Three Steps to a Home You Love: Step 1. Declutter
Having helped many people make their house a home and having lived in quite a few houses myself, I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a home a happy one…… a home that just feels good…… where we love being. After contemplating these ideas for years, I concluded that we unnecessarily overcomplicate things. I’m all about getting down to the heart of the matter so over the years, I came up this simple formula to guide my clients (and myself) in creating a happier home:
Declutter. Organize. Elevate.
Simple right? The good news is that it is! The not-so-good news is that that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It will take some work – especially the first two steps – but the reward is more than worth it. Let me go through each step and show you how I implement them. This is a tough love approach so prepare yourself. 😉
Step 1. Declutter.
This one is self-explanatory. By now I think we can all agree that the less physical (and mental) clutter in your life, the better it will be. This makes complete sense. After all, life is short. You have places to go, people to see, and the less time you spend managing your stuff, the more of it you’ll have for much more enjoyable pursuits. Of course, we can just ignore the physical disorder around us but a chaotic environment weighs us down and drains our mental energy even if we don’t realize it. By the same token, a clutter-free home gives us a sense of peace and calm that does wonders for our well-being.
So the first step is to declutter your house as much as possible. The goal isn’t to become a minimalist (unless you want to be one); rather, the goal is to clear your home of anything you don’t absolutely love or need. Here is my version of the KonMari method:
- Go through your house, room by room and take an inventory of everything.
- By inventory, I mean take each and every item and ask yourself if it’s something you either need or love.
- If your answer is “yes,” it stays. If you have 100 books, albums, shoes, whatever and you love them all, keep them. Just be honest about whether you really love it or not.
- If your answer is “no,” it either gets donated or thrown away. This will be easy for anything worn out, expired, or just random. The harder things to let go are those “just in case” things, duplicates/multiples, “but I spent $$$$ on it” items, and sentimental pieces. Just keep in mind, none of this matters. If you don’t need it or love it, it goes out the door. Be ruthless.
The process is really that simple but it could take days, weeks, or maybe even months, depending on how much you have and your attachment to things. (Personally, it took me months.🙈) But I promise you it will be pure euphoria when you’re done. In a twisted way, the harder you have to work, the better you’ll feel at the end of it all! And the very best thing about completing a major purge like this is that going forward, you will think twice about bringing anything else into your house ever again so the chances of your house becoming re-cluttered will be very, very low.
Next up is step 2. Organize.