Swiftly Declutter, Whether You're Selling Your Home or Not

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Swiftly Declutter, Whether You're Selling Your Home or Not

If you're living with a lot of clutter but want to live with less, these suggestions may be life changing. Whether you have clutter closets, a basement full of boxes and discarded furniture, or your counters are covered in stuff, decluttering these spaces will make you feel more in control of your life and proud of your home.  Using one acronym, you could find yourself swiftly getting rid of items that serve no purpose in your life.  Grab a few empty boxes and let's give it a try.

When it comes to decluttering, start by finding at least 3 large boxes or bins. Label one as "keep", one as "toss", and the final box as "donate", then sit down in your cluttered space and let's get to work. (You might want a 4th box for recyclables.)



Next, focus on the acronym O.H.I.O.. Not the state, but a method that could change the way you handle clutter, and your life, moving forward.  Only Handle It Once.  I learned this acronym watching a tv design show years ago. It has changed the way I handle clutter and it keeps my house organized (ex. pick up the toothpaste, add some to your toothbrush and put the tube back in the cabinet vs. laying it on the counter. No tidying up later because you put everything away immediately after handling it.)


Start by grabbing an item and deciding if you're going to keep it, toss it, or donate it. You can only handle it once and you'll need to practice decisiveness.  In other words, don't set it aside to give yourself more time to think it over. Quickly make a decision, put the item in the designated box and be done with it. On to the next item.

  • Broken item? Toss.
  • Old remote or cord to an out-of-date electronic device? Toss or recycle.
  • Clothing you haven't worn in the last 6 months? Donate.

If you find yourself putting a lot in your "keep" box, you may want to go through the whole process again just for that box. Having a friend by your side may be an asset. Someone who can remind you that you don't need 4 black t-shirts. Keep the newest one and donate the rest.

This is a great way to approach decluttering and organization.  You might pick one closet or room per weekend and practice the O.H.I.O. technique.  If you're planning on moving soon, you might want to choose one project per night and 3-4 per weekend.  Before you know it, you will have decluttered all of your closets, rooms, and the dreaded basement.


De-cluttering can be simplified using the acronym O.H.I.O.. Plan on at least a 2 hour block of time to sort and declutter a room or closet.  If you're moving, kick it up a notch and try to sort more quickly and more frequently.  Have someone on standby to take the donations to a secondhand store, take the recyclables to the recycling center, and the garbage to the trash bin. This will ensure the clutter doesn't end up in the bottom of a closet. Time to grab some boxes and get on with it!  Soon you'll feel a large weight lifted from your shoulders and you'll find yourself enjoying a clutter-free home.  Tip: consider applying this practice at least once per year so clutter doesn't stand a chance in your home.

Janelle D.

I've worked in the real estate sector for more than a decade and enjoy sharing my knowledge on the subject and researching the latest trends. In my free time I like to craft, spend time with my family and dog, participate in outdoor activities like hiking, and I'm passionate about photography.

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