During the pandemic and shelter in place our homes served many different purposes than they had in the past; classroom, office, gym, movie theatre, game room, etc. Here we are over two years later and many people have returned to their pre-pandemic lives. They are back to school, back to the office, headed to the gym, going out with friends, etc. Given how things changed over time, and not necessarily quickly, you’re now out and about more; driving your kids, going into the office, eating out for dinner, etc. Taking the time to reclaim your spaces so your home reflects your current life versus the life you lived in the past is an important step to making your home as a space you enjoy being in.
Re-evaluate the Purpose of Your Space – Do you still need 2 home offices? Does your dining room still need to serve as an online classroom? Walk around your house and decide what you want each room to be: a playroom, an office, a guest room, a dining room, etc. Knowing the purpose of a space will help you as you start to declutter. If an item does not fit the purpose of the space it needs to be moved or gotten rid of. Knowing how a space will be used will make the decision process of decluttering much easier.
Be Prepared for Trash/Recycle/Donation – As you start going through your spaces you’re going to find items that are trash/recycle or donation. Be prepared with bags and boxes to hold the corresponding category. Get stuff out immediately! Don’t put the items you no longer want or need in a pile to deal with later. Eventually other things will get mixed in. Take it directly to a local charity drop off or post immediately on social media sites to give away your items for free. Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, and Buy Nothing Groups are all good sites for making your trash another person’s treasure.
Common Accumulated Items and What to Do with Them
- Electronics – I’m not sure why but our clients electronics supply seemed to exponentially grow during the pandemic. If you have original packaging and manuals from electronics and appliances that you no longer own, get rid of them. If you still own the item, get rid of the box, manuals can likely be recycled as they are usually available online. Only hold onto cords that correspond to electronics you currently have. As far as univeral USB’s, HDMI, Apple chargers, likely one or two extra is plenty to have on hand.
- Food – Perhaps you got ambitious during the pandemic, trying so many new and different recipes. Did you stock up on a lot of food because you were concerned about supply chain? Now is a good time to go through you pantry and emergency food and get rid of the expired items.
- Masks – Cloth masks seem to be on the out at this point. If you don’t want to get rid of them, at least collect a reasonable number from around your home, store them with your other emergency supply items and get rid of the rest.
- Kids’ Toys – Likely your kids’ interests changed in the past two years or they have outgrown a particular toy. Now is the time to donate those items to someone else to use and appreciate.
Look around your home and get rid of the excess. Less clutter will likely make you feel more relaxed in a post-pandemic world.