Some of us move on average every 5-7 years, some of us have lived in the same home for 20 years. No matter which category you represent, we all deal with clutter. Let’s face it, life gets busy and things accumulate. The accumulation of things does have a cost. It costs us both time and money to keep them, store them, and find them. The physical clutter can also be emotionally taxing. Not to mention when it’s time to think about selling and moving, the agony of weeding through everything at once to purge on a deadline!

Here are 5 tips to help get started on decluttering your life:

  1. Start with a goal – and start small. Know what you want to accomplish. A clear goal will help you to focus your time and realize results. Don’t think you will be able to go through all the kitchen cabinets at once, for example. Maybe start with just one or two cabinets.
  2. Clear the clutter – statistics show we only use 20% of the things we own. Take a good look at how you spend your time and the “stuff” around you that does not get used or enjoyed. Get rid of what does not “spark joy” in your life, as author/organizer Marie Kondo says.
  3. Sort like things together – understand how much you have and then you can make better decisions about what you will use/keep. It’s also a good time to re-decide the location of the items. Is there a place that works better?
  4. Store things where you use them – this will save you time. Create systems to store things so that everything has a “home” and then develop the habit of putting them away after each use. Store frequently use items so that they are easy to retrieve and easy to put away – or your system will quickly fall apart.
  5. Keep things simple – in other words, lighten your load, learn to say “no” and let go. Better yet, only say “yes” to the things that matter to you. You’ll soon feel the effects of making choices that help you better manage the things you keep.

Start now, whether you are planning to move or not, and experience a more organized life!