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5 Tips to Declutter Your Home

“Treasure your relationships, not your possessions”. ~ Anthony D’Angelo

Clutter is all around us. In our homes, our cars, on our computers! It becomes especially challenging as we age, as we have accumulated physical possessions all our lives. We have years of birthday and holiday gifts that we may or may not use (or even like!).

Or we may love our homes full of “things”, souvenirs from trips taken with loved ones or that great pair of shoes we love as artwork, but we realize that it’s a little out of control or we’re moving to a smaller home and need to “downsize”. Perhaps we just want to return to simplicity…or be able to find our car keys.

As we grow older, there can be a number of reasons that we want to declutter (or downsize) our possessions. The Swedes call it Döstädning, but it was made popular in the book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson.

For whatever reason, once we decide that we truly are ready to declutter our homes (and lives), how do we go about it?

5 Tips to Declutter Your Home

Choose one room

Start small and simple. Choose a room where you have less of an emotional attachment, like a garage or bathroom. Decluttering and organizing is easier when you can ease into it.

Do it, but take your time

Sometimes people get gung-ho and start off with a bang and then run out of speed or begin to feel overwhelmed and just give up. A better way is to set a schedule, being generous with your time once you get to more “emotional” spaces, like the living room.

You want to allow yourself the time to consider your decisions and yet keep moving. Taking your time will also allow you to rest when you’re tired or just feel “done” for the day.

Ask for help

There are many different types of help we can ask for when it comes to decluttering. Everyone seems to have that one friend who has few material possessions and can help us be ruthless when it comes to thinning out our “stuff”.

If you don’t have such a friend, or if you would prefer to call a professional to help walk you through it, there are many local, professional organizers that can be found here.

Keep, Sell, Donate or Trash

This is the sacred rule of decluttering. Determine what items should go where, once they leave your home. Is it broken? Trash it. Is it valuable (to the general public, not just yourself)? Sell it. Would it be helpful to someone in need? Donate it.

Respect the Re-Gift

As you’re looking at the massive slow-cooker that you haven’t used in a few years, if you’re able to consider a young family or neighbor that has many mouths to feed, it may help you to know that the item will have a better life and be of more use to someone else.

Regifting has gotten a bad name. We feel badly or guilty for giving something away that was given to us, as though we are disregarding the giver of the gift. But if the gift no longer suits us or serves us, do you think that the giver of the gift is really consumed with wondering if you’re using your gift (even years later)?

Wrap Up

If your goal is to have less “stuff” and you’re considering downsizing, check out Downsizing – 12 Important Tips for additional help and tips.

If you or a loved one may be dealing with a hoarding disorder, you can get help here.

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Do you have questions about how you can better support your loved one while they age in place in South Florida or regarding homecare in general? Please contact CareGivers of America here: Contact or call us toll free: 800-342-4197

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*No information in this article is to be taken as advice, medical or otherwise. This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or refence purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.

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