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8 ways to un-invite junk from your home

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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 breaking up with junk for good.

How to declutter your home by un-inviting junk

If you’re ready to reclaim your space and break the cycle, here are 8 easy ways to un-invite junk from your home!

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, return wire hangers to the dry cleaner, and 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. Reduce incoming physical mail

Notice that you have multiple drawers, folders, and filing cabinets full to the brim storing various different pieces of mail? Opt for paperless statements from banks and credit card companies, financial investments, and utility companies. Cancel subscriptions to magazines that you haven’t read in the last three months. Lastly, if you’re getting a lot of junk mail, see if you can request to have your name removed from any mailing lists, or put a “No Junk Mail” sign up near your mailbox.

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 your wardrobe: A few key, high-quality pieces will serve you much better than a closet stuffed with poorly made, trendy clothes. When prioritizing this way, you’ll get much more use and enjoyment out of your items, so when it’s time to let them go, it feels understandable and earned!

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. 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 for today

Aim to surround yourself with only those things that are meaningful to you 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, just let them go. Focus on the present, rather than worrying about needing that extra item in the unforeseeable future.

Are you ready to say goodbye junk, and hello relief? If you need a hand clearing the clutter you’ve invited into your home, call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? -- we’re happy to help! 

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