5 Ways to Declutter Your Home and Living Space

If you want your home to be a haven you can look forward to returning to, enjoying a peaceful oasis to unwind in, it's important to create an environment that reflects that. A relaxed Zen-like atmosphere has often been linked to minimalism and simplicity, while clutter can create a place that feels chaotic and stressful, making it difficult to relax. If your bedroom is cluttered with "stuff" it can even make getting a good night's rest difficult. Read on to know more...

Studies have been conducted on the effect of clutter on stress levels and its connection to depression, including research by UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives of Families. After purchasing a property among the Whistler homes for sale or anywhere else, it can provide a brand new start for avoiding clutter from piling up in the first place, but if you aren't moving anytime soon, here's how you can declutter...

Follow the KonMari Method

Japanese organization guru Marie Kondo pioneered the art of decluttering, something that's referred to as the KonMari technique, outlined in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In Japan, tidiness is a way of life - Kondo applies the well-known feng shui principles to that. It includes cleaning smaller areas, little by little each day, and discarding one item for every new one brought into the home. She says to only keep objects that truly "spark joy" and eliminate the rest. What remains should all have their own spots in the house. It can take time depending on how much clutter you have, anywhere from only a few hours to several months or more.

Slowly Build Momentum

If you have a lot of junk and the thought of decluttering has you so overwhelmed that you continuously put it off, instead of tackling it all at once, do it gradually. Slowly build momentum by scheduling in five to 10 minutes a day for the task.

Use the Box Technique

Get four boxes and a marker, labeling them: keep, trash, donate/give away, and relocate. Now go through each room, one by one, and place every item into one of them. That means everything in the drawers, on shelves, in the closet, and in medicine cabinets. You can go for it all at once or do it over weeks, or even months. No matter which you choose, it will allow you to see how many items you own and whether or not you truly need them, or whether they "spark joy," borrowing a bit from KonMari.

Ask Your OCD Friend to Help

If you have a friend who is a neat freak, never allowing clutter to pile up anywhere in her (or his) house, ask for help. Many people who enjoy staying organized will love helping you do the same. For each item you decide to keep, your friend should agree with your reasoning. If not, it's time to eliminate it.

Take Control Over the Stacks of Mail and Other Paperwork

If your biggest problem is piles of paperwork and stacks of mail, you need baskets or other organizers. And, most likely, to toss some of it in the recycling bin. Separate out the coupons, bills, paper invites, credit card offers, and so on into different piles. Anything that isn't necessary goes into recycling. Obviously, you don't want any bills lost so those should go into a priority bin, if you're still getting them on paper that is.

Whenever possible, if there is an option to sign up to receive it by email instead of regular mail, opt for that. Invitations can be transferred onto your calendar with a reminder to respond and then recycle them. If you're getting unwanted mailings, the Federal Trade Commission's consumer information site will tell you how to stop it. 

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