sponsored by:
Baird & Warner

Decluttering Your Home

Whether you’re preparing your home for sale, looking to reinvent your living spaces, or simply embarking on a summer junk purge, decluttering is always a good idea. But it can also seem daunting, and going about it haphazardly can ruin your motivation for it before seeing positive results. Here are some tips and tricks to get you going.

Divide by four

Start by making a plan to declutter in manageable chunks, such as one room at a time. To feel more confident in your many junk decisions, start with four piles — keep, donate, sell, and trash. Is each item something that you truly use, need, or love? If not, it doesn’t belong in the keep pile. Old gifts or party favors, former or future lifestyle pieces, and sentimental pieces can cloud your ruthless decision making. But there is also a cost to keeping items that aren’t currently adding any value, and instead rob you of precious space.

Breaking down the “non-keeps”

Assessing the value of items you plan to remove from your home can be difficult. Remember that the original purchase price of most items likely won’t come close to what you can realistically sell them for, but that also isn’t an endorsement of keeping them. If items aren’t seeing use or providing sentimental value, you’re only adding to that sunk cost by allowing them to take up space. 

You’ve got donation and resale options

Perhaps a friend or relative could benefit from the item, but otherwise, explore donations through Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a host of other local organizations that will generously take them in. Some even offer scheduled pickup. If the item truly might have significant monetary value, especially for furniture and clothing, explore consignment shops, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, or buy/sell apps such as OfferUp.

Bring in the organizational pros

Sometimes the problem is not only having too many things, it’s also that your existing furnishings aren’t maximizing storage space. It could be time to bring in a local closet organizer to see how you can do more with less. In the Chicago area, a few names to start with could include Closet Works, California Closets, and Inspired Closets. For just a relatively minor investment, you could find your current home fits your needs far better than you previously thought.