The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Homes

January 11, 2014

Now is the time to declutter and dispose

ANDERSON — New Year’s resolutions of organization coupled with winter weather that forces residents to stay inside are resulting in homeowners decluttering and putting order into their lives. Closets that are filled to the brim and belongings in disarray are being conquered by determined individuals with lofty goals of reclaiming their space.

Cluttered homes seem smaller. By finding proper places for their belongings, homeowners can create the illusion of adding square footage.

Tips and tricks are widely available online. Ingenious and cost-effective solutions to common problems abound. All that is needed is a little spare time (likely supplied by the weather), motivation and a spark of creativity.

Before getting distracted with clever organizational ideas, start by decluttering. Here are a few tips:

— Divide the work into manageable tasks.

Honestly, the biggest obstacle is getting started simply because it seems like an insurmountable job. Rather than deciding to clean out all the closets in one day and becoming overwhelmed, choose one closet (or pantry or set of drawers) and promise yourself a good long break when finished. Hopefully the feeling of accomplishment will set in when the finished product is admired and a renewed fervor will keep progress flowing.

— Empty the area by placing items in three piles.

The overarching goal is not to move everything around. The goal is to free space, which means letting go of the old typewriter that hasn’t seen the light of day for 30 years. Three piles will help you move faster.

With a “keep” pile, a “dispose of” pile and an “unsure” pile, you will be able to move through the items fairly quickly. The beauty of the “unsure” pile is that it keeps you from getting bogged down with a lot of decisions. Once you see how many articles you are definitely keeping, these decisions will become a lot easier.

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