Look around your house. How much House’s Extra junk is just sitting there, doing nothing? If you’re like most of us, your house is filled with unnecessary junk you no longer want. It’s ugly, it’s obstructive, and it’s not doing you any good.
But what should you do with it?
Tackling the Job by Breaking Things Down
Unless your house is already in impeccable order, you might feel intimidated or overwhelmed to see how much junk there is. Decluttering your entire house and getting rid of every piece of junk could be a nightmarishly challenging task.
The best way to approach this is to break the job down. Instead of seeing it as a massive, overwhelming whole, look at it in terms of its components. Start categorizing junk into different types and use the systematic organization to tackle the job step by step.
Types of Junk
Most houses have three types of junk. The faster you recognize and categorize your junk into these categories, the faster you’ll begin cleaning out your household. Each type of junk should be treated in a slightly different way.
- Potentially useful junk. Potentially useful junk is any piece of junk or clutter that might be useful to you in the future, even if it’s not useful now. Old holiday decorations, renovation tools, and other temporarily useful items fall into this category. It’s up to you how you want to address this category. Sometimes, it’s useful to reorganize these items and/or put them into long-term storage. Other times, it’s better to sell them or donate them so someone else can get used to them.
- Useless but functional junk. Useless but functional junk is a category that includes items that could be useful to some people but aren’t useful to you currently. For example, you might have old clothes that are clean and in good condition but are no longer your style or no longer fit you. These items are best suited to being sold in a garage sale, donated to a thrift store, or given to people you know.
- Useless, nonfunctional junk. Everything else falls into the category of useless, nonfunctional junk. This junk occupies space in your house despite having no real value to you and no functionality apparent to others. In this category, the best action is probably to recycle your junk or rent a dumpster and throw your junk away (assuming your junk isn’t hazardous).
So how do you go about categorizing all your possessions into these categories?
There are a few organizational systems you could follow up on.
- Room by room. Many people approach house decluttering in a room-by-room manner. Instead of cleaning the entire house, they focus on cleaning only one room at a time. They spend the day clearing out the bedroom, then the next day clearing out the bathroom, and proceed to different rooms until the house is finally clear.
- Individual responsibilities. You can also divide responsibilities based on the individuals in your house. This is especially important if you have a family with multiple members who all have their clutter. Each family member is responsible for their possessions or rooms, while people can come together for shared clutter.
- Easy to hard. You may also prefer doing the work from easy to hard, especially if you need motivation and momentum to get started. For example, you can get rid of any obvious trash sitting around the house, then dig deeper by focusing on less obvious pieces of clutter.
Tips for Eliminating More Junk
If you want to eliminate even more junk from your house, and do it effectively, follow these tips:
- Use goals and milestones for motivation. Setting goals is an effective motivational tool. Even if your goals are small and simple, they will help you find inspiration to work.
- Get everyone in the house involved. Don’t let other family members stand by while you do everything.
- Do a little bit each day. This isn’t a marathon. You can effectively declutter your house by doing just a few minutes of work every day.
- Focus on detachment. For many of us, getting rid of things is difficult – even if our possessions are useless as clutter. If this is an issue, focus on detaching yourself emotionally from your possessions; can you live without these things?
Your job doesn’t have to be perfect, nor does your house have to be completely free of clutter for you to find satisfaction in your junk removal efforts. Even a single step toward decluttering can help create a more pleasant environment for your entire family.