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How to Declutter Your House in One Day

It’s normal for a home to eventually look messy on the inside. Small children playing, regular shopping, spending too much time at work, or the habit of not putting things back where they belong after using them can easily cause clutter.

What’s not normal is that the mess stays ignored for a long time. To make matters worse, you’re expecting visitors soon and you don’t know where and when to start restoring order. Fortunately, there is one efficient approach to tidy your home in a day and make it stay that way.

It’s called home minimalism — a lifestyle of keeping only the things you love and need while throwing out the excess. Here’s how you can get started.

1. Make a plan days before decluttering

Schedule a day on which you’ll tidy up your home. Don’t allow anyone and anything to distract you on that day. Make everyone know your unavailability. If your plan is to declutter on a weekday, file a leave from work. Talk to your significant other about it as well. They can help you create a good decluttering plan.

2. Have somebody watch over your children

If you have kids that cannot or won’t help as you declutter, have somebody else to look after them. You can drop them off at your parents’ house. What’s important is that they are out of your home during the decluttering process.

3. Order takeout or buy ready-to-eat meals

No cooking during declutter day. Use meal prep time to get things done. Have your breakfast, lunch, and dinner delivered. You can also buy a day’s worth of food that’s already prepared.

4. Be ready to let go

As painful as it sounds, you’ll need to say goodbye to a lot of your stuff, especially to the things that have a sentimental value. Rest assured, you’ll only feel sad at first. So don’t think too much about the things that you’ll throw out soon.

5. Prepare boxes and bags

Have a lot of cardboard boxes and biodegradable bags ready. Mark these containers depending on how you want to dispose of the items you’ll put into them.

6. Start with the least cluttered room

You don’t want to demotivate and stress yourself by working in an overwhelmingly messy space as a start. Working in the least cluttered room first will give you a quick accomplishment without draining too much of your energy. Think of it as a warmup before taking on bigger challenges.

7. Donate

There will be some things you don’t want to throw out because they can still be used. The problem is, they’re no longer useful to you. Dedicate at least one bag or box for items that you can donate to charity. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Donating will also help speed up your decision-making when it comes to sorting your clutter.

8. Follow the 10-second rule

Spend a maximum of 10 seconds for deciding whether to keep, donate, or throw out an item. Here’s a guideline to help you determine which goes where:

  • Trash - Broken, irreparable, useless, obsolete, expired, and hasn’t been touched for more than six months.
  • Donate - Usable yet useless and obsolete to you and your family. In good condition but just takes up space. Hasn’t been touched for more than six months. Very dusty. Outgrown. There is an item that does a better job.
  • Keep - Usable. Functional. Needed seasonally, occasionally, or regularly. The latest product of its kind. No other item can do its job.

At the end of the day, when the fates of all the items have been decided, don’t question the decisions you’ve made. Don’t look back. Put the things you’ve decided to keep back to where they belong. Toss the trashed clutter into the dumpster. Then, call the recipients of the donations and ask them to get the items.

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