images of decluttered spaces

There's a lot weighing on all of our minds these days. While much of it is out of our hands, there are ways to take back some control. Decluttering your space will not only give you something to do while you're sheltering in place at home, but it will also make it much more enjoyable to be there.

"I feel that after this pandemic people will be happy with less. They won't be in that 'more is better' mentality. Simplicity is better and a simpler way of life will be the new norm," said Kazantzis Real Estate Agent Denise Moore.

Just like our previous tips about home organization, Moore suggests tackling one room at a time.

"During this time of quarantine people are home which is the perfect time to organize and declutter," she said.

It doesn't have to be overwhelming. The website Becoming Minimalist says the trick is to just get started.

"If you’re new to decluttering, you can slowly build momentum with just five minutes a day," the website said. 

The site has a great list of decluttering ideas, including:

  • Donation Race - Get a trash bag and fill it as fast as you can with items you can donate. This could also be a fun "game" for your kids.
  • The 12-12-12 Challenge - Find 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate and 12 to return to their proper home.
  • The Four Box Method - "Get four boxes and label them: trash, give away, keep, or re-locate. Enter any room in your home and place each item into one of the following boxes. "

The site also has a helpful decluttering checklist. 

I'm decluttered, now what?

As you declutter, you'll have to decide what to keep, what to toss, what to donate and whether you want to sell any of the items you're purging.

"There are so many ways to rid of your unwanted items. If it's for a financial outcome then look to your local Facebook resale sites or use Facebook Marketplace," Moore said. "Consignment stores are also a great way to earn some cash for your unwanted items."

There are also national websites like eBay, Mercari, and Poshmark.

If you just want the items gone - but they still have some life in them, you can also donate to various charities. 

Kazantzis Real Estate Agent Fran Rose said bigger items, like household fixtures, appliances and furniture can be donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Plainfield.

Just remember, if an item is broken or past its prime - it's probably best to throw it away. No one wants junk.

While many consignment stores and donation centers are closed because of the pandemic, you can still put items aside and drop them off when restrictions are lifted.

Here are some of the consignment stores and donation centers Moore recommends:

So find some empty boxes or trash cans and get going. Then when social distancing over, you're home will be company-ready!