If a minimalistic lifestyle isn’t something you subscribe to, chances are your home contains a load of items that you more than likely don’t have any use for anymore. The recent Stay At Home Orders have forced us to spend more time at home and some of you may be wondering things like, when did I become such a hoarder? Why do I have two toasters? The benefits of downsizing and decluttering go beyond creating more space in your home, purging your home can relieve stress and help you regain a sense of control. Here are 4 tips on tidying up your home safely using helpful tools from the founders of College HUNKS Hauling Junk, Nick Friedman and Omar Soliman.

1. Commit

As the declutter queen Marie Kondo, once said, “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself.” 

We all know it takes inspiration and motivation to successfully declutter and organize your home. However, it may not be common knowledge that studies have shown it can reduce anxiety and increase productivity. A study from UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) found that clutter has a deep-seated effect on our mood and self-esteem. When you value your space, you value yourself. Omar highlights this by saying, “Our company purpose is to ‘Move the World”. We want to move people emotionally, not just their stuff.”

So, begin with making a commitment to yourself to follow through knowing that you will reap the benefits when you’re done.

2. Make a plan & Start small

Avoid the common mistake of assuming this will only take an hour. You’ll find yourself 30 minutes into it, looking out into your glorious sea of junk and it will feel like you haven’t even made a dent in your decluttering voyage. Manage your expectations, make a plan and start small. Take a mental inventory of each room, then chronologically list the hot spots in your home by the level of priority you feel is fit. Nick suggests, “start with a space that needs your immediate attention, something that affects your everyday life. There is always at least one thing we remind ourselves to take care of every day that we haven’t made the time for, what is that thing for you?”

For example, is your closet overflowing with winter jackets you haven’t used in years? Junk. Start with the closet, then move on to the dresser, go ahead tackle that junk drawer while you’re at it. Next thing you know – your room lost 30lbs and all of a sudden you can a little breathe better.

Before moving on to the next room/phase of your master plan, consider donating anything that you’ve decided to get rid of. Those jackets or shoes could help someone in need. College HUNKS Hauling Junk will take care of that for you, they are partnered with several local charities and non-profits, including Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity ReStore®. Once their finished, they’ll provide you with a tax-deductible receipt for your good deed.

Doesn’t this feel great already?

3. Sort, Toss, Designate

Break down your goals into manageable tasks with the “Three Box Method”. You can also use bins or even trash bags if you don’t have access to boxes. Remember, no excuses!

Sort – Label your boxes as follows, 1. Keep 2. Trash 3. Re-Home

Divide and conquer. The rest will come naturally.

Toss – After you’ve sorted out your belongings, call a junk removal pick up service to safely dispose and donate your items then place your “Trash” and “Re-Home” boxes outside. Consider a company like College HUNKS Hauling Junk, that is guaranteed to dispose of trash and donate the rest. With their Express No-Contact Junk Pickup Program, decluttering is a no brainer.

Designate – Just as you have a home, the contents of your “Keep” box have theirs too. Designate these items to spaces where they belong. This is an exercise in habit building. Once you’ve found a home for an item, make sure you make it a habit to always place it back. No more refugee chords, wandering shoes, or derelict cups. If you have children, teach them the value of good habits by rewarding them when they put their stuff back where it belongs. You can find you’ll spend more time doing what you want to do and less time doing things that you don’t, like cleaning or stepping on a Lego piece

4. Change

The reasons why you may find yourself living in a cluttered house in the first place can vary immensely. We all have our faults and shortcomings that lead to complacency. Even still, part of what makes being human so great is our unrelenting ambition to be better.

All of this work would be for not if we didn’t change fundamentally. As mentioned earlier in this article, when you value your space you value your self.

After your decluttering voyage ends and you’ve regained control of your land, consider the benefits of making tidiness a part of your lifestyle.

“We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.” – Donald Horban

Do Good

For every service the HUNKS complete, two nutritious meals are donated to a family or child in need, and within 3 years of this partnership, donations have exceeded one-million meals. Learn More about College HUNKS Hauling Junk and ways they are safely helping people downsize and declutter their homes.