If you live in the same house for a long time, you can build up a huge collection of clutter. Without having to sort through your belongings every few years for a move, you get out of the habit of throwing away or donating things you don’t use or need. Take some time to consider taking care of your build-up of possessions and trash in these areas.
Unsurprisingly, clutter accumulates in rooms quickly. You come home from work or your kids come home from school, and you go to your bedroom to change. You dump whatever you were holding—papers from work, the mail, something you saw in the hallway and wanted to move—on the floor and then forget about it. Studies have shown that you are less likely to sleep well if your room is a mess, so sorting and cleaning out your crowded room has health as well as aesthetic benefits. Particularly in children’s rooms, be sure to check under beds and in closets as well as places that everyone can see.
Even if you don’t work from home, it’s nice to have a space to complete your work and store any books or materials you need. Such a space helps separate your work life from the rest of your time at home. However, papers and old projects tend to pile up in offices. Go through the drawers and shelves in your office and consider whether you really need each spreadsheet or document anymore. You probably have copies of most online, and if not, you can scan them and then recycle the originals.
If your children do not pick up their toys outside, they will become damaged by the weather. Go through your children’s outdoor toy box and throw away punctured balls and broken buckets rather than holding on to a bunch of faded plastic pieces. Swing sets also decay over time, so inspect them regularly to ensure that they are safe. If your children are grown up and you do not have grandchildren, you should consider donating your swing set or throwing it away if it is unsafe. Find out about water waste hauling and municipal yard waste pickups so that natural debris and waste does not build up in your yard.
Going through years’ worth of belongings is never fun. Motivate yourself to continue working by thinking about how nice it will be to relax in your new clean house.