Closet overflowing with clothes, hallway full of piled up shoes, kitchen shelves crowded with cutlery; regardless of how much time you spend cleaning the mess, it somehow feels like it just keeps getting worse.

Way back in the 19th century, it was William Morris, a textile designer, who said that you should not have anything in your home that you do not find useful, or do not see as beautiful. However, history has showed us that there is a thin line between hoarding and usefulness. When was the last time you picked up an item and said I don’t need this; I’ll just throw this away?

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No, we do not expect you to answer the question, we just want you to look around your home and admit it is high time you grabbed a garbage bag and set to declutter your home. Though every family has its unique hoarding habits, there are certain problems the majority cannot seem to find organized solutions to, and for this reason we have decided to list several universal ones that should help you sort things out.

How to Declutter Your Home

Remove items you no longer use

The more items we own, the more cluttered our home will seem, and all the more difficult it will be to keep the mess to a minimum. That is why the first step involves getting rid of all your excess possessions. In this process, as you are skimming through your shelves and opening drawers, two of the most important questions you should ask yourself is when was the last time I used this and will I ever use it again?

With some of the belongings, this will not be a problem; for instance, with junk drawers packed with old batteries, keys, rubber bands, or closets full of clothes you will never wear again.

On the other hand, you will come across certain items that will have some kind of a sentimental value, like large projects in your garage you cannot seem to find the time to finish, collectibles you keep on your shelves, or even old books. We understand it must be difficult to say goodbye to some antiques and memorabilia, but these still make your home look rather messy. If you live in a small house or an apartment and don’t have a basement or an attic that could be your little sacred hoarding space, explore the option of supercheap storage and keep your most precious items behind locked door – far from sight, but close to heart.

Keep the junk drawer

Even Monica from Friends had her messy closet; we advise reserving at least one drawer for those little things, pens, tapes, twist ties and similar items that you use quite often, but don’t really have a place to put. No matter how hard you try, these will not look organized, and instead of spending all your days wondering where to place them, just throw them in the junk drawer – as simple as that.

Slow down the accumulation process

In today’s society, to live means to consume, and though this cannot be avoided, the influx of possessions into your home can be slowed down. However, this will require changing your mindset; you will have to evaluate the items you wish to purchase more thoughtfully.

It goes like this – every time you are in the store, when you pick up an item you consider buying, before you head to the check out counter, ask yourself the following: do I really need this? Do I have the space to store it? Will this add extra work to my life? Am I getting it for the right reasons?

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By going through this though-process, you will not just save space; in the long run, you will save both your time and energy, as these questions are designed to introduce intentionality into your life.

Change your habits

Once you clear the excess, you will easily discover which habits keep the clutter away, and once you experience the organized way of living, you will find these habits easier to embrace. Some of you will have to implement into your daily routine – cleaning the kitchen after every meal, placing clothes, shoes and books into their designated places, and finishing all projects you have started. Other times, these habits will be just seasonal, like removing all holiday-related items, putting aside clothes you will not be wearing for several months, reorganizing your place due to a significant life change (new employment, birth of a child, etc.).

In the end, it is essential that you believe it is possible to live clutter-free. Many are those who have tried cleaning their mess up, failed and gave up. It is completely understandable that you cannot get rid of certain valuables so easily, so we advise taking one step at a time. Even if it is one item a day, at one point in the future you will end up solely with the possessions you truly need.