“What to do with the spare room?” is a question that all homeowners will ask themselves at some point in their lives. A constant bane on our otherwise (presumably) clutter free homes, most spare rooms are so chaotic they could almost resemble the state of the Universe a few seconds after the big bang. Sorting it out therefore is one of the last things we’d ever want to do with our spare time but the New Year is the perfect time to get a fresh start so you can make the most of that otherwise unused room.
It’s a big job but luckily, we’re here to help with a handful of helpful hints and tips that should make the grand task of decluttering run smoothly and successfully. So don those marigolds and fire up the iPod because we mean business!
Learn to let go
When in the midst of a brutal decluttering, it can be all to easy to assign sentimental value to items that simply don’t deserve it. That board game with the missing pieces and the mouldy cards that you were given on your 7th birthday for example might ‘seem’ like it holds too many memories to throw away but getting rid of the (now useless) artefact will not make the memories themselves disappear. Make three piles, one for things you definitely want to keep, one for things of no value that you have no issue throwing away and one for itemsyou intend to sell. Go with your initial instincts as if you’re left to ponder to long you might start ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’, wasting valuable time.
Your spare room will probably be full of old books, CD’s, DVD’s and clothes that you’ll never use again but could really mean the world to somebody less fortunate. Once you’ve sorted you’re 3 piles, look at them more carefully and think about whether or not certain items might be desirable charitable donations.
If the spare room is full of clutter for a reason and the attic and garage are just as full, consider hiring a self-storage unit in which to store the items from your ‘to keep’ pile. Yearly rates are generally quite reasonable and the majority of self storage facilities are easily accessible. There is also the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ factor to consider, as clutter can prove quite stressful for some anal homeowners and knowing that the clutter is beyond your reach (albeit temporarily) could prove quite comforting.
Don’t do it all In one go
Decluttering can be tiring, monotonous, sweaty work so don’t fool yourself into thinking you can manage it all in one session. Make a timetable for the next week or so and stick to it, giving yourself plenty of time to rest and recuperate as if you get tired or bored, you’ll no doubt start doing a lousy job. Even giving yourself half an hour a day of decluttering time over a fortnight is preferable to 8 hours of graft on a Sunday afternoon when you’d rather be doing anything else.
Set a goal and stick to it
A rather self explanatory one this but no less important for it. If you don’t have an ‘end goal’ in sight you will have significantly less incentive to get the job done so before you even lift a finger, make sure you have a ‘completion date’ penciled in. If you’re getting the room ready for relatives staying over, you’ll obviously want to get the room ready in plenty of time to set a date and work to that deadline.
Share the workload
Don’t try to take this burden on all by yourself. Share the workload with your friends and family and you might even be able to make the decluttering fun! You could even try making little games with small incentives such as “first to sort their allotted pile of old assorted magazines gets a cold beer”.
Decluttering your spare room should ultimately not be that difficult, it’s just one of those ‘little jobs’ we keep putting off. Heed the wisdom above though (OK now I’m getting a little ahead of myself) and use you own common sense and before you know it with the right motivation and a little bit of hard work your spare room could just end up being the most desirable room in the house!