How many times have you walked into your living room and tripped over that old footstool that nobody uses? Or maybe there’s a coffee table collecting dust in the corner, just waiting for its moment of glory.
Or have you ever collected a ‘valuable’ that soon turned into an ‘unwanted item’? When it comes to furniture, it’s important to realize that each piece of furniture we introduce to our home eats up precious floor space.
If your home feels cluttered, it’s time to decide what pieces of furniture you might want to let go. This way, you’ll make room for freedom of movement and clarity of mind by removing what you no longer use.
Not sure how? I have some no-nonsense furniture decluttering tips for you right here.
Benefits of a Minimalist Mindset
There’s a lot of noise about embracing minimalism. But what is it? And are there even any real benefits of living with lesser possessions? Let’s find out.
A minimalist mindset promotes the idea that less is more. It’s synonymous with low clutter levels, improved mental health, and a higher sense of liberation. Need I say more? Here it goes.
A minimalist setup allows for enhanced freedom and clarity of thought. You’ll notice your creativity level soaring through the roof as you eliminate the unwanted items around you.
Plus, a decluttered space looks more spacious, airy, and appealing. It’ll help you save time, too. You will no longer have to wade through random stuff, creating a clutter pile in the corner.
10 Easy Steps For Decluttering Furniture
Decluttering isn’t an overnight success story. It takes time and effort to get the desired results. If it’s your first time clearing out your furniture, here are a few tips to help you stay on track.
1. Create a Decluttering Plan
Don’t jump head-first into the deep end. Instead, create a comprehensive decluttering plan. Include all the details, like:
- Who’ll help you through the decluttering process – make it fun; invite friends.
- Which room you’ll start with – you don’t have to do it all at once; conquer one room at a time.
- How many hours a day you’ll spend decluttering – don’t spend your entire day in the clutter; 30-60 minutes each day with a 5-10 minute break in between is good enough.
- What you’ll do with the unwanted items – discard, sell, or donate?
- Have your cleaning supplies, packing materials, and donation bags ready.
2. Assessing Your Situation: Where to Begin?
When you’re ready to start your decluttering journey, your first step should be to assess where you stand. It’ll help you create a decluttering timeline and plan each stage accordingly.
Here are a few questions you need answers for:
- Is there any piece of furniture that is damaged beyond repair, too worn out or even torn?
- Are there pieces of furniture you would like to let go, but feel guilty doing so?
- Are there pieces of furniture you don’t use?
- Are there pieces of furniture that do not fit with other pieces? For example because of different styles, different colors, different types of material?
- Are there pieces of furniture that you use as storage space? For example a chair collecting dirty clothes? Or a cabinet colleting newspapers, bills, or other important papers?
Once you have the answers, you know what can stay and what needs to go. Now, make a decluttering checklist and get started.
3. Sorting Your Furniture
Assess which pieces of furniture are really damaged, worn out, or torn. Keep in mind that it brings you no joy to look at damaged furniture, let alone use a drawer that gets stuck all the time or open a rattling closet door.
If you have any heirlooms or pieces of furniture that you actually want to get rid of but feel guilty about doing so, please read this article: Letting Go of Other People’s Stuff: How to Declutter Family Heirlooms
In order to create a calm and relaxed interior, it helps to choose just a few colors for your furniture. Especially when you live in a small home, a lot of different colors will quickly make your rooms feel cluttered. Take into account the color of your floors, curtains, door, woodwork, and walls as well.
You should also re-assess every piece of furniture that you primarily use as a storage option. Because sometimes, a small coffee table collects bills that should actually be stored in your (home) office. Or you use a dining table chair to collect small items or toys which only creates a clutter hotspot and gives your dining area a cluttered look.
4. Empty and Clean
When you’ve decided to let some pieces of furniture go, you need to empty those pieces. I’m sure there’s a lot of paper clutter in there. And what’s a better time to clean those up than right now?
When you’ve emptied everything, give each item of furniture a good wipe and scrub. Dusting them and removing any stains will bring out the real picture. Now, you’ll categorize better.
5. Assess and Reorganize
Sometimes things feel unwanted because they aren’t in the right place. And if you throw them out without being sure, you’ll have to get them again. That too at a higher price. Yikes! So, better you check now.
If your all-precious leather sofa chair doesn’t fit in your living room, perhaps move it to your guest bedroom. Or how about the tiny table for two in the corner? Maybe it’ll look better next to your bed as a bed stand.
