Excessive clutter is one of the leading causes of a messy home. Not only do these items prevent you from properly accessing certain areas of a room, but they also make it harder to stay organized and utilize that space to the fullest. As such, you should do what you can to eliminate this problem for good. Use these top tips for decluttering your home to start the process off the right way.

Make a Decluttering Plan Before You Start

If you’re planning to start a thorough decluttering project, you should always begin by strategizing your approach. These tasks can require a considerable investment of time and energy. As such, you want to tackle each step in the most efficient way possible. Planning out which rooms you want to declutter ahead of time and pacing yourself will prevent burnout halfway through.

Sort Items by What You Want To Do With Them

As you begin going through things, separate items into groups depending on whether you want to keep, toss, or donate them. This method allows you to see what you’re getting rid of and encourages you to make some potentially tough decisions. Should you notice that your keep pile seems to be larger than the others, it may be a sign that you need to work on letting more go.

Ask Yourself Whether You Need or Love an Item

Decluttering is overwhelmingly a head game. While we all want to keep certain possessions, we may be holding onto them for the wrong reasons. You may feel guilty for spending money on it or think that it has potential usefulness in the future. But if you’re going to declutter your home successfully, you need to know how to determine the difference between something you need and something you don’t. As you’re going through certain things, make sure to ask yourself about its necessity; if you can go without it, you probably don’t need to keep it.

Increase Your Amount of Available Storage

But the most important tip for decluttering your home is what you do with the possessions you’re keeping. Though you’ve finally been able to cut back on the number of items in your living space, the last thing you want is for them to start building up again. That’s why you’ll need to create additional space to store them. You could stow them under the bed, on a series of wall shelves, or even in the attic, if it can handle it. This will allow you to keep anything you may need while ensuring that it all stays organized and clean.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.