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5 Steps to De-Cluttering, Organizing and Downsizing Your Home

Taking the time to restore order, free up space, and taking the step to downsizing some of your “stuff” can provide several benefits. If you’re like me (a little bit OCD) – having an organized home can relieve stress when you wake up in the morning or come home at night. It can also help you save time throughout your day and maybe even help you make (or save) some money!

For home buyers and sellers in the Seattle area, I’ve seen the stresses of preparing to move, which always seems like a natural time to de-clutter, simplify, and evaluate your belongings. Here are a few tips to help you through the process…

While the process may seem overwhelming to your clients, sharing the following tips will help them accomplish the task.

1. One Room at a Time. Take on one room at a time and don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. If the room itself is too much to take on, focus on one area at a time. Don’t stray to other areas of your home. Simply block off a period of time, turn off your phone, and work on one space at a time. Don’t try to de-clutter or organize your entire home in one fell swoop.

2. Save, Sell, or Salvation Army. If you haven’t used something in over a year, it’s probably not worth the space it occupies (a few exceptions obviously exist…see the next point). Create a space for some of these items that still hold value and utilize Craigslist or eBay to help you cash in on the items that you probably no longer need. If you know that you will never get around to actually selling these items – give them to someone who can actually use them. You can donate these items – I am a huge fan of donating to the Salvation Army.

3. Irreplaceable items. Meaningful items such as photos, heirlooms, yearbooks, and wedding dresses need to be properly stored in appropriate containers. Go one step further with old photos and convert them to a digital format to ensure their survivability.

4. Think Creatively. Getting rid of items can be an emotional process, especially if they have a tie to meaningful life experiences. Keep your mind on what you want your home to represent to you and how you want to live. If that involves keeping some of these items around – that’s okay! Perhaps you can work on a unique way to display or store those items.

5. Remember the Benefits. Keep reminding yourself of the benefits of de-cluttering throughout the process helps. Keep telling yourself that an organized home is not only more efficient, it will help you de-stress, you can make some extra cash by selling off items, you can feel good about yourself for donating items, you will save money by not purchasing items you already have (and forgot you had), and you’ll feel like you have control of your space around you.

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