6. Repurpose, Sell, Discard, or Donate
What’s standing between you and your cozy, relaxing space are those random furniture items sitting around the room. Sort and categorize them to determine what you’ll keep and repurpose, throw, or pass on.
If there’s something broken or heavily stained, it’s time to say goodbye. If it’s still usable but not something you need in your daily life, donate it. Perhaps to a local thrift store, a local school, or a shelter.
Pieces that are still in good shape and valuable, may get a second life in a repurposed way. For example: how about a small tea table that better serves as a book cabinet? Or use it to store board games?
And you may even sell valuable pieces in good condition online, for example via Craigslist. Or better yet, organize a yard sale! Here you’ll find the best tips to make that a success: 10 Yard Sale Tips That’ll Clear Your Clutter Fast (With Free Printable Checklist)
7. Cleaning and Refreshing Other Areas
Decluttering is an opportunity for a cleaning session. So, take a look at your walls, flooring, and window sills. Spot dust? Clean it!
If any area needs special attention, include it in your checklist. A good steam cleaning session can be very helpful here. You’ll be surprised at how invigorating this life experience can become.
8. Dusting and Vacuuming
Besides the architectural elements of your home, the furniture and house items need a good spruce-up too. So, dust every single item, nook, and cranny, from shelf space to picture frames.
Use your vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and dirt from your carpets, curtains, and sofas. You can also use a handheld carpet sweeper for smaller areas like table corners and tight spaces.
9. Deep Cleaning Tips
Deep cleaning furniture isn’t as straightforward as scrubbing and wiping the tiles dry. You have to be careful about the products you use on each item and how long you let it stay.
Here are a few tips that’ll help you reach the finish line without hiccups:
- Read the care tags before cleaning.
- Use only pH-neutral cleaners for leather, fabric, and wooden furniture.
- Don’t forget to spot-test in an invisible spot.
- Avoid using too much water on delicate surfaces.
- Dry every piece of furniture thoroughly after cleaning.
10. Organizing and Storage Solutions
One thing that helps me keep my home Mari Kondo-level organized is a good set of storage solutions. Baskets and bins can help you segregate belongings while preventing them from cluttering the place. It’s a win-win!
Here you’ll find some creative ways to use baskets for home organization: 20 Ways To Organize Your Home With Organizing Baskets
Also, label each basket or bin to avoid confusion when fishing out items later on. And if you don’t have any labels handy, make your own.
I also prefer investing in storage furniture pieces. A nice ottoman with a hidden storage area can make all the difference. The same goes for an entertainment center that uses vertical space to store media accessories, DVDs, and books.
A cluttered space is aesthetically displeasing. It also creates a negative energy that affects your creativity, productivity, and mental and emotional health.
When it comes to our homes, furniture is one of the main culprits. It occupies most of the floor space, magnifies visual clutter, and limits mobility. So, the best way to bring back your home’s charm is to declutter furniture.
I hope the tips I’ve highlighted above will help you create an organized space in no time. As for me, I’m off to do some dusting! Ready, set, go!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the 80/20 rule for decluttering?
The 80/20 rule, also called the Pareto Principle, suggests that we normally use 20% of the stuff in our homes 80% of the time. The remaining sits aimlessly in spots collecting dust bunnies. So, if you want to declutter your home, let go of the 80% you haven’t used.
What is the 12 12 12 method?
The 12-12-12 method makes decluttering manageable and fun. The essence is to find 12 items for each category, including donate, throw away, and relocate. Send usable books, clothes, and toys to donation centers. Damaged items can rest in the bin now, and return items out of place to their homes.
What is the 5-second rule for decluttering?
This one’s a reality check! Pick up an object and ask yourself when you used it last. If you don’t recall the moment within five seconds, it’s time to say goodbye.
What is the 6-month rule for decluttering?
According to the 6-month rule, if you haven’t used an item in the last six months, you must part ways with it. Of course, seasonal items like bulky coats can be stored away, and mementos that spark joy should always stay.
Why is it so hard to let go of stuff?
Emotional weight is a major reason why we find letting go of stuff so hard. You’ll notice letting go of random items isn’t as tough as throwing away sentimental items.
And then there are some of us who aren’t ready to deal with the anxiety of “What if I need it later?”. Others don’t want to part with something that has served them for a long time.
MORE ABOUT ORGANIZING:
- Decluttering And Repurposing Used Greeting Cards
- 10 Pantry Organization Hacks To Simplify Food Storage
- Organizing With Kids: How To Declutter And Organize Toys
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