We have all heard about Spring cleaning, but there is another time of year to focus on decluttering and clearing out your space – and it’s right now! November is the perfect time to do a winter decluttering or downsize sweep of your home. The extra clear space will help to alleviate some of the stress of holiday preparations. It is also an opportunity to add some extra cash to your holiday savings fund. Join us this month as we take a look at how to declutter for the holidays.
If you missed any of our previous articles in this series, read through them at any time. Topics covered so far include:
- Analyzing Spending
- Creating A Budget
- Preparing For Taxes
- Paying Down Credit Cards
- Creating A Will
- Storing And Protecting Sensitive Documents
- Budgeting for the Holidays
- Entertaining at Home
- Shop Smarter
- Re-Evaluating Retirement
Why Winter Decluttering is Important
The holidays can be stressful enough. Having a cluttered house can significantly add to you stress of holiday preparation. Even if you are not entertaining this year, having room to breathe and enjoy the winter will only make you feel better. Plus, you can start making room for any new gifts or purchases that may come your way this season. As an added benefit, if you can turn your clutter into cash, you will be in a better place financially to tackle holiday expenses. While you may be reluctant to add another task to your list, we have a quick method for holiday decluttering to help
Quick Holiday Declutter
Winter decluttering does not have to be an extensive process, especially if you recently did a broadsweep for spring cleaning.
Step One: Set Up An Organizing Station
As with most home tasks, any work you do to prepare for your project reduces the amount of time you spend on it. Pick a place to help you sort your items and assign a specific bin to each category. While you can customize your system for your own needs, one way of organizing would be to have individual containers for (1) donation, (2) storage, (3) recycling, (4) e-waste or hazardous waste, (5) repair, and (6) sale. With your sorting station set, you can move on to decluttering – fast!
Step Two: Rapid Sweep
Set a timer and tackle each room in your house. If you want to include your attic, garage, or other storage spaces, you can, but those areas are generally best left for downsizing when you have more dedicated time. Do what works for you. For each room, set a 10 or 15-minute timer. Then blitz through the room, including closets and drawers, grabbing anything you want to let go of—don’t worry about sorting just yet. Consider how long it has been since you used or worn an item, the likelihood you will use it within the next four weeks, and whether it needs replacing or repairing. Pile your items near your sorting station for sorting after you have swept each room.
Step Three: Sort
Once you have your pile(s), you can begin sorting them into the bins you set out. You may need several containers for one category!
Step Four: Take Out The Bins
Depending on the bin, you can now move on to disposing of your items based on their category. If you have containers for the dump, recycling center, e-waste, or donation spot, try to take everything in one trip to drop off your items where they need to go. Move anything for storage into your garage or other storage space (don’t forget to clearly label). Take any items for repair, or start on any DIY repairs yourself. Finally, decide how you plan on selling any items, whether online, through a consignment shop, or a garage sale.
Step Five: Organize (Optional)
Since the rapid sweep focused only on gathering items to declutter, you may feel like going back into your decluttered spaces and reorganizing. Free up space for decorations, or make things more functional in your room.
Making Money On Your Clutter
There are several ways to earn extra cash on used items. A little research online for comparable items will help you set prices for yours. Then you can decide where and how to sell those items. Using online listing sites can be time-consuming, but you can sell your items anytime, rather than setting up a single sale. Consider whether or not you want to ship the item or want to do local pick up. Remember to charge for any shipping costs, so you don’t end up losing money on the sale. You can also consider consignment stores for selling your most valuable or larger items. You won’t get 100% of the sale price, but it will take away the hassle of selling. No matter what method you use, the extra cash will feel so much better than the clutter!
This month’s challenge is pretty straightforward: plan a day to do your declutter sweep and follow-through. Make sure to finish so that you aren’t left with more clutter of bins or piles. After everything has been disposed of or stored away, commit to selling the remaining items by a specific date before the holidays. It will give you a goal to strive for, resulting in less clutter and more money for the festivities.
Brought to you by our friend at BALANCE.