Unless you are the most fastidious housekeeper in the world, you are probably all too aware of how easily junk can pile up in your home. Almost everyone has fallen into the trap of allowing unwanted things to gather in their attics, garages, or even living rooms. Before you know it, you have collected so much trash that it can be quite daunting to know where to start with a cleanout. Here are seven tips to get you started when removing junk from your home – and to help you keep the trash out in future.

Take trash to the trash

Of course, not everything that is unused or wanted is just garbage. Some things that you no longer want may be useful for someone else. However, as you start to go through the junk in your rooms, you will inevitably come across things that can immediately be consigned to the trash. These include broken tools and toys, old handwritten notes, or that half bag of potato chips that disappeared down the back of the couch. You will make your clearout much easier by simply grabbing these things and tossing them directly in the garbage as soon as you see them. Getting rid of trash at the beginning will help to lighten the load.

Recycle unwanted items

Consider recycling items that are not fit to donate, sell or pass on to friends and family. Old magazines and books, unused electronics, old shoes, ink cartridges, batteries, and plastic bags are all among the household items that you can and should recycle. Separate these out from other items and create a recycling pile. Once the job is done, you can then take these items to your nearest recycling facility.

Donate unwanted items

Next, turn your attention to items that are in good working order, but that you just don’t use anymore. You could give these to family members or friends, or you could donate them to a local charitable organization. Charities such as the Salvation Army are always happy to take useable and re saleable goods. If you have a sizeable load, they will often also come and collect the items from your home.

Understand the dangers of junk

Junk that is left to pile up in your home is a safety risk. It makes spaces less liveable, creates obstacles that could prevent you and your family from getting out of the house in an emergency, lowers the air quality, creates tripping hazards, and attracts pests. Keeping these hazards in mind could prevent from allowing junk to pile up in the first place – or at least motivate you to get to work on the clearout you have been contemplating.

Set a schedule and work on one room at a time

If you decide to tackle your home cleanout without a plan, you can very quickly demotivate yourself. Taken as a single task, cleaning out a home can be daunting. Rather divide the job up room by room and set a schedule for yourself. You could, for example, give yourself two weeks to finish the task, and set a day aside for each room – two, for rooms that are particularly cluttered. In this way, you can break the task up into manageable pieces and reward yourself for your progress as you go.

Only keep items that you use and love

House cleaning requires you to be pragmatic and perhaps a little ruthless at times. You may have sentimental attachments to certain things, but ask yourself: when last did you actually use them? Items that are just wasting space shouldn’t have any place in your home. You can either throw them out or give them to someone who can find a use for them. Hold onto items that you really love and for which you have good, regular uses. There is no need to keep anything else.

Make groups of items – keep it, trash it (junk removal), sell it and donate it.

It is best to organize your cleaning to make it go in a faster and more orderly fashion. Start by creating separate piles, groups, or boxes set aside for items you want to keep, trash, sell and donate, respectively. This way, you will know exactly where to sort different items as you work through your home. At the end of a day’s cleaning, you can then remove each pile to its particular destination: one box to the trash, one box to the local charity, one for the garage sale, and the rest to stay behind.

Another way to make your house cleanout, garage cleanout, or attic cleanout go more efficiently is to work with a professional junk removal company. Contact Junk Boss next time you are removing junk from your home, and let us collect and dispose of all the old furniture, appliances, carpets and more that you no longer need.