Did your New Year’s resolutions include a pledge to become a more organised person? Well, even if you did nothing on the matter up until now, don’t worry. Because April is the perfect time for spring cleaning and decluttering your living space of unnecessary stuff.

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Normally, one would start decluttering from the most presentable room – the room your guests would see first when visiting. Namely, the living room. And, you can definitely start from there with a little help from our living room decluttering article. While at it, you can do the same for your bedroom and wardrobe.

But you know full well which room is the hardest to clear out and deserves the most attention. The room with the sole existence of being used as a black hole that contains lots and lots and lots of items. The room you’ve been ignoring for such a long time and a part of you is actually scared about the things you can find inside. We’re talking, of course, about the storage room.

The good news, however, is that this is probably the only room, unburdened by sentimentality. Most people don’t put sentimental objects in the storage with all the other junk. So, this means, it should be fairly easy for you to simply dispose of the junk.

Decide what to do with the storage closet

The first thing you may ask yourself is what the purpose of your storage closet is. Well, this is easy, you’d say. The name says it all – it’s a storage closet because it stores stuff. But in order to make the most of it and not let the room overflow, you have to decide on what you really wish for it to contain.

For example, do you store household necessities in there, such as spare paper towels, dish detergents, sponges, toilet paper, etc.? If you don’t buy these household essentials in bulk, then, you probably already have a storage compartment for them in the kitchen and bathroom, right?

Is it a place to put unwanted furniture? Since the storage closet is most probably smaller than the smallest room in your property, spare furniture would take the most space in it.

All in all, the storage closet includes all the things you simply aren’t sure where else to put. Through the years, you’ve probably filled it with all kinds of items you’ve long forgotten about. So, after you decide what you wish for the storage closet to contain, it’s time to start decluttering. As with most other rooms, dedicate a day on it.

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How to declutter a storage closet

The most important part of the decluttering process of any room is adopting the right state of mind. Or in other words, if something doesn’t make you happy when looking at it, then, it has no place in your home. Don’t forget, it’s only stuff.

Get some company

It’s a good idea to have someone with you when you declutter a storage closet. Having someone to ask you the right questions, such as “Do you really need that?”, can help a lot in your decision making. If you’ve decided to do this alone, you can play some upbeat motivational music while you work.

Start from large to small

The bulkiest items should be the first ones to get rid of. This would mostly include furniture and large decorations. Carefully examine each item. If there is a broken one, chances are you left it in the storage closet in the hope to fix it one day. Try to remember when that was and be realistic whether you’ll really do it. If your answer isn’t “right now”, then, the broken piece of furniture should be taken to a recycling factory.

If there isn’t any broken furniture, examine and see if the item can be used after all and placed in another room in your home. If not, see if a family member or a friend would have better use of it. Transporting such bulky items could prove tricky, but you can always call in for a man & van service to cover that. You can also try to donate the piece to a charity. Or, if it’s in very good shape, you can try to sell it.

Designate baskets to place outside the storage closet

Once you’re done with the bulky stuff, it’s time to pay attention to any smaller items. Prepare a rubbish bin bag for the ones you are absolutely sure you want to dispose of, as they won’t help anyone. For the rest, designate three large baskets.

  • A gift/donation basket. Put all the items you could give to charity in there or if they could be of good use to friends and other family members.
  • A relocation basket. Fill this one with all the items you can place in other rooms of your home. You may well have mainly decorations in this basket. These could be some figurines, framed picture prints, wall art, photos and memorabilia. But who knows, you might find another type of old gem you’ve forgotten about.
  • A repair basket. This is the place for items that are broken, but you are absolutely certain you’re going to repair and put to good use.

Once you’re done with separating the items that should go out of the storage closet, for one reason or another, you should only be left with things you want to stay in the storage closet. They would most likely be scattered randomly around the place. So, you’ll need to spend some time putting everything in order.

How to organise the storage closet

Sorting out the remaining items should be fairly easy, but it might take you a long time, depending on their amount and the state of your storage closet. To speed up the process, you can:

  • Start with a cleanup. Unfortunately, if you’ve been ignoring your storage closet for too long, then it’s probably quite dusty. You’ll have to take everything out and give the place a good clean. Also, wipe the actual items from the dust and be careful not to mix them with the other piles.
  • Place large remaining items first. Okay, maybe you’ve decided that a piece of furniture should stay inside the storage closet. Make sure it’s clean before placing it first in its designated spot so that it doesn’t take unnecessary space.
  • Organise similar small items into boxes. Finally, the fun part begins. Organise all items in boxes and stack those on the shelves and on the floor. Once you’re done, you should have a very organised storage closet.
  • Instal additional surfaces. Despite all the decluttering, it still seems like you have a lot of items. A very easy solution is installing additional shelves on the walls of the storage closet. A lot of people also hang multipurpose bags on the door and arrange their items inside.
  • Close the door. Then, open it again. Once everything is in place, close the door of the storage closet. Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Then, open it again. How does it feel? You’ve accomplished something wonderful. This feeling is what decluttering is all about.

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Dispose of the negativity

Now that you’re done with the decluttering, you should dispose of the rubbish bin bag, a few baskets of items, and give a call to the recycling company that would take the broken furniture off your hands. All of these things had no use for you. They didn’t make you happy in any way, so you’ve done the smart thing by putting them in a room where you don’t have to see them.

But just because we don’t see the clutter, doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring any negativity into our lives. Clutter not only takes up space in your home; it also takes up space in your mind by making you think about it, postpone the work you’re supposed to do and bring forth that unpleasant feeling of procrastination. By removing the clutter, you give yourself a small piece of tranquillity. In today’s stressful life, peace of mind is more valuable than gold.

The storage closet is the most challenging room for decluttering in most houses and apartments. But it’s only a room so it will bow down to the owner’s strong decision-making skills. And if you’re in need of some help, you can always rely on professional home organisers.

Image source: sirtravelalot/shutterstock.com

  • Last update: June 19, 2019

Posted in Decluttering and Organising

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