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If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been writing, “clean your room” on your to-do list for weeks now. I always intend to set out on a grand de-cluttering mission, but one thing leads to another and before I know it I'm waist-deep in junk, reminiscing over high school yearbooks. Hours pass, and I'm worse off than when I started the mission. The biggest issue I face is how to handle all the clutter--those items you don't need or want but can't let go of for some reason (Laziness. Laziness is the reason, Amber...).
Finding a home for all the clothes I don’t wear, beauty products I’ll never use, and countless odds and ends I don’t know what to do with feels like a pretty intimidating task. But fear not, fellow slob! The following five steps are here to help you (and me) on the road to a clean and easy to maintain room, free of clutter!
1. Divide and Conquer
Odds are you’ve been letting this room situation get out of hand for far too long now and taking it all on at once can be daunting. Instead, divide your room into sections. On the first day, tackle the closet. The next, take on your desk area. If it helps, assign an award to each section: Clean closet = an hour of Netflix. Desk clear = treat yourself at you favourite coffee shop, etc. Taking on small sections one at a time will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, making you more productive in the end.
2. Yes, No, Maybe?
The "yes, no, maybe?" method can be applied to each section of your room, but is particularly effective in the closet. The yes pile of course includes items you absolutely can not live without. The no pile is made up of “important papers” like your pay stubs from your high school retail job and clothes that haven’t seen the light outside of your closet in years (or are so full of holes that they shouldn’t see light). GET RID OF THESE IMMEDIATELY! Lastly, the maybe pile—for things you’re unsure of. This pile tends to be bigger than the others; try your best to avoid that! Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion like a friend or significant other to help turn those maybes into yeses or noes.
3. Ain't No Shame in That Re-Gifting Game!
I personally have hoards of specialty teas, mugs, beauty products, and other random gifts that I will never use. They’re all brand new, and very nice, but you only have room for so many. These items are perfect for office secret Santa gifts, or as small thank-you tokens whenever needed. As the old cliché saying goes: One man's trash is another man's treasure.
4. DIY! DIY! DIY!
Decluttering doesn’t have to mean throwing everything out. So, if the idea of filling trash bags seems a little harsh, consider repurposing your old items. Have an oddly large number of mason jars lying around? (Or is that just me?) They can be used for almost anything. Toothbrush holder, desk organizer, planter, the list goes on and on. Pinterest is an amazing resource for all sorts of re-purposing craft ideas.
Instead of pawning off your extra clothing items to friends and younger siblings, try donating them to a charity in need. Extra clothes and winter coats you grew out of (but for some reason STILL have) can be donated to any number of charities such as Dress For Success, The Snowsuit Fund, even Diabetes Canada accepts clothing donations. Donations aren't just for clothes either. Old movies, books and games are excellent items to send to Value Village or Salvation Army. Donations are a de-cluttering habit that you can feel good about!
Now, before you go and start yet another to-do list, take this list and get your decluttering on! You won’t regret it, I promise! In fact, I better get to it myself...