Self Storage Declutter
When you have plenty of stuff but nowhere to put it, perhaps because of the boxes filled with things you are not using, it may be time to prepare a strategy to remove some of the excess clutter. This may mean renting a storage unit, throwing a few things away or purchasing some organizational tools to help you enjoy more of the things you have.
What to Throw Away
For some it may be hard to throw away worn-out, old items when they trigger memories or were gifts. It can feel like you are devaluing the gift giver instead of the object. When that old broken suitcase brings visions of your dad who used to carry it with him on all his business trips or the moment you touch your mom’s dilapidated typewriter with the broken keys and cracked lid you again see how happy she was to give it to you those many years ago, you may feel that you need to keep the items even though you don’t have room for them and they are impractical. You may be afraid those memories will never return without that object to remind you. Maybe they won’t. However, when they start to get in the way of your making new happy memories, they are no longer needed.
As an alternative, you could keep a small treasure box or basket in which you maintain bits and pieces of these larger items that need to be thrown out. The handle of the suitcase or the arm of a letter key from the typewriter may be all you need to trigger those important memories and can be kept as a silent tribute to your loved ones much more easily than stacks of items that are too in the way to ever really be enjoyed.
To figure out what to throw away, go through your home and review what you have. Unless you are under the gun in terms of time, you may want to go through you home little by little in order to keep from burning out and giving up on the project. Figure out what would keep you motivated until you have finished decluttering your entire home. You may want to do one room at a time or spend 20 minutes a day doing as much as you can.
In general, you should throw away anything that is broken, dilapidated or unsafe. If you find items that are in decent shape but that you have not used for a long time, donate them. Consider whether you really need the items or if someone else could get better use out of your old toaster oven or the quilt set that you find lovely but haven’t used in three years. If you have things that you think are valuable but you probably won’t use, you could make some money by having a yard sale or selling them online. Keep you eye out for neighborhood or city-wide block sales where you drop off your goods and come back for the cash.
If you have a lot of clutter, be hard on yourself. Set some rules such as tossing any clothes you have had for more than 10 years or removing three items from your home for every one you keep. If you have duplicate items, keep only the one you use. That microwave out in the garage isn’t likely to help anyone. Sure, you may be able to use lots of things one day, but look at each item and decide if you will use it this year or if it will simply be an eyesore? Does the sight of it aggravate your spouse or kids? These are signs of things you no longer need.
What to Put in Storage
Another way to rid your home of clutter is to rent a storage unit. They come in different sizes, and you may choose one equipped with temperature and humidity controls. Keep in mind that this will be another monthly expense. If you don’t keep up with the payments, your valuables could be auctioned off. Is the expense worth it, or would it be better to sell the items today and make a profit?
Things you may want to store could include the following:
- Out-of-season clothes that will be needed next summer or winter
- Extra pieces of furniture that you want to pass along to your child when they leave home or that will be put in a room that is currently under renovation
- Important papers that should be kept but take up too much space at home
- Old appliances that you expect to give to a family member or place in your summer cabin
- Your cousin’s gear that he left with you for safekeeping but that he assures you he will pick up
- Bikes during cold weather
- Garden tools
- Recreational vehicles
- Large collections whether you have toy trains or wine
- Toys in between children
Sometimes people buy adorable figurines, pretty vases, books and piles of toys but never get around to buying some basic organizational tools in which to store or display those treasures. If you have bare wall space, you may want to pick up some in-home storage tools and design a space that helps you to use some items that are currently cluttering your home rather than beautifying it. The organizational tools don’t have to be expensive or fancy. Your display items are what need to stand out.
The following are a few items that could give you extra room while giving you an opportunity to add your personal flare to the room:
- Bookshelves. It may seem simple, but a few inexpensive bookshelves can go a long way. In addition to storing books, you can display items on the shelves. Don’t put too many, though. Look at home design magazines for inspiration.
- Baskets. Find canvas, bamboo or wicker baskets and line them up in a book shelf. Hide toys, papers, bills, schoolwork and other small items in each one. Assign baskets to family members or to certain objects. They are small enough to rummage through quickly and are an easy way to keep papers and other things from stacking up on kitchen counters.
- Hampers. Keep dirty clothes or extra toys hidden but within easy reach in decorative hampers.
- Closet organizers. These come in various sizes and price ranges from the expensive custom-made hardwood shelving units to low-cost plastic shoe bags and low-hanging closet rods.
- Shelves. Adding a few shelves can give you room to display knick-knacks and photographs that are currently boxed up.
- Scrapbooks. Take some of your child’s precious artwork, schoolwork and photos and place them into scrapbooks where they will be less likely to get torn or destroyed. The art of making a good scrapbook has become its own industry, and it’s not hard to find a few appliqués, stickers and tutorials that can spice up your presentation. It can be a fun activity to do with your child or grandchild. It also may be a heartwarming gift for grandma or the kids.
- Wardrobes. These can wood, cardboard or roll-away metal rods. When closet space is limited, this can be an attractive way to neatly maintain your clothes.
It may be a physical and emotional challenge to rid your house of clutter, but once you have room to decorate you home without boxes, piles of toys, stacks of paper and other clutter, you will likely enjoy your home much more.
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