A messy house or closet is always a source of stress for me. Just knowing that all that junk is lurking in there is enough to make me cringe. But cleaning out a house can be easier than you thought!
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Start with less-used storage areas (You'll see why later). When I clean, I usually take everything out of the closet and put it all over the floor of the room. That way, you have to clean it to use that room again. It's like built-in motivation.
I separate everything into four piles, and I like to use laundry baskets to keep them separated. In one basket, I place everything I've used in the last six months. Those are the only things I allow myself to keep. Everything else I've forgotten I had, and therefore don't need.
In the second basket, I place relatively usable clothes that I haven't used in more than six months. These go into the "donate basket". They are still usuable, but I know that I won't use them if I haven't in the last six months.
In basket number three, I place all items that cannot be donated but are still potentially usuable. These items go into the "yard sale" basket. Almost anything you don't want can go in this pile. Just make sure there's enough in the donation basket before you load this one up.
Basket four is just a trash bucket. This basket is basically for anything you can't name or find a use for. Many people attempt to sell everything (even total junk) in a yard sale first, and then anything that doesn't get sold gets tossed.
Everything from basket number one can be returned to the closet it came from. Just remember to put things back in an orderly manner. This leaves more room for more junk... just kidding. :)
- ['time (especially for a lot of clutter)', 'helpers (optional)']
Drop the donate-ables off at your local food pantry or church. Organize a yard sale with friends to make money off your formerly messy closets! Use the extra money to go out to eat with your entrepreneurial friends. :)
Make sure nothing gets thrown out without you and your friends getting an opportunity to trade junk. Just don't take home more junk than you got rid of!