Whether it’s mid-winter cabin fever, spring cleaning, call it what you like, but eventually, you’ll find yourself wanting to just get rid of stuff. You might be moving, downsizing in general, or adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Whatever the reason, getting rid of unused stuff in your apartment can make a huge difference in your mood as being surrounded by clutter can make you feel anxious and claustrophobic without you even realizing it. There are several approaches you can take to shedding clutter. You don’t have to go all “Marie Kondo” and thank your belongings for their service, but taking a thoughtful approach to what’s causing your closets and cabinets to burst at the seams can make the process less painless.
There are many, many apps and blogs that go into specific details about how to declutter; there are specific formulas to follow and even entire books written on the topic. In simplest terms, a foolproof method is “keep, discard, donate.” You can set your own timeframe to determine how long an item must be out of commission to be considered, for example, if you haven’t worn a specific item for one year, or if that kitchen gadget you had to have was used only once. You get the idea.
Keep. These are items that you frequently use, are your favorites, and are in the regular rotation in your wardrobe, kitchen, home office, etc. While you are looking at them, it’s a good time to inspect them for any signs of wear and tear and actually take them in for repair or fix them yourself, like sewing on a missing button from a shirt. This is also a great opportunity to reorganize your apartment and invest in space savers like a rack to hang pots in your kitchen, or stacking clothes hangers.
Donate. Choose a charity to take your donated items to. Before you start filling boxes and garbage bags, take a moment to carefully inspect each item. Ask yourself if you would wear or use the garment/gadget. If you no longer want torn and stained clothing or scratched, battered cookware, nobody else will. Be mindful of what you donate. If you are having trouble letting go of a specific item, take a photo of it. You can also think of your property being used and enjoyed by somebody else.
Discard. This is for stuff you absolutely don’t want any longer. Don’t hang on to clothing that you think will eventually come back in style or will fit once you lose weight. Don’t keep condiments or spices that you infrequently use. They are probably expired or lost their potency anyway. Once you’ve made the decision, release the item.
Getting rid of stuff is so therapeutic. So if it’s downsizing, decluttering, minimalizing — whatever you call it — will clear the path for more space in your home and you will feel a lot more relaxed in your own apartment. During these stressful times, you deserve it!
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