5 Tips to Declutter Your Home This Summer
Now that summer is upon us, you’re probably gearing up for backyard barbecues, road trips, and weekends at the beach. However, summertime is also an great time to declutter your home – especially if you skipped out on spring cleaning. Removing clutter results in a fresher and cleaner abode, provides an opportunity to make some extra cash, and gives you a sense of satisfaction when all is said and done.
Here are five essential tips to make the most of your decluttering endeavor:
1. Dig Deep
There are many less obvious nooks, crannies, and hidden areas of your house that could be in need of attention. Of course, you should tackle all of those overflowing closets and drawers – but also, be sure to check the far corners of the attic and basement, under the bed in the extra bedroom, and the storage shed too.
2. Use the Six-Month Rule
If you haven’t used something – specifically clothing – within the past six months, then it’s probably time for it to go. Aside from seasonal clothing, anything gathering dust should be sold or donated.
3. Consider What You’ll Need At Your New Place
If you’re decluttering because you plan to move, it doesn’t make sense to get rid of furniture, towels, or any sort of fixtures and home accessories that might be needed at your new place. If it costs less to move an item than to buy it new, hold onto it and take it with you.
On the other hand, if you have an old, large, or nonvaluable piece of furniture – such as a beat-up pool table or patio furniture – selling it cheap (or giving it away for free) to someone who will pick it up might make the most sense. Just be sure not to unload something for the sake of convenience when you may have to buy it again a short time later.
4. Create a Plan for Your Unneeded Items
Once you’ve earmarked items to be donated or sold, determine exactly how to get the most money or value out of them. For example, electronics and collectibles can be sold on Amazon or eBay. Larger items, such as furniture and home appliances, can be listed for sale on Craigslist via the mobile app OfferUp. This allows you to complete transactions in person, with no shipping required.
For all other items of lesser value, have a garage sale to make a little extra pocket cash. And if any items do not sell, contact a local charity to come and pick them up – you can get a tax deduction on your forthcoming income tax return.
5. Don’t Overvalue Your Stuff
Don’t overvalue items you plan to sell – you probably aren’t going to get anything close to what you paid for them. If you have a smartphone that set you back $500, you might be able to sell it for $200 to $300 if selling online. Expect even less if you sell it at a garage sale or at a consignment shop. If you no longer need the item, then you no longer need it. Cut your losses and be happy that you are able to get anything for it.
Ultimately, when deciding which items to get rid of, you need to use common sense and remember what you want to accomplish: A life with less stuff and less clutter. Keep the end goal in mind and it should be much easier to let go of the items in your house (and garage, and storage unit, and shed) that are simply gathering dust.
What other decluttering tips can you suggest?