When helping clients prepare their homes for sale, real estate agents repeat this advice like a mantra: purge the clutter! They know that a streamlined, clutter-free home looks more spacious and inviting to buyers-and can even seem more calming.
So why wait until it’s time to sell the home before clearing out the chaos? You can enjoy the same benefits today with a no-sweat approach. “By breaking your decluttering down into five-minute sessions, you can slowly conquer your clutter,” notes CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) magazine.
The magazine recently offered these tips based on an interview with Leo Babauta of Zen Habits:
“Designate a spot for incoming papers.” Instead of scattering papers all over the house, place them in one spot every time. You can then sort and file them later, when time allows.
Make a “no-clutter zone.” Once you set up this spot, “[t]here is one rule for that area,” says CRS. “Nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use. Everything (else) must be put away.” After you succeed in establishing that area, try to expand the concept to other areas throughout the house.
Pick five things that “don’t have a good spot to live.” Find them a permanent place in your home.
Tackle one drawer at a time: Remove everything in the drawer and sort it into three piles: things that belong in the drawer; things that belong elsewhere; things to throw away. Immediately place those that belong elsewhere in the correct spot so that they don’t pile up somewhere else.
Create a “maybe” box: Use this box to hold items you’re considering throwing away, but still aren’t quite sure about. Then bring out the “maybe” box every six months and re-evaluate.
Avoid Impulse purchases: Keep a list of non-essential items you may want to buy. After 30 days, drop the idea if it isn’t still a priority in order to avoid adding further clutter to your life.
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