St. Louis Real Estate Blog

Declutter your home for a whole new you!

August 11th, 2015 11:34 AM by Melanie Mitchell - Team Lead/Listing Specialist

6 Ways to Conquer the Piles: Decluttering Tips to Live By

staging my homeDecluttering living space shouldn’t be left until it’s time to stage it for listing photos – although it’s definitely a requirement at that point! Removing clutter has documented health benefits like increased air quality and productivity as well as a reduction in stress. For some, decluttering is a big task that can seem daunting but with these six tips, any size pile can be defeated while laying the foundation for new habits to keep up a clutter-free home.

  1. Make a Plan for Paper – One of the quickest items to pile up on counters, tables and – just admit it – pretty much anyflat surface, is paper.  By designating ONE spot where all incoming papers go, clutter from a variety of locations will be minimized instantly.  It’s a small change with a big impact.
  2. Identify Troublesome Areas – In my house, the breakfast counter is a magnet for random debris that seems to accumulate like magic.  Lucky me, awareness is key to staying unfettered by clutter.  Now that I know where the trouble spots are, it’s easy to incorporate them into my daily 5 minute declutter routine.  This consists of a short dash through the house with a keen eye focused on keeping things where they belong or finding them a home if they’re new.
  3. Keep a Donation Box Handy – Things fall out of fashion and items that still work are replaced with newer versions.  Donating the gently used or older models has the dual benefits of helping others while keeping your own storage needs more manageable.  Keep a bag or a box in the garage or other inconspicuous place for an always-handy place to accumulate enough to justify a trip to Goodwill or other donation center.
  4. Prioritize Spaces – Entries and high-traffic rooms like the kitchen and family rooms should get priority when looking at where to start and where to always be on the lookout for accumulation.  If a room is really cluttered, try prioritizing based on small sections – one shelf a day, for instance – to help the project not seem so daunting and to celebrate small victories that will keep you going with it.
  5. Be Loyal to the List – Lists are your friend! Make lists of areas to organize and/or declutter and then prioritize them as suggested above.  Make lists of items you want to sell rather than donate and then use Craig’s List and local Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade pages to find buyers.  Checking things off a list is a satisfying and effective way to turn a chore into a habit.
  6. Be Honest with Yourself – What are the chances you’ll wear that top again?  Do you really need that old camera you upgraded from last year?  What are all of those cords for? Asking the questions is a great first step, but the next part is far more important: giving an honest answer. If you haven’t worn a thing in 2 years, unless it’s a specialty item, you’re probably never going to wear it again so get rid of it.  The same goes with small kitchen appliances, knick knacks collecting dust on shelves and those craft projects you wish you had time/energy to tackle.
Posted in:General and tagged: #RealEstate
Posted by Melanie Mitchell - Team Lead/Listing Specialist on August 11th, 2015 11:34 AM

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