How to Declutter Your Home while You Self-Quarantine during Coronavirus

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As you self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic, a Netflix binge can only go on for so long until your brains turn to mush and you need something else to occupy it. 

Why not try decluttering your home while you have the time? Even if the kids are home making messes every day, we all know the stuff that’s piled-up is more than anything the kids could lay out on a daily basis. 

So instead of exacerbating how closed off you’re feeling from the rest of the world, clear out at least one room in your home each day. You’ll have more room to live and breathe as you self-quarantine. 

Start by setting goals

Goal-setting works for everything in life — even clutter. When you set goals, chances are you’re more likely to achieve them. All goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable. 

When preparing your goals, ask yourself: 

  • Which room will you do on each day? 
  • How cluttered is each room? 
  • How many rooms will you declutter per day? 
  • How long will the overall project take you to complete? 
  • How long will each room take to declutter? 

Be systematic 

You may be aware of the need to have a sorting system in place, but keep in mind that your system should be what works for you. Typically, you’ll want to work with Keep, Toss, and Store boxes. 

Items in the toss box are not always to throw out. Some of these items can be donated or sold. Make sure you have a place to keep them before they go to their new home. 

For items you want to store outside your home, you’ll create an inventory sheet so you don’t lose track of them. Then, call a professional storage company to take care of it. 

Mentally prepare 

Since we’ve mentioned the toss box, you might anticipate having to part ways with items you hold dear to your heart. Author Linda Hetzer advises: “Keep the memories, get rid of the stuff!” 

Furthermore, when it comes to the fact that you’re throwing away things that cost money, just consider these as sunk costs. Unless you can get future value from an item, focus on increasing your life’s value now. 

If you haven’t used something in over six months, you probably don’t need it, don’t really want it, or don’t use it — all signs the item is toss box worthy. 

Other things to keep in mind as you move through your home decluttering are: 

  • Start small, with the easiest room, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Or start by doing only five minutes of decluttering per day.  
  • Look at your home as if you were a guest in it for the first time and see what your first impressions are.
  • Group similar items together in places they’re most often used. 
  • Get help from a friend if you can — and if they’re COVID-19 negative. 

Star with a clutter sweep 

Go ahead and begin your decluttering now. Let’s say on Monday you decide to declutter your bedroom. The first step would be to get rid of obvious trash and items that you don’t want but are recyclable — like glass and plastics. 

These will fill your toss box. You’re also going to pick up those things that you can donate, and others that you want to sell. Normally, you’d hold a garage sale to make sales, but you might want to hold off on that one. 

Bedroom 

Most people naturally try to keep their bedroom somewhat organized because it’s usually their sanctuary. If that’s not you, here’s how to go about decluttering: 

  • Determine what is not bedroom material 
  • Keep flat surfaces clear
  • Use storage bins — plastic or cloth — for toys from the kids’ bedrooms 

Closet 

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? This outlines the largely-held belief that we use only 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Along with this, keep in mind that old clothes or clothes that no longer fit should be tossed. 

  • Clear your shelves and wipe them down, then start tossing
  • Put sentimental clothing in a storage bin to free up space
  • Make sure you can see everything without moving stuff around

Home office 

It’s simply not possible to do your best work when your office is packed with a mess. Do the following to help, and then use the advice from the living room section for cord organization. 

  • Clear your drawers of clutter
  • Get rid of all unnecessary papers 
  • Scan documents you need then throw the physical copy 
  • Consider storing important documents like taxes 
  • Create a to-do list with relevant documents 

Kitchen 

The kitchen might be the most important home in the house. Without it, you wouldn’t be alive. That’s probably why it’s almost always the messiest place for many, too. 

  • Clear your kitchen counters leaving only everyday appliances and the essentials 
  • Put like items together, such as baking, storage bags, and utensils 
  • Move items to where they should go and throw away what you don’t need
  • Use dividers to separate your drawers and put your pantry to good use

Bathrooms

Often the smallest room in the house, the bathroom is also the most haphazardly organized too. Make use of the space beneath your sink, and try to be efficient with drawers and shelves here. 

  • Clear table tops and do a clutter sweet of shelves and drawers 
  • Again, put like items together. They may come from multiple bathrooms
  • Toss out half-empty bottles and donate extra towels or rags
  • Combine products which are the same into one bottle
  • Use small containers, hooks, and vertical storage to make more space 

Living room 

This is the big one. Along with perhaps the kitchen counter, it’s natural to place things down in the living area when you’ve come from work or — amid the coronavirus — your home office. 

  • Return items such as toys, dishes, and clothes to their correct places
  • Use cloth baskets or buy storage furniture to keep items neatly stored
  • Consider removing excess decor that could be giving a cluttered effect 
  • Use short cables or store them in containers that match the room 
  • Hide cords and cables underneath furniture, in walls, or under rugs 

Prevent clutter in future 

Once you’ve done all this, avoid cluttering your home again. Avoid going on a shopping binge — not that you can with COVID-19 floating around. At least, don’t order tons of stuff online. 

As time goes, make it a habit to spend a few minutes clearing up even slightly cluttered sections of your home. This will save you hours in the long run.

Make decluttering a family goal. Get your kids to start putting toys away regularly and make sure everyone is dedicated to using clothes baskets and recycling bins. 

A good rule of thumb from here on is that for every item you purchase, you have to toss — donate or sell — another item out. 

Now, enjoy being more relaxed!

It’s hard to deny the zen-like effects of having a clutter-free home. At a time when there’s so much fear and worry going around, the last thing you need is to feel like you’re being smothered in your own house. 

So go on, get to decluttering and ease your mind a little bit. It’s much needed. And don’t forget to wash your hands regularly, stay indoors as much as possible, and just be safe!

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