Is Your House
Stressing You Out?
If you answered YES, you are not alone. Almost everyone in the process of buying or selling a home feels anxiety about the transaction. However, even those not in the market to move can feel the pressure in a big way. In a 2013 study by the Huffington Post, 84% of the respondents reported feeling stress about their home, with 55% feeling very stressed. Surprisingly, this included renters not just homeowners in the study.
This stress affects men and women almost equally: 81 percent of men and 87 percent of women reported experiencing anxiety over home upkeep; this includes:
¨ Needed repairs and/or deferred maintenance
¨ Worry/suspicion over unknown issues
¨ Making desired home purchases, updates, and renovations
¨ Keeping up with the cleaning
¨ Minimizing clutter
¨ Getting and staying organized
The main culprits causing daily stress are clutter and home organization. Everyone has too much stuff! The pressure over the condition of your home seems to increase around the holidays and major events as you anticipate entertaining or hosting family member from out of town.
When the clutter starts mounting, stress levels rise right along with it. And clutter is generally viewed as a “constant struggle” by most.
Clutter can loom like an elephant in the room, a problem no one wants to tackle or address. How to best tackle clutter? The same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.
Develop small daily routines. This can include sorting the mail every day, recycling or shredding unwanted papers, running and emptying the dishwasher daily, running one load of laundry per day.
Divide and conquer. Every member of the household has to step up and do their part, clearly define everyone’s tasks and responsibilities.
1-1-1 of organizing. When tackling larger clutter issues, employ the 1-1-1. Take only one area, only once per day, and spend only one hour. During this time, consider the following questions:
“Do I love this item?”
“Is this item useful?”
“How many of these do I own and how many do I need?”
“If I eventually needed this item, would I want to buy a new one?”
Divide your belongings and keep what you love and what you use. If you have too much of one thing, keep the best ones and discard/donate the rest. If it is chipped, broken, lacking somehow, or you just don’t like it, discard it and buy new when and if you eventually need it.
What NOT TO DO when decluttering?
Do not physically hold any item for too long. In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Judgment and Decision Making, researchers confirmed that the longer we physically hold an item, the more we value it. Holding stuff will cause you to form new attachments to it.
Organize first, shop second. Don’t go out and get the storage containers, closet organizers, shoe racks, bins and baskets until you know what you are dealing with. The goal is to organize and neatly store only the things you love and find useful. The goal is NOT to keep EVERYTHING.
Do not strive for perfection. Do your best to finish each decluttering session but know when to say good enough is good enough.
Do not assume your children or grandchildren will want any of it. You know deep down if there is something your family will treasure. Otherwise, they probably won’t want it.
How to GET RID of stuff?
Sell it, donate it, or discard it. Conventional wisdom says if you are seriously debating between donating and discarding, you should probably discard it. No one wants old, broken, chipped, or dirty items. Donate anything that doesn’t sell within a few weeks.
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The Scott Loper Team
Scott & Lisa Loper