Cleaning the clutter is not just about tidying up. Research has linked clutter to several physical and psychological health issues. Studies have shown that clutter makes you stress too much, which might lead to overeating and thus putting on the pounds. Living in a cluttered home is stressful though you may not relate the stress to clutter. Many people, especially women, are unhappy about their home being in a mess as they don’t have the time to clean it. Unwanted things which don’t have a place of their own in your home need to go so that you too can have an organized, clutter free, stress free home. Here are some signs your home needs decluttering:
7 signs your home needs decluttering
1. Your kitchen cabinets don’t close
The kitchen is one of the areas which is usually chock full of things which are never used. Cups and glasses, pots and pans and what not – these take up a lot of space and sometimes we don’t throw these things and they end up cluttering the cabinets. One of the signs when to declutter your house, is when your kitchen counters and cabinets are so full of things that you don’t have space to work comfortably.
It’s time to let go of single cups and glasses that do not match, as well as plastic glasses and cutlery/disposables. You can donate these articles to people who need them. Check the expiry dates of eatables and throw out those you haven’t eaten for a year. You’ll be amazed at the amount of space that is cleared.
2. You have no space to store new clothes
When you open the closet and things just fall out, it’s one of the signs your home needs decluttering. The closet is another place in homes which tends to overflow. There are many items of clothing which you may have stocked for years, due to an emotional attachment or because you think you’ll fit into them again!
But if you are running out of closet space, you must sit down and go through each garment. If you haven’t worn it for a year, then it’s time for deep cleaning, and time to let go. Also, vacuum pack the clothes you will wear later, but you don’t wear on an everyday basis.
If you have two or more kids, then obviously you would save the clothes of the older ones. But don’t keep them mixed up with the kids’ everyday clothes, and remove stuff from closet which you use only after a few years.
Scarves and tops which you have been holding on to, even if they’re years old, should be the first to go when you remove stuff from closet. You may have a few dresses stuffed right at the back of the closet – get rid of these too.
There are many excellent organizations which are willing to take gently used clothing from you, and donate to people who would be glad to have them. Sometimes, we feel we have made the wrong choice and even brand new clothes lie forgotten inside the closet. Well, you’ll never suddenly start liking them, so best to give/sell to someone.
3. You have a mountain of unopened mail
Letters, bills, newspapers and junk mail may be piling up. Even if you have just a week or two’s worth of mail pile up, you will find it difficult to find or sort out the bills and mail you want. Whenever you see your counter vanish under mail, it’s one of the signs your home needs decluttering.
You may even fall behind in paying your bills as you just can’t find them, which is one of the signs which indicate when to declutter your house. To reduce mail clutter, sign up for email bills so that you never fall behind. Force yourself to clear the counter, doorway the moment you enter your home. Make it the first thing you do after you reach home. A few days of doing this, and you’ll be doing cleaning in your sleep!
4. There’s no space left in your basement or garage
It can get to the extreme that you can’t even park your car comfortably. You fall over stuff in the laundry room or basement. These are signs your home needs decluttering. Even though you probably mean to use your garage and basement as storage space, still these areas should never be overloaded and cramped.
5. You’ve completely forgotten about them
Childhood collectibles, VHS tapes, mementos from trips long ago and many other things which you have completely forgotten about but which you have stashed under your bed, or put in your bed storage need to go. Forgetting about something is time for deep cleaning. There are many things you will come across in your decluttering crusade, which will come as real surprises. Don’t wait to clear them, but send them for recycling or reusing, which will serve a better purpose than lying under the bed.
6. You no longer need those things for your new phase of life
Graduation, new baby, break up or wedding, moving to a new place, new job or any other milestone in your life should be a time to look around your home and take stock of things. Keep only those which you will need for the new phase of your life. For example, once you have graduated, why not donate your books to deserving students. It will be a big help to them and your home would get some breathing space.
7. You don’t have any emotional connection for it
Most people hang on to things from the past due to their emotional attachment to it. Do you still have the flower or card your very first boyfriend or girlfriend gave you? Or maybe you have an old clock which no longer works and cannot be fixed; but you have kept it because you felt connected to the giver through it? If these objects which were once so dear no longer have the same value to you, it’s time to let them go.
Sometimes decluttering your home can turn out to be financially profitable to you, especially if you have financial issues. You can sell some old things of value, like antiques (which do not go with your modern décor anyway!); to have some money for a vacation filled with fun and a peaceful mind.