxed and have plenty of time. You might discover that decluttering can even feel therapeutic.
Aside from time, you will need good music, a few garbage bags and some boxes. Regardless of whether you're giving something away, selling, or throwing out, you will need one garbage bag for each pile. The boxes will be useful for the items you decide to keep.
Before you begin and start panicking, divide the work into sections in a way that seems logical to you. Divide the work into rooms, and rooms into categories. However you choose to do it, stick to one section until you're done with it. Otherwise, you will end up with a complete mess in several rooms instead of just one.
The final piece of advice before you begin - start with the easiest room. Doing the toughest room first will only leave you frustrated and probably deter you from the whole task. Starting small will immediately give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to move on to bigger tasks.
If that means cleaning up your desk drawer first, or sorting out your socks, so be it. Just remember to go one task at a time, one drawer at a time, and one room at a time.
Ready, Set, Declutter!
You're finally ready to get down and dirty, and start sorting through the mess.
An important note, though - don't buy or make any containers or new pieces of furniture before you finish organizing. Put a hold on that awesome closet you had your eye on. First, check how much wardrobe you will actually have by the end of the process. Besides, buying containers before you have a clear purpose for them will only lead to more clutter.
Flat surfaces get messy first simply because they are easily accessible. It's easier to throw the book you're reading on the desk instead of putting it back on the shelf. Same goes for all the small objects like keys, pens, stationery, and even food.
No judging here, we all do it sometimes. But, it's important to keep those flat surfaces like desks, countertops and shelves free of clutter. Remember, they are easily seen by everyone who comes to your home. Move everything that doesn’t belong on there to the drawers and closets.
For example, if your keys are always all over the place, you can easily tame them with a handy Orbitkey Premium Leather Key Holder. You will never have to worry about losing or misplacing them around the apartment.
When it comes to your drawers and closets, try to keep the same categories together; clothes with clothes, belts with belts, documents with documents. No need to categorize by colours or label your boxes, unless that's something you find helpful.
Aside from that, the only rule is to organize your personal space in a way that makes sense to you. If that means keeping the belts in a box under your desk, sure. The important thing is that you always know where they are and can reach them easily.
Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, and throw in a bit of DIY to your decluttering process.
You can quickly make a drawer organizer from plywood or even cereal boxes. Keep your pens, markers and other stationery in soup cans attached to a metal panel with magnets. Store your bathroom essentials in a DIY wooden crate. Or simply make use of old shoe boxes to store everything from shoes to fishing gear.
Just like you need to clean up your home, make sure to declutter your phone, computer and wallet because we often tend to neglect the mess we leave there.
When it comes to the wallet, the Bellroy Note Sleeve Leather Wallet is both elegant and efficient and helps you keep organized with its pull tab storage for less used cards.
Adopt The Anti-Clutter Attitude
There's a good chance you won't finish everything you planned in one day. That's ok if you've completed the room you started working on.
You're done decluttering once all the trash is out of the house, all the flat surfaces are clean, and all the items are safe in their new places. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to work for you.
At the end of the day, decluttering is a way to take care of yourself and surround yourself with more quality things. A tidy place will help you feel better and give you more time to improve your daily routine and even pamper yourself.
For example, treat yourself to the Triumph And Disaster Stash Box grooming kit and then recycle the box to store your baseball cards, tools or knives.
Here's the thing, however - unless you adopt the right attitude, the clutter will keep entering your life and your personal space.
So, make it your priority to throw away any junk you see lying around the house every day. Clean the open surfaces once a week, and closed storages at least once a month. Organize, upgrade and keep a healthy balance of your possessions, for a home that stays clutter-free.