8 ways to break up with your junk
When we think about decluttering our homes, we tend to focus on all the stuff we need to get rid of. But how did all of that “junk” get there in the first place? Junk doesn’t walk into our homes uninvited. You open the door and—whoosh!—in it comes, carried by your own two hands. It’s time to stop inviting the clutter inside, and break up with your junk for good.
Break up with your junk and remove clutter from your home
If you’re ready to reclaim your space and call it quits with the chaos, here are eight easy ways to break up with your junk!
1. Set limits on items that tend to accumulate
How many grocery bags does a household need? Pick a number, any number. Then return extras to the grocery store. While you’re at it, part ways with wire hangers, and return them to the dry cleaner. Just say no to those promotional freebies like pens and keyrings. Setting these limits will ensure you have enough essential items, without feeling overwhelmed by your collection. If you need help getting rid of some of these excess items, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is happy to help clear the clutter!
2. Cut the paper clutter
Do you have important papers and receipts piling up, and just aren’t sure what to do with them? To tackle the issue, it’s time to move on from old habits! Start by setting up a dedicated space, like an organized drawer, sleek storage box, or even stylish accordion folder. Categorize your files, and establish a regular decluttering routine, and do some recycling at home. Aim to store only essential items, digitize when possible, and consider using labels for quick identification. If you form the habit of promptly filing away new papers, it will ensure you have easy access to them, all the while preventing clutter from stacking up.
3. Plan your purchases
How often do you buy on impulse, only to discover that you really don’t like or need what you bought? If you “shop ‘til you drop,” clutter is the price you pay. Whether it’s piling up items you won’t use, or collecting piles of receipts just in case you need to return items, your home can fill up quickly with clutter. Go shopping with a list and buy only what’s on it, or utilize services like online grocery shopping to avoid picking up random items when browsing the aisles. Keep in mind that today’s unplanned purchases inevitably become tomorrow’s junk.
4. Avoid overbuying
Buying some items in bulk makes sense if you have the space to store them. However with items that deteriorate over time, it is better to buy only what you expect to use before their expiration dates. Liquid laundry detergent, for example, has a shelf life of up to a year if unopened and six months after opening. So more isn’t always better—even if it’s on sale.
5. Aim to inspire rather than impress
No matter how much you acquire, there’s always more to be had. What’s more inspiring than a house full of clutter is embracing the “less is more” philosophy. It’s better to have fewer possessions that you love and use than a house full of stuff that’s just taking up valuable space. This concept works especially well for clothing. Build a capsule wardrobe. A few key, high-quality pieces will serve you much better than a closet stuffed with poorly made, fast fashion pieces. When prioritizing this way, you’ll get much more use and enjoyment out of your items, so when it’s eventually time to let them go, it feels easier to say goodbye!
6. Organize and update cluttered spaces
Go through your typical cluttered spaces, whether it’s junk drawers, under the bed storage, the top shelves, or even that chair in the corner covered in miscellaneous items. Remove clutter and donate any unused and unloved items to charity, recycle appropriate items, and trash anything broken or unusable. Once those spaces are cleared, it’ll be easier to maintain them and stay on top of any piling junk. Updating the area with nice decor may also help avoid items piling up there. Need help responsibly getting rid of the junk after decluttering? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? works with various local charities and recycling centers, to ensure your items are properly disposed of!
7. Commit to the “one in/one out” rule
For every item you invite into your home, send one item packing (or two if you’re really on a decluttering roll.) The more you exercise that “letting go” muscle, the stronger you become and the easier it gets to let go of junk. Recognize your weak spots—perhaps you collect shoes or hats—and be sure to enforce this rule to avoid getting buried beneath a pile of stuff. When clearing out any big items, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? can handle all the lifting and loading for you. All you have to do is point!
8. Live a minimalist lifestyle today
Embrace a clutter-free present. Let go of the past and focus on what brings you joy today. There’s a reason why stuff from your past is collecting dust. If you’re saving things just in case you might need them someday, let them go. Focus on the present, rather than worrying about needing that extra item in the unforeseeable future.