Family and Consumer Sciences Education: Decluttering One Space at a Time

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   Summer is just around the corner. The warmer weather helps us feel ready to get outside to do more things. Yet, many also feel like they should stay inside and do some serious spring cleaning. You may have noticed after a year of being in our home so much more than normal, that we have collected a lot of things. It is this collection of stuff that, while sometimes helpful and handy, can simultaneously be the cause of stress in our lives. Many people like to organize and feel that their space is tamed.  Make plans to take a day and tackle the clutter. Here are a few tips to use for de-cluttering:

•Have a idea of what to do with the items as you go through them. Create a box for each of these categories: donate, sell, recycle, trash, keep, give. 

•Plan to do one small area at a time. Pick one closet, one drawer – only one. When that space is completed, move on to the next small space. Small accomplishments are great motivators.

•Use your camera. Take a “before” picture and then an “after” picture to celebrate your success. Photos can also document things that you do not want to keep, but would like to preserve the memory of, like children’s schoolwork. Photo documentation may be a great start to creating a home inventory.

•Recruit help from your family members. Getting assistance can make the work go quicker and may help to make choices about what to keep and what to let go.

•Take a break between decluttering spaces. While some people can feel relieved to make progress, others may feel stressed by decluttering.

•Celebrate your success from decluttering, even the smallest places can become a well-organized space.