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Decluttering 101 A Great Way to Kick Off the New Year! - Part 1 of 2

Another New Year's Resolution - Declutter

Ive decided to stay on the topic of New Years Resolutions for two more weeks focusing on one pledge that might be especially popular now that youve stored all of your holiday decorations and found places or not to store those gifts.

Yes, Im talking about decluttering. Its a favorite topic for real estate folks because we like to sell houses, which is a lot more difficult when the rooms are jammed with stuff (so please do call us if youd like some well-earned decluttering advice before putting your place on the market). But its also a hugely popular topic in media outlets that focus on home design and building. 

In fact the Internet is cluttered with websites about decluttering. After visiting several including MyDomaine, Parade magazine, and Better Homes & Gardens, Ive come up with this list of smart and easy-to-follow tips:

Focus on one room at a time.

A lot of us have an embarrassment of riches with lots of rooms in our homes and lots of things in those rooms. The best way to make progress on a whole-house decluttering is to focus on one space at a time. 

I like the idea of starting with your bedroom if thats where you store your clothes. One reason is that, as noted below, its best to totally empty your drawers and closets first to take stock and figure out what to get rid of, which creates a temporary mess that you want to keep out of sight. The other reason is that a lot of us (here in the land of outlet mall shopping) have way too many clothes. Making good progress in this area is a smart start.

About those closets and drawers.

Once youve yanked everything out, ask yourself, if I went over to the Tanger Outlets today, would I buy this? If the answer is no, you can put it in the discard pile. 

And if youre really serious about decluttering in a way that transforms your space, push a little harder with the question: is this something I can part with? I say that because if you end up in the well maybe one day I will find a reason to wear this mindset youll probably still have too much stuff that you dont really value. 

Ditto with the shoes, because you probably also have too many of those.

Pay special attention to that closet . . . 

Once youve decided what clothes to keep, group them by item and by color, so your white and blue short sleeved shirts are together and your Oxford cloth office shirts are likewise together. In addition to helping you realize that you actually should get rid of that Lacoste polo you havent worn in 10 years itll make it a lot easier to get dressed in the morning.

And if you really want to simply and beautify get rid of those wire hangers. Instead, consider wooden or padded hangers, which look better and usually keep your clothes in better shape.

And that bed . . . 

Chances are your bed is the focal point of the room. If its neatly made youre already making a major leap toward the sense of order that decluttering inspires. So make it as soon as you get out of it, so its tidy and attractive. If you do this youll also start your day by accomplishing something and perhaps bringing some order to your mind. If youve served in the military you already know this. If not, watch this video to find out what this former U.S. Navy SEAL has to say about it.

Next week's blog post will be Decluttering Part 2

The above should give you some ideas of how to get started with decluttering your home. It's the perfect activity for days when the weather doesn't allow for spending time outside. Visit the blog again next week for more decluttering inspiration.

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