How to Declutter Your Home as Self-Care

For those of us who never really enjoyed cleaning, it can take remarkably little time for a house to get full up, every surface cluttered and hard to use. We see images in magazines of perfectly staged kitchens and living rooms and can’t imagine how ours can measure up. Rather than judging our own homes against the ways that a fake kitchen looks in a magazine, we’re better off finding the parts of the cleaning process that actually work for us and that make us happy and excited to be in our home. Here are some strategies for finding those routines yourself.

Remove and Donate Items That Get in the Way

The first step is simply looking at some portion of your home with the new eyes that say that some items are getting in the way of your joy. Whether that’s throwing out things that are too old and broken to ever be used again or donating serviceable items that aren’t getting much love at your home, this is the first step to feeling like you have breathing room in your home. 

Create Cleaning and Tidying Rituals That Are Actually Fun 

While your first efforts to declutter are valuable, the real work is making it part of your daily life so you don’t find yourself overwhelmed again. What’s the key? Create a measurable, start-and-finish routine for decluttering. Maybe every Sunday you search the house for 15 items that need to be thrown away or put in a designated donation bin which always goes out to the car for a trip to the thrift store. Or you might have an evening pick-up routine where you do only 10 minutes per night of the most needed tidy-up tasks. Whatever routine works for you is the best one, but make it nice: light a candle, put on your favorite tunes, and wear clothes that are comfortable for cleaning time. It helps you look forward to the nice-looking space, rather than dreading the tidying work.

Make Spaces You Love Usable Again

One of the main motivators of decluttering for self-care is that once you are in a groove of keeping your space neat and not too cluttered, you can actually use your spaces! You’re more likely to cook your favorite meals if you don’t have seven hundred pieces of mail covering the counter tops, and you’ll have more friends over for game night if the living room has space for them and their items.

Give Yourself Options for the Future

A tidy home that isn’t too cluttered with unneeded items is more than just an investment in your current feelings of well-being. It gives you a jumpstart for any future time when you want to sell your home, which will go better if you invest the effort to clean it thoroughly. Even if you can’t imagine selling your home right now, knowing that the work of selling and moving would not start with a massive decluttering effort is a comfort. 


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