This Drastic-yet-Effective Decluttering Method Will Make You Fall in Love with Your Home Again

published Sep 20, 2021
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Credit: Sylvie Li

After spending a great deal more time at home than anyone ever anticipated, some rooms (the whole house?) might be looking a bit cluttered and askew. Having everyone at home all the time, turning spaces into virtual school space or at-home gyms, I know my home could use a refresh.

And a reset for home seems fitting right now. Honestly, life has changed so much from how it was a year and a half ago that it’s almost necessary.

The good news? You can achieve the peace and harmony that comes from a picked-up, cleaned-up space with one simple, but drastic technique. You can do it by decluttering your homes as if you’re going to sell.

Decluttering Hack: Pretend You’re Selling Your Home

I find it ironic that so often, it’s not until you’re selling your home that you make them how you’ve always wanted it to be. Of course, making your home not only presentable but attractive to future buyers is essential, but why wait to clean and arrange to the standard we aspire to until you’re doing it for someone else?

Spoiler alert: You shouldn’t. Pretending you’re selling your home will make you fall in love with it all over again.

Here’s how to do it.

Clear off all the surfaces. This is the number-one staging trick that makes a space look clean and refreshed. Take everything off your kitchen counters, clear off the surface of your desk, remove all the sentimental items from your living room bookshelves. Stash everything in laundry baskets in another room.

Take everything off the walls. Again, this is drastic, but it’s a really good way to allow your space to speak to you.

Consider the room’s furniture. A room overstuffed with furniture can’t breathe. Analyze each piece and its function. Ask yourself if you’d gain more by replacing nonessential furniture with empty space. Experiment with moving things around and removing items.

Wait. This doesn’t have to be a long period of time, but give yourself a little bit of time to sit in the bare-bones room, consider how you’re using it, how you want to use it, etc. Walk away and do something else for a bit, like maybe sorting through the decor and items you’ve removed to decide what you can give away and what you truly want to keep. Come back and consider your space with fresh eyes.

Begin adding back in, selectively. Don’t forget, you’re standing in the shoes of someone who is trying to make their home appear in its absolute best light. With that in mind, make sure each item you return to your space contributes to the room’s form or function.

Don’t think of your room as storage for your stuff, think of it as a space where you and your family do a certain thing (cooking, relaxing, playing, sleeping, etc.) and only re-introduce the items that support these activities. This includes decor or sentimental items that simply make a space beautiful. But remember that less is more and that too many things dilute the overall effect.

Deal with the discards. You don’t want to shuffle junk around the house, so immediately make a plan for dealing with the items you’re not keeping. Put them in a box in the trunk of your car for donation drop-off.

Move on to the next space. Trust me, resetting your room from almost scratch will make you want to do it again in every room of your home. Ruthlessly decluttering as if you’re doing it for someone else, someone whose heartstrings aren’t all tangled up in your belongings, helps you let go of what detracts from your spaces so you’re left with a home that’s calm and peaceful.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Drastic Decluttering Method Will Make You Fall in Love With Your Home Again