You need to begin to declutter your Brooklyn home before you start to organize it. We have been spending more time at home due to the pandemic. Living and working from home may take a toll on the organization you once had. Often when you are working from home, cleaning and organizing have taken a back seat to get out of the house.
If you find it is time to organize, the first step you need to take is to declutter your Brooklyn home.
Organizing and decluttering serve different purposes. If you begin to organize before you declutter, you merely move your clutter from one spot to another.
Many clients get serious about decluttering before they are ready to sell their homes. However, once they have gone through the process, many remark that it was freeing, enjoyable, or something they wish they had done sooner!
An organizational system will not help you manage clutter. You accumulate clutter when you hold on to things you don’t need, love, or use. So the simple first step is to go through your belongings and determine what you want to keep.
You must decide how to tackle the decluttering process throughout your home. Room by room may make the most sense for you. Here are some thought provokers to declutter your Brooklyn home by room:
- Unused decor
- Used candles
- Old games
- Unidentified cords for electronics
- Broken furniture
- Magazines and books
- Expired food and spices
- Old dish towels, sponges, etc.
- Unused utensils
- Broken glass or crockery
- Plastic food storage without lids
- Broken or infrequently used small appliances
- Unworn clothing and shoes
- Old bedding, pillows, etc.
- Unwanted accessories
- Unused gifts
- Outdated jewelry
- Old toiletries
- Expired medicine
- Unused makeup
- Tattered/stained towels
- Excess hair products
- Out-of-date sunscreen
- Unused personal appliances
- Old pens/stationery supplies
- Unnecessary paperwork and receipts
- Unused books/CDs/DVDs
- Unfunctional equipment
- Old electronics
- Unused inks/batteries/cords
- Unused tools
- Old paints and chemicals
- Unnecessary bikes and sports equipment
- Unused pet items
- Miscellaneous stored items
- Broken or unused yard tools
- Old toys
- Unused planters and pots
- Broken furniture
When you organize without thorough decluttering, you are only temporarily solving your issues. Moving the clutter out of sight is not eliminating it. You are just moving the chaos around and temporarily creating the appearance of organization. In the end, this short-term solution does not fix the problem.
When you don’t declutter first, you waste your time, energy, space, and money.
After you spend the initial time and energy organizing the clutter, you will inevitably need to spend more time reorganizing when the first system fails to provide the desired results.
When items that need decluttering take up space, where do you put the things you actually use? Freeing storage space will allow better storage options for the items you use in your home.
You can save money when you declutter your Brooklyn home by not repurchasing things you already own because you couldn’t find them. You will also save money on purchasing organizing materials such as baskets, bins, and other organizing staples because you have less to store.
Start with one small step if it seems overwhelming. Then, when you feel the pleasure of tackling one drawer or one closet, you will be more likely to keep going.
Tips to declutter your Brooklyn home:
- Start with a small time increment per day to build your momentum.
- Create three categories: Keep, Donate, Sell
- Donate items as soon as possible after each decluttering session.
- If you haven’t worn a clothing item in the past six months, you probably can declutter it.
- Create a checklist of areas to declutter
- Before and after photos will help you see the potential for your entire home.
- A friend may be able to help you discard items if you are struggling.
- Determine if you should relocate an item to another area of your home.
- Follow the one-in-one-out rule by removing one item for every new thing you bring into your home.
- Use clear storage bins to keep you organized.
- If an item needs repair, schedule it. If you don’t have it fixed in 30 days, you can let it go.
- Do not multitask during a decluttering session.
- Look at your home through the eyes of a visitor.
- Understand that you will make a mess before you get organized.
Do yourself a favor and don’t strive for perfection. Judging yourself and your space against others or, heaven forbid, a television show will create unnecessary pressure. Instead, create a space and systems that work for you.
Mental Health Benefits of DeCluttering
When you declutter, the benefits to your mental health include feeling calmer, happier, and more in control. In addition, the absence of clutter and a tidier space can help you feel more mentally relaxed.
Believe it or not, cluttered environments can increase your stress levels. However, most people find they are more productive and improve their mental and physical health by decluttering.
Benefits of decluttering include:
Lower the risk of asthma and allergies.
Keeping clutter to a minimum reduces the dust, mold, and mildew that triggers asthma and allergies.
Focus is improved.
Clutter can be distracting and make things difficult to find. It is easier to focus on your tasks when you know where to find needed items.
Self-esteem is affected.
Surprisingly, self-esteem can be improved when your living space is organized by restoring feelings of being in control and pride.
Conflicts seem to lessen when clutter is under control in your home.
Find the lost treasures.
You may find items on your shopping list or something you haven’t been able to locate for some time in your clutter.
Studies have shown some characteristics of people who find decluttering challenging:
- Time management and follow-through are difficult for them.
- Procrastination tendencies make it hard to get started on a project.
- Easily sidetracked from their task.
- Wanting everything to be perfect deters them from tackling the job.
- Helping others first is more important to them.
Don’t despair; having a clutter issue in your home does not mean you are a hoarder. Only 2.5% of Americans suffer from a hoarding disorder, a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Hoarders can’t organize or manage their current possessions, yet they collect more.
If you are considering selling your home, this past blog post discusses three tips to get top dollar for your home. Cleaning and decluttering is one of those tips!
Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I help sellers declutter and prepare their homes for sale. Reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or email at [email protected]