How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask SpecialistMichael Your Own Question

SpecialistMichael
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
65186368
Type Your Question Here...
SpecialistMichael is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

best way to declutter

Customer Question

I have severe allergies and am trying to declutter in an attempt to help allergy symptoms. Has anyone found a best technique for tackling rooms full of stuff that is upto 15 years old? I sometimes get stuck on the sentimental. Thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 2 years ago.
Hi there, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you in providing some strategy in resolving your issues with decluttering your rooms.

I would suggest maybe a friend or family member who does not share the same clutter issues to help you moderate what is REASONABLE to hang on to, and what is essential to hang on to(heirlooms, old vintage family history items, things of that nature). If you find yourself getting stuck, their job is to help you assign a category to the item to keep you moving along. This person should have a similar goal of helping you to declutter the areas you need to, while motivating you to continue to work on it.

So for starters, its a great idea to create separate categories for the items in the room. You should separate things into categories like: Donations(clothes, furniture things other people need and can use), Heirlooms and must-keeps, Garbage(literal garbage, old papers, receipts you have already used, old expired mail, magazines etc.), extra items that can be gifted or donated(trinkets, extra furniture or small items like clocks, lamps etc.)

I would outline 3-5 categories:
1. Donate - "someone will use this because I am not" - a broad category
2. Keep - my family photos, heirlooms, irreplaceable things or items of high value
3. Discard - Garbage, mail, papers, magazines(books would be donate).

Do this so you can keep yourself stuck to a "plan" and begin sorting through. Do not try to finish an entire room in an entire day, this may take some time over a few days per room. You should be able to immediately recognize(within a couple seconds) what an item is, what category it fits into and then to put it in that category. You shouldn't need more than a few seconds to decide. I tend to think in "Can someone get good use of it?" terms. Extra furniture, clothing you haven't worn in several months, home items like lamps, kitchen items. If you not using it, just donate it to someone who gets good use.

It is an awesome thing you are working to declutter your space so remind yourself how positive it is by scheduling these times or blocks of time to declutter or work on a room even it is only 10-15 minutes a day. Remember, keep it reasonable. Positively reinforce that "donation" category by itemizing them for tax purposes, then bringing them in each time you fill a bag or box, even better if you bring in the items each day - some places will even pick some things up for you. Letting it fall into a negative experience may hinder your motivation to continue so keep in mind your house will be much cleaner, your rooms will be less dusty, helping you feel tremendously better, and people in need of items will get great use of them(not to mention the tax benefits for you).

Once you have gotten down to the bare bones of the room, the furniture(and extra furniture) can be removed and you can do your routine cleaning, dust and debris removal.

It is excellent you have chosen to declutter your house remember a few things while doing this:
-It is going to be healthier for you and your allergies
-This is ultimately a positive change for you eliminating things you do not need and cleaning up your living space. Keep it positive by attacking the clutter in scheduled time blocks so you are not overwhelmed. Move from 1 segment of the room to another when finished and complete that smaller area of the room before moving on - this will keep you focused.
-Of the extra items there are many people who will get great use out of the things you no longer use.
- Your family heirlooms and historic things you find can then be reorganized and filed into safe, secure keeping that is easily accessable.

I commend you on your first step. Stay motivated and keep your eye on the prize(allergy relief and a fresh new space!). Good luck!
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience: Senior Information Specialist
SpecialistMichael and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you that's a great help. I've been doing it on my own but hadn't thought of bringing in someone else. The only problem might be finding someone to help :) not a task most people volunteer for! I'm also considering moving later this year and want as much "extra" stuff gone as possible before then!
thank you,
~Bella
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome Bella, perhaps its a perfect time for "light duty" from your other question :) we worked on.

Another tip I thought of was actually related to the "Moderator". If they are somewhat savvy with computers, they could catalog the items you are eliminating from your rooms for you so you don't have to go through and count the items for donation, if there are any standout items you could research the items on auction sites or see if they are worth anything and potentially make a couple of dollars(or more than a couple). The money you made could be put forward into things like a fresh coat of paint, a nice window treatment for the potential new home owner or if its enough, maybe a new sharp piece of furniture for the new place you move to - or save for a rainy day!

Obviously you wouldn't want to do this with everything as you might end up in the same cluttered situation, but the special items or the unique ones might actually fetch a pretty penny!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21780
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FO/fordguy4u/2011-12-17_222940_HPIM1257.64x64.JPG Ron's Avatar

    Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21780
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/lyeung1/2010-07-25_032152_tn_IMG_0241.JPG Dr. Y.'s Avatar

    Dr. Y.

    Urologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    18786
    I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/docjohn174/2008-12-13_170143_johnask.jpg John's Avatar

    John

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    13453
    Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8681
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dermdoc19/2010-09-30_160749_Photo_122807_015.JPG dermdoc19's Avatar

    dermdoc19

    Dermatologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3949
    30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/birddoctor/2012-6-22_173214_birddoctor.64x64.png Dr. Pat's Avatar

    Dr. Pat

    Bird Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3463
    25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3423
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
 
 
 

Related General Questions

Chat Now With An Expert
SpecialistMichael
SpecialistMichael
388 Satisfied Customers
Senior Information Specialist