It has happened to the best of us. We accumulate a lot of STUFF! As consumers we make purchases, such as exercise equipment, new kitchen gadgets, and clothes, that we have the best intentions of using. But over time, those items that seemed so important and necessary begin to clutter your house, which can make preparing for your renovation overwhelming. Take a look at the tips below on how to decipher between what should stay and what should go, as you prepare to transform your home through a beautifully designed remodel.
Image via CG&S Design-Build
1. Do you need it?
This sounds like a simple enough question, but how each of us answers is highly individual. If you are making an effort to cut back on clutter, try to get real about what “need” means to you. Whether you decide to take a strictly minimalist approach or keep a more fluid list of items you need for living as well as those you cherish for emotional reasons, defining what is important to you is the first step in preventing clutter.
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2. Do you like it?
Just because you’ve inherited a painting or collection of antique books, doesn't necessarily mean you should keep them. Instead, really look at each item you are considering storing and ask yourself whether it still suits your style as much now as it did when you purchased or inherited it. Tastes evolve, and you will love your home more if you allow yourself to let go of things that just aren’t doing it for you.
Image via JB Construction Services, Inc.
3. Does it work?
Don’t let your basement become the place where broken things go to die! It’s so easy to let that happen, telling yourself, “I’ll fix it one of these days.” But most of the time, if you don’t care enough about the item in question to get it fixed ASAP, it’s probably not worth keeping. If you use your basement as a multi-functional space, like storing exercise equipment, ask yourself how much do you actually use the treadmill or exercise bike. If the answer is "Not very much.", then you should consider selling them or giving them away.
Image via Make Space
4. Is it clean?
Storing clothing over long periods of time can lead to long term issues. Moths and other critters are attracted to the dirt on textiles (gross, I know), so your best defense is putting items away only when they are fresh and clean. If you have clothes in your closet or in storage that haven't been worn in over a year, it may be time to donate them.
5. Do you already have something like it?
This circles back to question 1: If you already have a similar item, do you really need this one? Keeping multiples of certain items can be helpful, but only if you are intentional about it. All too often we keep buying similar things hoping to find the just-right version of it. Choose the best example (or two) and get rid of the rest.
Image via Patrice Munden Interior Design
6. Do you know who or what you are saving it for? When you start saving things, whether for yourself, your children or grandchildren, making decisions about what to keep can be quite a challenge. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The space items take up. A small amount of carefully chosen and properly stored items can be far more meaningful (and welcome) than an attic’s worth of overstuffed, unlabeled boxes. When you have a choice to make about which items to save, if all else is equal, go with the smaller ones.
- Proper labeling. Tucking in a note about where each piece came from or why it is important to you can also help pass along stories to the next generation. And if you are saving articles of clothing or toys for a future child, store items by age and write the age range outside the box.
- Photo books. While a book certainly can’t replace everything, for certain artifacts (for instance, crumbling preschool sculptures), it might be even more special to photograph the items and arrange the photos in a book that also tells the backstory.
Image via Joanna Thornhill Interiors
Are you a Home Owner in Northern Virginia? Got a remodeling project on your mind? Ready to add more space or simply rethink the space you have? Give us a call at 703-367-8999 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an in-home consultation.
Stacy Lensis, AKBD
If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.