Perhaps it’s a New Years resolution – or you finally got to Spring cleaning, and are going to round up junk in your home. Maybe you’re going to aim to consolidate to make room for the new. Regardless, here are a few tips from our combined experience organizing spaces, and hauling junk:
1. If you haven’t used it in two years; seriously consider getting rid of it. Everyone has a different standard, but two years is a pretty good litmus test for whether or not you’re actually going to use an item. For things like clothes, games, exercise equipment, if you haven’t used it and don’t intend to – strongly consider dumping it to make way for cleanliness. Here’s a technique. Consider labeling everything you put in your basement, attic, or garage. Put the date on the item, along with the contents, if needed. Check the dates from time to time. If you use an item, update the date. If, during the course of cleaning, you start finding items with dates exceeding two years, there’s a good chance those items aren’t going to be used in the near future, and you could consider dumping them.
2. Organize. Organization is helpful for a few reasons. For one, it helps get things up out of the way so we’re not tripping over our things. Secondly, it helps us understand what we have, and where it is. Oftentimes those with homes full of stuff don’t even have an idea of what is inside them. Especially in severe cases like hoarding. Organization allows you to quickly find things, not accidentally buy duplicates, and make informed decisions on stuff.
3. Consolidate. Even if you’re not going to get rid of things, consolidating things is a great step at creating space. How many duplicate boxes of a couple strands of Christmas lights do you have? How about bags with clothing or towels and blankets? If you bought plastic boxes and consolidated these items, would you save space? There’s a good chance you would!
4. Label things. We love labeling. Simple labels – even just permanent marker on a piece of colored tape, helps us quickly determine where things are. There is nothing worse than hanging onto something for a few years with the intent of using said item later – then not being able to find it. Label things and avoid this frustration.
5. Work as a team. There are a few benefits to teamwork. For one, you can cover more ground and move quicker that you could on your own. Teamwork generally increases safety, and helps you move stuff from the back of the attic or basement more easily. Team lifts are generally safer. Plus, two people can be better than one as you deliberate on whether or not to keep something.
6. Consolidate seasonal things. Are all of your seasonal holiday decorations spread out? We recommend consolidating all seasonal items in one place. This makes it easier to find them, and helps in organizational efforts. 7. Consider donating. There are a number of organizations which accept used or lightly used items. We encourage all of our clients to seek these places out, and donate as much as possible. Not only can you help someone in need, but you can simultaneously clean out your space.