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Five Tips for Becoming a Decluttering Machine

Denver, CO

Did you know that the average household has something like 300,000 items? Let that sink in. That is a staggering number. So it’s no surprise that we all feel overwhelmed by our stuff and have a hard time staying organized in our homes. But regular decluttering can be life-changing, even for the faint of heart. Here are five tips for becoming a decluttering machine!

1) Own it! It’s all about your perspective. Instead of viewing decluttering as a painful chore, think of it as an opportunity to create space. People often associate decluttering as stressful, but it can actually be quite the opposite. It’s incredibly liberating to get rid of stuff. I see it all the time with clients. Once they give themselves permission to let go, they go from feeling stressed to feeling light and FREE in an instant. So grab those trashbags and be confident. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to manage, which means life is more peaceful, and staying organized is SO much easier. Trust me, I see it every day!

A photo of Kristi Omdahl holding a roll of black trash bags and a roll of white trash bags with captions above her head that read trash or donate

2) Start small. To avoid overwhelm, take it easy on yourself! Do a little at a time. For example, pick one drawer that contains objects you’re not attached to, like the junk drawer. Don’t pick the basement crawl space full of sentimental items from your childhood (tackle that down the road as you gain confidence and experience). Focus on decluttering that one drawer before you move on to the next space, and get rid of items you no longer need or use. Make a list of your top pain point drawers, cabinets, and closets, and tackle them one at a time, over time. Make a completion goal for each space and put it on your calendar.

A junk drawer organized with clear drawer organizers

3) Negotiate. If you’re having trouble letting go of something, think of it as a negotiation versus an emotional experience. Detach yourself. Remember, while stuff can bring us joy and serve a practical purpose, it’s just stuff, and 80% of what we have in our homes we don't use. Let THAT sink in. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to guide you through the process:

  • Is the item an everyday essential? If so, keep it accessible.

  • Is it an occasional item, like your crockpot? Keep, but don't store in prime real estate.

  • Is it a seasonal item, like holiday decor? Keep but store away until the relevant season.

  • Is the item damaged or broken? Trash or recycle.

  • Do you have multiples of the same item? Keep one, donate, or trash the rest.

  • Is the item for "just in case x happens"? These are BIG clutter culprits! Toss or donate.

  • Does the item align with your current lifestyle and goals? Be truthful with yourself.

  • Is the item more important to me, or is having the space more important to me? 

Holiday ornaments stored in a red storage box with compartments

4) Make someone’s day. Clients always ask me if they should try to sell the items they don’t want. And my response always is, is it worth your time? Most people say no. The amount of time it takes to sell one item is not worth the time you will spend or the money you will make. Consider donating instead. It takes very little time, it quickly removes unwanted items from your home (byeee clutter!), and it will make someone else’s day! So many people in our communities don’t have what they need. If you feel guilty for getting rid of something, just remember that you are enriching another person or family’s life. It's a GREAT way to have gratitude and give back.

A lot of black trash bags filled with donations

5) Do it on the regular. Decluttering isn’t a one-and-done task, which probably sounds frustrating. But there’s good news! I find with clients that once they declutter a space, they are SO motivated to keep it that way. They think twice before adding anything to it and occasionally tidy it up. As you declutter your home, this will start to become more and more natural for you, and it will become part of your normal routine. And all that stuff you got rid of? You’ll never miss it. I promise.

Need help? We offer purge sessions that are solely focused on helping people determine what to keep, donate, and trash. Give us a shout!


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