Many of us are starting the year with one or more New Year’s resolutions. Year after year, the most popular ones are “lose weight”, “exercise more” and “save more/spend less”. Well, how about something different this year? How about a New Year’s resolution to de-clutter your home?
If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, you’re going to have to de-clutter anyway as part of the process of “staging” your home to make it look larger, more welcoming and more attractive to potential buyers. Even if you’re NOT thinking of selling your home, you’ll be much happier if you get rid of some of the “stuff” you’re no longer using and organize the rest so you can find things when you need them.
There are lots of ways to de-clutter a house, but if you really want to succeed, you’ve got to have a WRITTEN plan. When you put something in writing, you have a much better chance of accomplishing what you set out to do. Your plan has to be (1) realistic, (2) measurable and (3) regularly monitored.
1. Realistic. You might want to de-clutter your whole house by the end of January, but, let’s face it, what are the chances that you’ll be able to make that happen? Pick a time frame that has a good chance of success, and leaves some wiggle room for unexpected interruptions. Maybe the end of June is a realistic target for you.
2. Measurable. Break down the total project into smaller pieces. For example, de-clutter one room at a time. Divide the total number of rooms (don’t forget the basement, attic and garage) by the number of weeks until your final target date, and you’ll be able to set specific deadlines for each room.
3. Regularly Monitored. Have a calendar or a poster that you’ll see every day, and highlight the dates of the deadlines you set for each room. Every time you meet a deadline, celebrate your success in a way that will make you happy. If you miss a deadline, make sure you make up the time you’ve lost and de-clutter TWO rooms by the next deadline.
As you de-clutter, you’ll have to decide what to do with each item you no longer need. Can you give or donate it to someone who’ll use it?; can you can sell it at a garage sale or on eBay? If you can’t donate it or sell it, throw it away.
One last thought: don’t backslide! As you clean up each room, enjoy what you’ve accomplished, and don’t bring in more “stuff” to replace what you’ve gotten rid of. Keep each de-cluttered room neat and tidy and you’ll have a much better chance of success. You can do it, and you’ll feel great when you’ve finished your whole house!
Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
(732) 239-0739 (cell) (732) 530-6686 (office)