With a pandemic upon us and many in self-isolation, you may have found some free time on your hands. Spring cleaning has become the new norm and an opportunity to remember, reflect and revisit old memories as you begin to sift through belongings.

Once you have an idea of what your new home will look like, the task at hand will be to sort through your belongings.  As we practice social distancing, now would be a good time to have that conversation with your children if they are using your basement as a storage unit or perhaps you are hanging on to items that you thought they wanted, only to discover that it could have been donated years ago.

The most difficult part is confronting the emotional connection you have with each and every item.  Once you figure out what that connection is or why you kept it, the object loses its strength over you and you become in charge of the life you want to live. If you have lived in a home for 30+ years, the task will not be completed overnight. Do not get overwhelmed or you may not be able to move forward.   Start small-start with one drawer, one closet, one room.  An interesting read in the Lifestyle section of the LA Times titled “Expert tips on decluttering your home during the coronavirus pandemic” provides advice on how to focus on getting rid of your stuff.

When sorting through items,  have the following on hand:

  • clear bags for all textiles to donate-clothing, towels, bedsheets
  • container for recyclables to sort through later-paper, plastic
  • one small shopping bag for garbage-because many items are recyclable
  • boxes-for donation items
  • painter’s tape-to place on items to sell, gift to family or returns to friends
  • black sharpie-write notes on painter’s tape and boxes

Keeping notes on the painter’s tape helps you control the process and gives you a quick visual as to what you have already sorted. If you are sorting items to prepare for an on-line action once this pandemic is over, place a piece of painter’s tape on all items you would like to sell rather than donate.  Take pictures and notes as you sort through them.

Utilizing your City’s bulk garbage pickup will save you disposal costs for items such as broken furniture or mattresses.

You are in control of your items up until now.

Due to the pandemic, all donations centers and on-line auctions are closed and they do not want items being dropped off.  If you are like me, you will have a mound of boxes and bags piled up in the garage until these centers open up again. As unappealing this may be to look at, the task will be complete.

Garage sales are very time-consuming and do not project a large amount of money but if you have grandchildren, they can be great helpers. Selling through Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace is a quick way to get rid of items but it may become a safety concern, especially for vulnerable persons.

360 Home + Staging, Inc. provides the emotional support and guidance to help you declutter your belongings in the easiest way possible.

I’ve discovered in my years of experience that donation centres such as Habitat for Humanity or St.Vincent de Paul are very specific as to what items they will or will not pick up and that they need to be on the main floor of a home. Photos are usually requested ahead of a scheduled pick-up.  Check out their websites for more information. Scheduling a pick-up through Canadian Diabetes Association is a convenient way to donate if you have smaller household items.  It provides you with a deadline and gives you that incentive to gather as many items as you can.

360 Home + Staging, Inc. is a complete move management company that assists Homeowners with moving safely and comfortably into a smaller home-from decluttering to setting up your new space. We create a plan for downsizing that will ensure a smooth transition.  No two clients are the same.

We provide a Free in-home Consultation to discuss your plans, needs and fears so you can enjoy your next journey in life!

What are some obstacles or fears you have when it comes to decluttering?