Your job, family, social life and other commitments can often make it difficult to keep everything around the house in ship-shape. Say you’re looking forward to inviting, wining and dining guests in your home and must pull everything together quickly — which is somewhat overwhelming. Where to start? Why do so many cherished furnishings and accents suddenly look so shabby and tired? What counts as clutter anyway?
We’re here to offer suggestions that may help!
The Difference Between Decluttering and Deep Cleaning
Cleaning involves removing dust, dirt and germs, like vacuuming the carpets and underneath the couch and chair cushions. You’ll also want to spray, wipe and buff tables as well as counters and cupboards. Empty cabinets and drawers, rub them clean with a wet rag and mop the floors. Don’t forget the hard-to-reach, often-ignored places such as light fixtures, ledges and cabinet tops. Descale showerheads and faucets to get them sparkling, then remove bugs and cobwebs from the windows and screens before giving them a good wash. Spot-clean upholstery and carpets, remove smudges and fingerprints from doors and frames, scrub down blinds. You can even take the garden hose out to the garbage cans and sanitize them afterwards.
Decluttering, on the other hand, means letting go of anything you no longer use or love. Only retain the items you want, find the right spots for them, and put them back there once you’ve finished using them to keep the room looking tidy and organized.
Tips to Declutter Your Home
You have already defined your goal: you want to get rid of items you don’t use or need anymore and make space for the things that are valuable and indispensable in your home. We suggest you get everything required to do the job together before getting started. Buy storage containers for items you want to keep in the garage, attic or basement. Collect boxes to put stuff in that you want to recycle, donate to charity or make available at a garage sale. Invest in labels and Sharpies. You may even want to rent a dumpster if you have many bits and pieces or large items such as a mattress that is not in good enough shape to sell or donate. The company you rent from will haul it away when you are done.
Decide Which Rooms to Focus On
We suggest you declutter your entryway, living room, kitchen, dining room, guest bathroom and bedroom for entertainment purposes. All of these may not be clutter hot spots, so make a list of the areas that need help and tackle one space at a time. You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish a room, stand back to inspect your work and realize you have attained your goal because it looks fabulous.
Create a Timeline
Give yourself plenty of time. Set attainable goals in the weeks before the big day. Decide when to finish tasks — based on the room’s size and the number of items you need to sort — and plan on having time each day or weekend to establish order.
Create a Sorting System
We recommend you label the storage bins or cartons: ‘keep,’ ‘throw out,’ ‘store,’ and ‘donate,’ or simply create your own system. However you do it, the fact remains that you need a strategy when you embark upon decluttering the all-important kitchen, dining room and bathroom areas. You want to decide what to do with each item. Hold onto those you need and use, either give away or throw out those that no longer have a function and store the items you use seasonally or have sentimental value.
Empty the keep-box containing the objects you use and place them in their newly designated spots. Put the articles you wish to give to charity or sell in a storage bin in the garage, throw those that are not good enough away, and move the box to the next room.
Invest in the Right Storage Solutions
You have numerous on-site or in-home storage options, from differently sized containers with lids to units with drawers, crates, tubs, baskets and file cabinets. Label the receptacles or fix an inventory list to their sides before stacking them neatly in a designated area. Doing so will make your life a lot easier should you need a specific item in the future. You can even consider renting an off-site storage space for bulky items you do not have room for but do not want to get rid of, such as a sofa.
Plan for Regular Decluttering
You will probably find that a comprehensive decluttering project is a huge undertaking. Plan to do this every few months to make it easier to prepare for the next time you have guests staying over or when you host another party.
Find New Furniture at Home Zone Furniture
You may find that you need a few accents and accessories now that you have created order in your home. Perhaps you would like a new lamp, or tealights to decorate the sideboard, or a throw for the guest bedroom or living room sofa, or another end table or dining bench. How about a fresh, fluffy pillow for the recliner? Contact our Home Zone team if you have questions about implementing a particular theme.
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