Rentals.com Company Blog

Rental's Tips, Renter's Corner

By Amber

Keeping your space spare and clean saves you time, mental energy and general aggravation. You can stop clutter from taking over your rental home with a few simple habits… and a little daily maintenance.

Purge it
If you’re starting from a state of clutter, you need to get it out of your house before you create a working maintenance plan. Going room by room, closet by closet, place your hands on every piece of clutter that is taking up space in your rental home. You’ll be categorizing each thing in one of three distinct piles: items to keep, to toss (for things that can’t be reused by someone else), or to donate or sell.

As you look at each possession, consider its purpose in your life. Do you wear it, use it, read it or watch it? If you can’t answer that question clearly, ask yourself why you have it. Was this thing a gift that you feel guilty about parting with? Does it have sentimental value? Does it represent a life you used to have or hope to have in the future? Unpack the emotion connected to the item and see if it’s time to sever the tie. Think about how much lighter you’ll feel if you let it go.

Take the items to donate or sell out of your house as soon as possible. The longer they stick around, the greater the possibility they’ll worm their way back into your “keeper” stack.

Set a time limit
You may come across things you just can’t make a decision about. Put those things in a box together, seal it and date it. Unpack these items in a year and see if you have missed them or even thought about them. Chances are, you can say goodbye to the whole box.

For clothes, you can set a tighter turnaround. If you haven’t worn an item in six months, unless it’s a seasonal item, it’s probably time to show it the door.

Consider also the cardboard box test to see which kitchen utensils you really need. Put them all in an easily-reached cardboard box for a month. During that time, put the items you go to the box to use back in the drawer. Whatever is left in the box after a month is probably safe to lose!

Do a little every day
Even after you declutter your rental home, you’ll need to do daily maintenance to keep everything under control. Be proactive! That means taking care of chores like sorting mail the day it comes in and folding clothes as soon as they leave the dryer.

You can create a daily declutter session to make sure it gets done without fail, like brushing your teeth or feeding the cat. While dinner is cooking, for instance, or the coffee is brewing in the morning, do a five-minute sweep through your place, room by room like a tidy tornado, putting everything exactly where it belongs. Pretty soon, you won’t even notice you’re doing it.

Clutter can clog up a modern life like almost nothing else, so don’t dismiss it lightly. Cutting the emotional attachment to some of your things and just saying “no” to too much new stuff can keep your home a clutter-free zone.

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