8 tips to declutter your space

Whether you are going to be selling your home soon or want to take some time to purge your belongings, take some tips and tricks from the professionals on the topic of how to declutter your space. declutter your space

1. Go the old school route and gather three black bags (black is important!). One will become a donation bag, one will become a trash bag and the third will be a keepsakes bag. Be ruthless as you choose one room to start in and separate every single item into either one of the three bags OR determine where that item's home will be. Promptly take the trash bag out to your curb/trashcan and place the donation bag into your vehicle to drop the next time you run errands. The keepsake bag can simply go into a closet for ease of access!

2. Starting with what you KNOW you don't want, remove the 'easy stuff'...old paper wrappers, empty hangers, expired foods. Lisa Rigoni from The Organizing Mentors says to then move onto the items you know you don't want to take with you...if you are moving or even not. Donate the 'stuff' that is taking up space; mentally and physically. You and your environment will feel more open and free. Make sure to find a local charity you trust and believe in. Having a place to donate will help you make decisions quicker and easier. Donating items that are gently used and most likely in fine working condition to a non-profit can change someone's world...starting with you.

3. Offer your family incentives for the clean out of their belongings. Offer a favorite home cooked meal in exchange for a reduction in the stuffed animal collection or go on a fun little excursion once a box is fill with never-watched dvds!

4. Focusing on the kitchen, Dinna Eckstein of Audrey Kate Design and Staging says to be ruthless on your coffee mugs. Are they truly collector items or can you reduce the mugs down to simply the ones you use on a daily basis? Moving to that junk drawer, Dinna says "if you have keys, remotes, plugs, pieces of papers, pens and pencils, business cards, etc...and you have no idea what they are for...PURGE!"

5. Create an "on its way out box" like Amy Lynn Andrews. This is a simple, no hassle way to collect the items in your home that your family no longer needs or is using on a regular basis.

6. The garage can be the biggest source of junk collection! How many cans of paint currently take up residence in yours? How about bikes that no longer fit your children or sports equipment no one is playing any longer? Dinna says "rethink their current importance to you".

7. Speaking of garages ... utilize your vertical space! "Keep out of season and hazardous (to children) items up high to keep the floor clear for cars or playing", says Nicole Athas of Practically Organized.

Nicole Athas Practically Organized Garage

8. Janet from JLynn Maximizers has this to say about purging: "The word purge is thrown around a lot when it comes to organizing & decluttering – I think it often frightens people.  They have every card their children or spouse or sister ever gave them; asking them to toss that is asking them to toss a piece of their heart!  Maybe they have the stub from every concert they’ve been to since they were 13.  Or all the artwork their children ever made in school.  Instead of purging these items, let’s keep them……differently.  Make a collage – take those cards and cut out portions of sentiments or special handwritten notes or pictures and arrange them as artwork. Now it can be hung and enjoyed instead of stuffed in a box in the basement. Turning treasures into artwork can be done in a variety of fun & inventive ways."

Thank you to our organizing experts who weighed in on this topic today! Please check them out and if you are in the need for their services, tell them that 8th & Home sent you!

How about you? Which room in your home currently needs to be purged?