Tight quarters can ruin any relationship. For that matter, if 2 or 3 or more people are in each other’s company too long, there’s bound to be friction. This has been especially evident during the Covid quarantine. If you are feeling cramped and your relationships are straining, there are some things you and your roommates, family or significant other can do to relieve the stress.
If you can get everyone to agree on decluttering, you may find room you didn’t know you had. You can decide on a system before starting that will make it go quicker and be more effective in the long run.
Help Each Other
The first rule of decluttering is to not go it alone. Why? Well, many humans are sentimental beings. If we start going through old stuff, we may keep it due to an emotional attachment. Doing it together reduces the chances that you’ll get distracted by nostalgia or sadness as you encounter your belongings. Also, many humans are better at procrastinating than anything else. If you do it together, you can hold each other accountable. So there’s two good reasons to help each other.
Who needs supplies for decluttering? Well, most people do. The best way to make decluttering meaningful is to have a way to categorize items that you are getting rid of. This means you will need bags, boxes or bins for separating things. It’s up to you whether you also have the vacuum and some cleaning supplies handy.
Before you start cleaning, decide where items will go. That’s how many bins or boxes you’ll need. You will need a charity box for things you want to discard. Perhaps you have books or DVDs that can be sold to the local used book store. They need their own box. A recycling bin can take care of the regular recycling items, but maybe you need a second one for batteries and other items that must be recycled separately. Obviously you need a trash can as well.
Make a Plan
Some people decide to tackle the hardest areas first. Others choose the easiest. You could start in the hallway and work your way clockwise or counterclockwise through the house or apartment. Don’t allow yourself to flit from room to room or expect to never really finish.
You may want to consider what areas have the most potential for decluttering. Crowded bookshelves, overflowing kitchen cabinets or stuffed bathroom closets are all good candidates. Perhaps you can agree on sending a certain amount of items and even extra furniture to a self storage unit.
Be Persistent and Thorough
You don’t have to do the whole home at one time, but you do need to be persistent. Each time you quit, make an agreement to return to the task at a certain time the next day. If someone’s too tired, they have to keep the other one company while the work continues. This should ensure that procrastination doesn’t have a chance to take root.
Each time you call it quits, take out the trash and recycling. You can load a car trunk with charity items and make sure to take them when the trunk is full. Once decisions are made about items to go into storage, don’t wait. As you can imagine, the sooner items leave the home, the more accomplished you will feel.
Look for Organizational Opportunities
When you are cleaning out closets, wardrobes, dressers and cabinets, pay attention to how they are organized. As you put things back, you can create a more organized space. Your goal should be to use things you already own (shoeboxes, plastic bins, etc.) in order to achieve organization. You don’t want to go on a buying spree just as you are gaining ground.
Recover in Style
As you achieve your goals, put aside time to celebrate your success. This will encourage you and your roommates or family to continue the decluttering process.