We’ve made it through the holidays. Décor is now back in storage until next year. Holiday Décor just seems so warm and welcoming – putting it away is so sad. If you are anything like me, once everything is away, you start looking for things to do. With the weather so cold outside, indoor projects hold the most appeal. Whether you are thinking of selling your home this coming spring/summer or just want some productive projects to fill the long winter days, this is the perfect time to de-clutter.
One of the first things Stagers tell our clients is “de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter!” When you list your home – all closets, cupboards and storage areas are under scrutiny by the buyer. In many cases, Buyers have outgrown their existing home and need something with more storage. Ensuring your storage areas are clean, well-organized and de-cluttered is critical to making a great impression. Even if you are not planning on selling, organizing your storage space is a huge time saver as the busy months of summer and spring roll around.
To make it a simple task that can be completed in a short period of time, choose small projects. Start with something like the infamous kitchen “junk drawer”. Take 20-30 minutes and empty it out see what you need and use and what you don’t. It’s simple but feels so good when you are done. It’s so much easier to find things, you’ll be thrilled and motivated to move on to the next project.
Closets are a huge issue. If you have young children, you know how quickly they outgrow their clothes. Seems I’m constantly going through drawers and closets and sorting out the “too short/small” pile. I’m certain Canadian Diabetes has gotten to know me on a first name basis over the years! As children grow, their storage needs change. Consider investing in a closet organizer. Some organizing systems can start at $100 – $150 and can literally seem to double the amount of storage space in the same closet! This isn’t just for children. Many clients complain that they simply do not have enough storage space in their closets. When I installed a closet organizer in our master bedroom, I was amazed at the additional storage space! It was a great excuse for my wardrobe to expand….lol! So pick one closet for a day and have some fun! Then move on to the next project the following week.
Cupboards are often over looked when we de-clutter. How many times do we have to remove items we rarely, if ever, use, just to find the ones we want? Cupboards are hugely important if you are selling. Kitchen and bathroom storage can make or break a deal. I have a simple rule. If I haven’t used it in the last 2 years, I don’t need it! This helps keep the clutter in my house to a minimum.
Finally, how do we deal the sentimental items? I haven’t used it but “so and so” gave it/ made it for me and it’s special. I have children. Even though my oldest daughter is 18 and in University, I can still see my little pony tailed blond cutie happily running off the bus to bring me her latest art project. I found one yesterday as I was de-cluttering. Visions of my smiling girl were instantaneous. However, I do have an extensive collection of school treasures I keep in her “trunk”. These were special that had meaning for her and/or me. I do not have to keep every painting or coloring picture. So the first question I ask is “Is it special?” not really – then it can be re-cycled. If ever in doubt – ask the person who gave it to you. You may be surprised by the response “you actually still have that old thing? NO, I don’t mind if you recycle/ give it away.” If it is still important, then find a nice storage place where it can be accessible if/when required. After all that de-cluttering, you’re sure to find space somewhere.
Once I’ve de-cluttered, I always divide the items into 3 piles. One is garbage, no one will use it; the other is give away, someone may use it; and the final is garage sale. We all know how Winnipeggers’ love their garage sales! So use this down time wisely, and you’ll find you’ll have a fabulous garage sale come spring! Maybe make enough from the garage sale to buy some of those fabulous closet organizers! Happy De-cluttering!!