How to declutter your space
Rid your space of unnecessary clutter for a fresh start to the new year
Each new year allows an exciting opportunity for a fresh start. Be it in our professional or personal lives, the new year is often an ideal time to reevaluate your life and make adjustments, changes, or improvements, like pursuing a new skill or focusing on a healthier lifestyle.
For those who struggle with a cluttered space, there is no better time than the present to reassess the necessity of items you have collected throughout the year.
To help determine which items to let go of, consider using the following questions as guidelines and start your new year fresh and clutter free.
Do you find yourself collecting items you rarely use?
According to the Mayo Clinic, acquiring items that are seemingly useless or unneeded, such as trash or napkins from a restaurant, are common behaviors that border on hoarding. Do you have items around the house that have gone unused for more than a year? If so, consider giving them away or donating them to a good cause in your community.
Do you struggle parting ways with any possession, regardless of its value?
Often times, deciding what to keep and what to throw away can be difficult because certain items may hold some sort of nostalgic value. If your space is full of possessions that hold neither emotional nor monetary value, such as old newspapers, books, or clothing, make room for the things that do hold value.
Recognizing the difference between items that are cluttering your space and cherished possessions is important in attempting to spruce up your home.
What is the difference between collecting and hoarding?
An old family photograph, souvenir from a trip, or a collection of items passed down through generations may hold a special place your heart. Collected items like these hold an intrinsic value to the owner.
According to the International OCD Foundation, another important distinction between collecting and hoarding lies in the display of such items. For collections, possessions are prominently displayed and organized, while individuals exhibiting signs of hoarding, often keep their possessions in disarray. If a box of old concert tickets lives in the back of your closet, you may be able to give it away without ever missing it.
Does my excessive collecting have a negative impact on my living space?
As the Mayo Clinic suggests, if excessive amounts of items around the house make areas either unlivable or unusable, such as not being able to cook in the kitchen or properly use the bathroom, living spaces may not be the only part of your life being negatively impacted. Disarray in the home may lead to difficulty making decisions and limited social interaction. It is important to remember that just because you have the space, does not mean it needs to be filled to the brim.
What is the next step?
If you said yes to one or more of these questions, the start of a new year is the perfect time to reevaluate what possessions around the home can be thrown away, donated, or even sold. Numerous community organizations can facilitate donations for certain items, while city garbage organizations can facilitate trash removal. You can also try selling items online, through websites like Craigslist or eBay. A fresh start and an uncluttered home is the perfect way to begin a new year.
If you or a loved one plans to get rid of unnecessary clutter in 2015, it may also be a good opportunity to downsize your space and consider senior living communities. Find a Holiday Retirement community near you or a loved one to visit and learn more.