A plan to declutter

I’ve had a growing feeling over the past few months that we’ve got too much shit cluttering up every room in the house. Starting next week the clean up begins. One room to be decluttered each weekend. If you’re interested in having a go yourself, the plan is;

List all of the rooms, not forgetting outside spaces (sheds, garage, etc) and easily missed interior space like your attic and small closets. I’m going to tackle the rooms one by one allowing a full Saturday for each, leaving the Sunday to finish off the inventory, runs to the tip and listing the items for disposal on eBay and Freecycle.

Set up and gather the tools;
1) An inventory spreadsheet template,
2) Cleaning materials,
3) Security marking pen,
4) Digital camera.

Empty the room of everything except carpets and large items of furniture.

As you take out each item put it into one of three piles;

1) Keep it and it lives in this room,
2) Keep it but it should go somewhere else,
3) Dispose of it.

Ok so the room’s empty and you’ve got three big piles of stuff outside the door. While the room is empty it makes sense to give it a good deep clean.

Now tackle the pile of stuff that you’re returning to that room. For each item, clean it, take a picture, mark it with postcode using a UV pen, and add it to your inventory (recording any serial numbers and distinguishing marks).

For the stuff that is being kept but going elsewhere do more or less the same thing.

For the stuff you’re getting rid of sort that into three piles;

What you’re going to sell (eBay, craigslist), what you’re going to donate (freecycle, local charity) and what is going to the tip.

And that leaves you with a beautifully clean and tidy room with all the contents listed and catalogued should the very worst happen.

Don’t forget to make sure you have a copy of your inventory stored away from your house. There’s no point doing all that work and then having it go up in smoke along with all your gear. My own solution to this conundrum is to make sure all of my key documents, including scans of insurance certs, are backed up using Dropbox (http://www.getdropbox.com/) so I can always access them from a browser.

And it is as simple as that! I’ll update as the project progresses…

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