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If you're a fan of the Pomodoro productivity technique , now's the time to use it. It's easy to get attached to things, either because you've had them for a long time, they have some special meaning to you, or because they represent the hard work and sweat you put into making the money you used to buy them.

That's completely normal, but when you're looking to downsize and declutter, you have to try and separate yourself from those feelings a bit. Here's how:. Apply these three questions to virtually everything you own. If you're moving, like I was, you have a natural reason to evaluate everything you possess, but if you're decluttering to clean and organize, make sure to give yourself time to review everything, instead of just deciding that specific drawer or box is fine the way it is.

Don't leave those stones unturned-open up that box and look inside. Even if it seems okay, it's a box full of old papers to be shredded, you'll be happier with them gone than taking up space next to your desk. Apartment Therapy calls this space the "Outbox," or a halfway house between keep and trash. They even have specific rules governing the Outbox.

Declutter Your House In 30 Days

We agree: deciding that you need something or don't is easy. Parting with it is hard. Give yourself some leeway, just don't make that leeway your entire house. Photo by zmarc. Remember, our goal here is to not drive yourself crazy, so you'll have to walk the line between storing only the things you really want to keep that aren't useful on a daily basis versus the amount of out-of-sight storage you really have. This isn't an excuse to get a storage unit either, paid storage units are a huge money sink, and only best for people who have short term storage needs, people who have inventories that make them more money than the storage costs them, and next of kin looking for a place to store family items while they push through the clutter and their loss at the same time.

With your boxes and piles at the ready, pour yourself a drink and go through your rooms, drawers, and closets one by one, and group everything into one of those four categories. While you go through each area, think about some of these ways you can have your cake and eat it too-that is, keep the item without keeping the clutter:. Take a picture of sentimental things, then let them go.

If you're hanging on to an item that you know you can get rid of but you're keeping it because it was a gift or it has more emotional value than actual value to your life, take a photo of it and keep that instead. You may not have that old poorly fitting sweater your mom knitted anymore, but you can always look at it and remember how it made you feel. Lorie Marrero, author of The Clutter Diet , has two great blog posts about how to deal with sentimental items.

Get the tutorial at Two Purple Couches. Your whole shoe collection can become part of your bedroom decor once add them to this DIY shoe ladder. If you're looking to have your accessories in one place, it can now all be hidden inside this compartment behind your mirror. Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess. Your floating shelves won't feel like wasted space after you add a hidden drawer to them. Get the tutorial at Rogue Engineer. These corner shelves are easy to install, so you have more time to decorate them with plants and pictures.

Get the tutorial at House of Rose.

1. Be Sentimental but Systematic

This cubby might be small, but it will be perfect to place your make-up, nail polish, and other beauty items. Get the tutorial at Young House Love. Reconfigure your closet layout with a ClosetMaid system from Home Depot , adding double rods to maximize vertical space and shelves to corral shoes and bags. Group your clothing by category pants, dresses, tops followed by color, designating an area for each. This makes it easier to find items when getting dressed or putting away fresh laundry.

Displaying necklaces on jewelry trees and rings and bracelets in trays and cups lets you see everything. Delicate pieces can sit in a lined jewelry box.

10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home

These wood boxes are a great way to house and display your out-of-the-box items such as sunglasses and headphones. Invest in upholstered storage benches — perfect for holding less-frequently-used clothes, extra towels and sheets. Plus, the cushy seats reclaim empty spaces, giving you a place to put on shoes or read by the window. Yes, it's important that your bedroom is beautiful. But more than that? Comfortable and relaxing enough for sound sleep, night after night. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. The 20 Most Ignored Cancer Symptoms. Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.

Take into consideration:

Store off season clothes in rolling crates. Courtesy of A Loyal Love. Use tension rods to organize shoes. AnikaSalsera Getty Images.

Show off clothes with a garment rack. Courtesy of Bed Butler. Invest in savvy organizers. AdShooter Getty Images. Roll towels to save space. Courtesy of Rebrilliant.

28 Room Organization Ideas That Are Smart and Stylish

Do you love it, or does it enhance your life in some way like artwork, photographs , or souvenirs? Lark recommends reminding yourself of your vision and hope for your space throughout the decluttering process. Our easy-to-follow decluttering flowchart will help you decide once and for all.

Sentimental items are among the most difficult to part with, but Friel has a simple strategy that can ease some of your pain and guilt. She recommends taking a picture of the sentimental item in question and writing a short story about its history and significance. If all else fails, Lowenheim recommends reaching out to a professional organizer for guidance.

Having an expert coach you through the decluttering and organizing process can make a world of difference. For more tips on decluttering your home, read this article.

The Best Decluttering Advice We've Heard

This article was written by Paige Smith , a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Generally it takes 3 to 5 days for our team lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis iaculis vel magna tristique amet iaculis:. Related Articles 8 simple tips for redecorating your kitchen By Emmanuel Lao Mar 13, Redecorate without redecorating: How to transform your space with a few simple tweaks By Erika Jordan Nov 07, Noisy roommates? Your inbox is about to get more organized.