IT’S back to school time, which for some means a bright feeling in the air and suddenly you want to get your stuff sorted.
Even if you haven’t set foot on campus in years, fall can still bring a sense of new beginnings and new beginnings.
What better way to take advantage of those feelings and declutter your home?
To help you get started, housing expert Dan Hnatkovskyy, co-founder and CEO of New HomeMate — a marketplace for new construction homes — shared its tips.
This advice will help you turn your messy home into a cozy haven.
PLAN AHEAD, START SMALL AND FOCUS
Hnatkovskyy advises that cleaning can really be a chore, so start with a small area like a drawer, shelf or closet.
Motivation is the biggest challenge in cleaning and decluttering.
Experts advise against starting by committing to cleaning the entire house in one day, as it’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t get everything done.
Just focus on one room and if successful, you can move on to another.
USE THE “FOUR BOX METHOD”
This simple method makes it easy to keep track of your cleaning efforts.
Hnatkovskyy recommends sorting your belongings into four boxes: keep, donate/sell, trash, and relocate.
You can further divide by room, separate clothes andor stack things together.
Decluttering experts say this encourages quick decisions and keeps you from getting stuck with individual items.
UNDER THE ONE YEAR RULE
Hnatkovskyy makes a good point when he says that if you haven’t used or worn something in the past year, will you ever use it? It’s time to let it go.
This could mean donating clothes that no longer fit you or deciding that certain decorative items don’t fit your style.
Experts advise: If you’ve been storing an item for more than a year and can’t find a place for it in your life, it’s time to move on and make room for something new.
HOW TO ADDRESS EACH AREA OF YOUR HOME
Garden and patio
When fall arrives, thoroughly clean garden tools, lawn equipment, outdoor toys, pillows, and grills, then put them away with non-essentials.outdoor decorations and furniture. Finally, check outdoor lighting, replace burned-out light bulbs, and clean fixtures.
Beach and swimming pool equipment
Prepare beach bags, pool toys andGear. Identify what can be reused year and throw away any items damaged beyond repair. Deflate the inflatables, rinse off the sand, then label and store them in an easy-to-find place for next summer.
Summer brings a change in cooking and eating habits, so take a look at your kitchen cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator. Remove spices, sauces and other perishables that may spoil before use.
It’s best to save this money for the end of the summer, so you can sort through broken holiday toys and get them ready for the new school year. Open backpacks, lunch boxes and stationery from the previous year. Throw away pens that have run out of ink, recycle old notebooks, and donate surplus items.
Evaluate the condition of your summer equipment, such as camping, fishing and sporting equipment. Check equipment such as fans, air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Clean, inspect and store anything you plan to keep, sell or donate anything you no longer use, and don’t keep damaged or outdated goods. End of season sales offer a good opportunity to buy a new one.
How to get rid of unwanted clutter
Donate them to local charities, shelters or thrift stores, or find a recycling program or textile collection bin.
Recycle through a certified e-waste recycling center. Throwing electronics in the regular trash can cause significant harm to the environment.
Usable items can be sold online or donated to a charity, shelter or community center. For furniture that is more susceptible to wear, contact your local waste management authority for disposal instructions.
Food lasts a long time
Contact your local food bank, shelter or community organization who will certainly welcome your donations.