With the weather finally warming up and most States bringing to opening up retail and recycling units, it’s only a matter of time before thousands of Americans take that yearly week off to do the one thing that we all have in common: cleaning out the spare room!
No matter how big or how small your spare room, or even how often it gets used, the house’s spare room always tends to turn into the junk room. It’s like the living embodiment of that old adage ‘out of sight out of mind’.
The Junk Room Phenomena
It’s not all our fault though, quite often, the spare room gets used to store all of those bulky items you don’t want around the house, and if it’s not being used regularly for guests half the time, there is no real reason to make it look presentable.
No more, though! As families plan get-togethers and the spare room’s sheets get washed and ironed, ready to be used, you need to tackle the beast and get going.
If you’re ready to tackle this spare room junk room pile that has been troubling you for the past few months, you are lucky to have landed on this article because we have six tips to help you tackle your decluttering in an effective way.
Take What You Need in With You
Let’s face it, decluttering a spare room is not everyone’s idea of a fun-filled Saturday morning, and for most of us, any opportunity not to do this task will be taken.
This is why you really should be taking in all of the items that you will need for your decluttering experience into the room with you.
Items such as trash bags, labels, pens, and even the vacuum cleaner can be helpful during your decluttering time, and not taking these items in with you means you have an excuse to get “distracted” outside the spare room while you are looking for what you need.
Set Time Slots for Yourself and Take Breaks
Getting started is half the battle, but one ninja tip to get you started with a bit more enthusiasm is to set a regular time slot for yourself.
The Pomodoro Technique of taking 20 minutes to work and 5-minutes as a break is a great technique to use here, splitting your decluttering job up into easy-to-digest 20-minute slots, with 5-minute breaks in between. Usually, after 4 Pomodoro sessions, a bigger break of 15 minutes is required, the perfect amount of time to grab a coffee.
Make Your Bins: Trash, Goodwill, Keep, Store
Decluttering is not just picking stuff up and moving it from one pile to another; to be effective at decluttering, you need to have a plan for what you will do with the items you find.
One of the best ways to do this is to use the four bins method, including trash, Goodwill, keep, and store.
- Trash – anything that needs to go into the trash, items that are not good enough for donation. You can split the trash up into recyclable and nonrecyclable to minimize your environmental impact as much as possible.
- Goodwill – items that are still serviceable but that you don’t want anymore can be donated to Goodwill or any other charity near you.
- Keep – items that are in good condition, which mean something to you, and that you want to make use of can be kept.
- Store – if you are decluttering because there are bulky items in your spare room, or if you are going to be moving out, then having a store section for things you would like to keep but need to move out of the way is a good idea.
You may also like to add a fifth bin to your bin selection and call it ‘sell’. Be warned, though, selling on sites such as eBay and Craigslist only work if you have the enthusiasm actually to sell it; more often than that, the bin being just becomes another bin full of clutter.
Tackle One Zone First
If your spare room has always felt like a big task, then getting started on it can be very overwhelming, especially if there are lots of things to move around and declutter.
A great tip, in this case, is to zone off your spare room into smaller zones and concentrate on just that small area.
It’s up to you how you zone off your spare room, you may wish to cut it into quarters and do one corner at a time, or you may decide to tackle one piece of furniture, such as a large chest of drawers, at a time to break it up a bit.
Splitting your room into zones is a great way to break the task down into manageable and digestible chunks.
Try to Remove Emotions
It’s easier said than done but holding onto emotions about items is a one-way trip down the road to being a hoarder.
It’s perfectly acceptable to have a few sentimental items in your home, and even a few family heirlooms such as an antique wardrobe or a piece of art, but what’s not acceptable is to keep every single little thing you have ever owned because it has some sentimental meaning to you.
Although this tip may seem a little cold-hearted, you do need to remove emotions from your decluttering experience to be more efficient at it.
Take Things Out as Soon as They’re Sorted
Our very last tip on this article is when you have finished your decluttering for either the day or for just your time allowance, which is to remove the things that need to be removed straight away.
Many people will tackle a decluttering project, and once they have organized the items into bins or piles, they will leave the items in the room; this risks the stuff being amalgamated back into the clutter of the room and making the task even more difficult next time you go in.
So, bag up or bin-up up your items and take them straight out and put them where they need to be, be that in your car ready to be donated or in the trash ready to be taken to the recycling center.