The to-do list of a home seller is long, but the No. 1 task on the list should be decluttering. In a 2012 HomeGain survey of 500 real estate agents, cleaning and decluttering provided the best return on investment of any home improvement–yielding a 413% return on investment. But what does decluttering really mean? Ask 10 professional organizers and you would probably get 10 different answers. For me decluttering means reviewing your possessions and removing what you do not love or use. In other words, it doesn’t serve you and may even drain your energy in some way, mentally, emotionally or physically (maintaining and cleaning). Surrounding yourself with what you love and what you use makes it much easier to enjoy and access what you need on a daily basis.
A space for the man of the house is trending in design circles. The benefits of a “man cave” are grounded in research (it helps men regulate their emotions) and the attitudes of spouses (time away from each other is a good thing). Man caves may be located in an existing room, garage, basement or outbuilding. Once the man cave is built, it may not change for years. But stuff does accumulate. How to keep the man cave organized should be based on how it is being used. Its purpose may vary.
Because basements are hidden from daily view and often act as storage space, it may be the area that gets the least attention when organizing. Before long, the basement gets overloaded with stuff you cherish and stuff you can easily do without. Basement organizing is hard because you need to identify the practical and the personal, the random and the revered. It is easy to delay, however clutter will accumulate and make the task harder in the future.
As boomers near retirement, it’s a fact that many will seek out a change in housing. According to a 2014 study from the Demand Institute, 37% of boomers plan to move, while 63% plan to stay in their current home. Finances may be part of the reason for the move, as some boomers want to reduce their overall housing expense, and pay off their mortgage. Other boomers want a home that better fits their lifestyle, perhaps offering single level living, or less maintenance. Still others want a larger dream home to accommodate their kids and grandkids. Moving is an important decision that requires careful consideration.
You can increase your chances for staying organized this year. Make organizing a habit. Start small and build from there. Cultivating a good habit of staying organized reaps many rewards. You eliminate wasted time looking for things. You save money by not buying more of what you already have. You replace chaos with calm.
Here are four ways you can make organizing a habit this year.
Look at problem areas
Assess your home to discover where the clutter accumulates. For some people clutter may pile up in an entryway, home office, closet or kitchen. Problem areas are the best way to see what bad habits you have developed.
After the holidays most of us have a lot of new things to make room for — there are new clothes, new photos, new knickknacks and new holiday décor. Many of the things you receive may be cherished. But if you don’t like what you received, resist the urge to store it in a closet or in the basement. Give the unwanted gift to someone who will appreciate it or donate it to an organization. As you begin the process of finding a place for new things, promise yourself that for every item you add, you will remove one. This simple rule keeps clutter at bay.
A closet organizing session may not be at the top of your list of gifts to give but ask your special someone this: “Would you appreciate a closet organizing session as a gift from me?” You might be surprised at how easy and meaningful this kind of gift giving can be. The important thing in giving such a gift is that you find out first if the recipient will appreciate it.
I love Thanksgiving –or at least the idea behind it. It’s a day to celebrate and give thanks for our blessings. Asking the question, “What are you grateful for?” is a simple way to discover the core of what is important to you. This is what matters. The rest is probably clutter.
Family, friends and good health are important to most of us. These things cannot be bought.
Having a roof over our head and a warm bed to sleep in is something to be grateful for. And who isn’t grateful for a wonderful meal to share with friends and family?
Chances are your guest room may need some organizing before your guests arrive for the holidays. If you use the space for other purposes during the year, now is the time to spruce it up so your guests feel welcomed and comfortable. Follow the tips below to create a restful and serene environment for your guests this holiday season. Do it now and after your guests leave you will like spending more time in this room yourself.
If you have not filtered out all the items you don’t use anymore, do so now. You still have time to take this important step. The price you pay for packing, transporting and unpacking old stuff is not only in time and money. It will clutter up your new home.