Tips for decluttering your home.

Do you need more space for work and play?

There has never been a better time to declutter your house and make more room for living, than now. You may be in the process of selling your home and looking for a better price or just simply feel like COVID19 has made you realise that you don’t need so much “stuff”, and that time and space give you a certain ‘peace of mind’.

While it’s always a good idea to “lighten” the load it is never an easy task. What do I keep, what do I throw away and what do I put into self-storage? The items you put into storage will have value to you but they are things you don’t need or use very often. To help with this difficult task we have put together some questions that you can ask yourself while going through this process.

Does it need fixing or upgrading?

In today’s throw-away society, items are often cheaper to replace than repair. If it is a technology item is it out of date and no longer compatible or useable? If it has been lying around broken for a long time then chances are that you don’t need it and are unlikely to use it again. This item would be a good candidate for the scrap heap.

Ask yourself:

When did I last use this?

If something has been taking up valuable space in your home for more than a year without being used is it really of value to you? This is a great time to think about the value of everything you own. If an item has true meaning to you or another family member it may be something to offer to them as an heirloom. That way, it stays within the family so you still get to enjoy it, but it’s no longer filling space in your house.

When will I use this again?

Just because you have not used something for a long time does not mean that you will never use it again. You just need to make that distinction. For example, you may have done a lot of camping before your baby was born but have no plans to “rough” it with a newborn. However, taking your kids camping as they get older is something you are looking forward to. Therefore, your tent and supplies are definitely worth keeping but perhaps just not under your feet. If you don’t have a garden shed or spare room in your garage then perhaps self-storage is the best solution for this item.

Is it a hidden treasure and worth some money?

Sometimes in our rush to clear a room and make space we can inadvertently throw out items of value. It is always a good idea before discarding older items to check out similar items on eBay or Marketplace to make sure that the items are not worth some quick and easy cash.

Is it worth storing for a year or should I just replace it when I am ready to use it?

So you are selling your home and moving in with the inlaws for 12 months while you and your partner build a new home. Think about all of your large items of furniture, appliances, and equipment. It may well be cheaper to rent a storage unit for this time than sell the items now at a discount only to have to buy new ones at inflated prices 12 months later.

Is there another way to store these items taking up room in my house?

In this digital age, you are less likely to find big home video libraries and cabinets full of photo albums. These are better to be transferred into digital formats and stored on a computer or external hard drive, than sitting on a shelf taking up space. Important but old paperwork, photos or letters could be scanned and digitally stored to not only protect them but to reduce the physical space they require.

Could somebody else benefit from having this?

If there is no one else in your extended family that could use the item then you may want to consider donating the item to the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul or a similar charitable organisation. Not only will this free up much-needed space but it will also make you feel good while helping others in need.

Why am I attached to this item?

This can be a tough question, however, if answered honestly you will be able to let go of things more easily. Does the item give you good or bad memories when you see it or hold it? How often do you interact with the item? It is fine to keep some special items like your first valentines card from your partner, or your favourite childhood toy but where do we draw the line? You need to set boundaries about what and how much you will keep. Items that you just can’t part with but you don’t need to use can go into a storage unit. You may wish to share these with your adult children one day. If you are unsure about an item then ask others for feedback like the ones you love. They will give you some honest answers and help you with the tough decisions. No matter how much space you create going through your stuff, it will be a walk down memory lane and a refreshing and cleansing experience.


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