Overwhelmed with clutter, or just by the idea of letting go of things you no longer need? We've got 7 expert tips to help make it less of a chore, so you can clear your space, and make room for you in the new year.
It's almost a new year, and fresh starts always feel good. But as we get ready to switch out the calendars, it isn’t about ‘new year, new you’ – you’ve done plenty worth celebrating, just as you are. Instead, 2023 is about making room for you, letting go of things that take up space and no longer serve you. It’s about giving yourself the gift of more room, less clutter, and helping to clear your mind, so you can create, entertain, or do whatever it is that you love... in a more zen space.
But we know, letting go can sometimes be a challenge. Whether you’re overwhelmed by clutter, or just don’t want to deal with the process of finding new homes for your things, it’s easy to put a project like this on the back burner.
At Mercari, we believe that there’s so much life left in so many things. And there’s still value in items that might seem like throwaways. That ceramic doodad you might’ve stuck in a drawer and forgotten about might be the star of someone else’s mantel. The long-forgotten and well worn baseball glove at the bottom of a bin might make the perfect broken-in present for an upcoming slugger’s birthday. No matter how small or ‘worthless’ an item might seem, there’s likely someone out there who’d love to have it.
So in the spirit of empowering you to help your items fulfill their destinies, here are 7 tips to help take make decluttering much less of a chore:
1. Put on a podcast or a great playlist. Speaking from personal experience, I always dread doing the dishes, but when I turn on my favorite podcast, I get immersed in the listen, and sort of ‘forget’ that I’m doing something I hate to do. So, pick a junk drawer or cluttered cabinet, find a few things you don’t need that someone else might enjoy, snap a few pics (head here for tips on taking great photos), and list them on Mercari.
2. Stay on the couch and do some quick online price-checking. Don’t feel like going through your stuff just yet? Head to Mercari and do a search for the items you’re thinking about selling, to see what others have sold them for. It just might be compelling enough to inspire you! And you never know what people might want… everything from that eyeshadow palette you only used once, to a Funko Pop someone got you as a gift (but you already had it).
3. Baby-step your way to a clearer space. You don’t have to tackle the entire garage in a day, or even a week or month. If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff to go through, start with 2 boxes. Pick two boxes or bins to go through, separating anything that even remotely has a chance at a second life. A little wear and tear is fine, so long as you’re clear in your description when you list it.
RELATED: Why is it so hard to let go?
4. Think small. On the fence about listing bigger, more expensive items like vintage collectibles? Hang onto them for now, and list a few everyday items taking up space instead. Excess containers taking up room in your cupboard. Unused hair accessories crowding the bathroom drawer. Books in your nightstand you’ve already read (or won’t read).
5. Make it a game. Create a scavenger hunt of sorts in your home, garage, or storage unit. Got kids? Give them a list of things that need new homes: 2 stuffed animals, 3 dolls, 5 action figures, an electronic toy, 3 pairs of shoes they’ve outgrown. And make a list for yourself: a scarf you never wore, two items from the junk drawer, an outfit you didn’t love once you got it home, a DVD you’ll never watch again, etc. Gamifying the decluttering process makes it much less task-y.
6. Call a friend over. Sometimes, we just need someone to sit with us while we get stuff accomplished. Just the act of having a conversation while going through boxes or clearing the closet makes it go so much faster... and, bonus, you get time to connect. And, if your friend wants to help out, all the better!
7. Set a timer. No need to spend your whole weekend clearing your space! Get it done in batches. Grab your phone and set the timer for 15 minutes, and see what you can get done. If you choose to keep going, great… and if not, also great. Set the timer again for tomorrow, or another day. Be proud of any progress you make, and celebrate your achievements.
Finding new homes for things you no longer need is a total win-win: you get a clearer space (and mind) and make some money, and your item finds a home where it will be put to good use and enjoyed. And it’s a great way to start off the new year — It absolutely feels good to make room for you, and you deserve it.