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You should be thankful after you have taken the first step toward a healthier, cleaner and happier home. Clutter is a sneaky thing which seems to magically appear without notice. Of course, this is not reality, but it is true that a lot of Americans have an abundance of “stuff” accumulated over the years. Oftentimes this “stuff” gets stowed away in attics, closets, sheds, garages, etc., sometimes not seen again until the time comes for the next home cleanout.

There are various reasons why a homeowner is going to clean the house. Maybe it is because the house has become overrun with clutter, such as in hoarding stations. Maybe the homeowners are just looking to declutter and reduce the unnecessary mess. Still, others might clean out the house to live a more minimalist lifestyle. Whatever the reason, decluttering provides several key benefits such as a clean home which supports positive mental health and clarity. Less clutter means less risk of trips and falls in the home which is a major cause of injury especially the elderly. The increased value of the home and perceived size of interior spaces is critical when selling your home. There is also minimized risk of pests, mold as well as other potential health hazards.

There are a few simple steps to declutter a home. The first step is a mental preparation. It can be a stressful time for a few people to part ways with items, even if these are things that are not used or even needed for anything in particular. It could be very helpful in these kinds of situations to get together a small team of motivators and supporters to help finish the job. While it might not always be an enjoyable or fun endeavor, decluttering your home is going to give huge beneficial results in the end. It could be helpful to think of the end result and work your way back from there in planning your way to declutter.

The next step is to plan your way into decluttering. First, you need to get a pencil and paper. To lay the foundation of your decluttering project, spend just 20 or 30 minutes illustrating a basic layout of your home and labeling every room with a value between 1 to 5. A value of 1 signifies a room which is only cluttered mildly, while a room given a value of 5 is one that has become overrun with clutter and junk. You can then jot down the order in which you want to attack the clutter.

With your plan in hand, it is time to get your hands dirty. But before you get started, there are some tips you need to know. The first tip is that you need to wear proper protective gear. This includes gloves, masks/eye protection, protective footwear for any cleanups that involve potentially hazardous or unhealthy cleanups like removing construction/demolition debris. You should recruit a small group of close friends or family. The extra hands are going to speed up the project and provide the helpful support you could need in parting ways with a few items.

Clear your schedule and get the job done efficiently. While decluttering an hour a day after work could be effective for small jobs, bigger decluttering projects must be given a full weekend or even a week to complete it promptly and efficiently. Dragging the project on for weeks could be demotivating and draining. A key point that you should keep in mind especially for decluttering projects which take days or weeks to complete is to avoid bringing more new stuff into the house. This is contrary to what you want to accomplish.

The ultimate home transformation takes it a step further than just decluttering. Once you complete the decluttering process, you could find that downsizing is an option. Decluttering offers a higher return-on-investment when you sell a home compared to improving the lighting, landscaping, staging, fixing plumbing and more. Moving into a smaller home is a trend with many benefits such as lower costs for utilities, heating, electricity and cooling. It is also easier to clean and mountain. It has lower overall cost to purchase and keep up. It is a simpler lifestyle and there are fewer areas to stash future clutter.