Whether you are spring clearing your house, getting ready for summer, or bringing out winter items, there are several times throughout the year when a clear out of unused items makes sense. However, we find that a high number of people we speak to begin this task and stop halfway through, leaving rooms, areas, or their entire homes looking worse than when they started.
Can you identify with this? Or have you done this in the past? If neither applies and you are looking for a more effective way to save time when cleaning and clearing your home we can help you. When beginning any large project within your home, deep cleaning and seasonal clearouts included, the best place to start is with a robust plan in place to help you to achieve your goal.
Complex plans can be just as unhelpful as no plan at all so we have an easy-to-follow 3-step plan that you can follow to complete a home cleaning or clearing project quickly and concisely.
Step 1: Decide Your Approach
There are many ways that you can begin to clean or clear your home but you need to ensure that you have a consistent approach to avoid just moving items from one place in your home to another. There are a few different ways to do this and it is a personal choice which approach you would prefer to do, however, you should be honest with yourself about the likely outcome, for you, of each approach.
Firstly, and our preference is to work one room at a time, this avoids things becoming confusing. The best way we have found to avoid moving items from one room to another, with this approach, is to start from one point in your home and work toward your front door. The best place to start is the room furthest from your front door and as you have finished cleaning and clearing each room close the door.
The benefit of closing the door as you complete a room is twofold; you can visually see how much you have achieved and also you can be sure that items are not moved into that room as you move on to other rooms. The best thing to do is any items found in another room that needs to be in the room placed in front of the closed door. Then, before you put anything into that room ask yourself if it definitely needs to be in the room and definitely needs to be kept in your home.
Alternatively, you could choose specific items that you want to clean and clear and work through your home in that way. If you are bringing a different season’s clothes out of the attic you may choose to go through all of your clothes and shoes in each room before moving on to the next item. This option gives you the benefit of being able to stop and start more easily without having to worry about items piled outside of doors that have to be sorted before you can stop.
Step 2: Begin Assessing What You Need to Keep
When completing a full house clean and clear some people find it difficult to know what they can get rid of and what they might need in the future. The most effective way to do this, which we have found, is to assess based on the time of last use. Ask yourself, if you have not used an item at all in the last 12 months do you actually still need it? The theory behind this is if you have been through each of the 4 seasons and have not needed to use an item it is unlikely you will use this in the future.
However, this would not apply to safety items or individual leisure items such as a book, video games, or movies. It is worth noting though that if your hobbies and interests have changed and you no longer complete a leisure activity then you could remove these items from your home too.
There are various other methods and theories of how to declutter your home depending on your preferences and if you want to live a minimalist lifestyle. You could also be restricted based on the amount of space and storage within your home. If this is a restriction it is even more important that you avoid there being too much clutter in your home as it will look like you have more possessions in a smaller space.
Step 3: Get Rid of the Clutter
Deciding on the items you want to remove from your home is often the easy part, not allowing them to migrate back into your home because you haven’t removed them immediately can be more difficult for some people. Therefore, we recommend that the best way to avoid this happening is to remove them from your home on the day that you are cleaning and clearing.
The best way to do this is to plan ahead for when you are going to complete this task, so you can have an idea of how you will remove the items from your home. The most effective way that we have found to do this is to designate where each item is going as you sort through the room. Have boxes for ‘friends/family’, ‘donations’, and ‘garbage’ so that you can immediately see what items are going to each place.
Renting a dumpster is the best option for larger projects as each time the garbage box becomes full you take it straight to the dumpster. The easiest way to find one is a simple internet search for a dumpster rental service near you. Look for a company that does short-term rentals where they will deliver and collect the dumpster and dispose of the items inside the dumpster for you. This will save you a considerable amount of time and make the project much easier for you, meaning you have more time to deliver the items that are going to friends or family or that need to be donated.