Tips for Sorting a House

allsorters …. home sorting, downsizing and decluttering specialists for senior adults in their third age (and their families, loved ones and representatives)

Starting can be a challenge

  • Have a plan and write down your goals
  • Assess what your clutter “hot spots” are
  • It is often easiest to start sorting in a communal area (i.e. lounge or kitchen)
  • Sometimes it is easiest to start by removing what can be tossed
  • Ensure access is easy, e.g. if hallways are piled high, then start there
  • Sort items into piles that should be returned to other rooms
  • Try to keep on task, e.g. sort room-by-room (jumping between rooms can lead to confusion and difficulty seeing results which can be demotivating)
  • Get into a rhythm when sorting (play music if it helps)
  • If you get stumped with what to do with an item, set it aside and come back to it later – keep the rhythm
  • If sorting a home to improve safety or livability, it is often wise to tackle your storage areas such as wardrobes first (often our storage has items we no longer use while our “now” items are all around the room)

Set up a sorting area

Either with designated spaces, signs, boxes, coloured bags, laundry baskets, etc (whatever works best for you) and sort into –

  • Keepers
  • Donations
  • Sellable
  • Toss

(* You may tackle sorting a house differently depending on whether you are presenting it for sale or improving its livability)

Be disciplined when sorting

  • Remove distractions (e.g. turn off your mobile phone)
  • Take a tea break, when necessary, to refresh your thinking
  • Ideally, try to handle items only once (set aside items if you can’t make a decision)
  • Be realistic about how much time it will take

Understand that sorting and decluttering is about making decisions

  • Not always easy
  • It’s not always about the “stuff”
  • Try to understand where the clutter came from
  • Think of new habits to avoid this in future

Embrace donating to charity

  • Remember some possessions are for certain stages in our lives and, once their usefulness in our lives is past, we should let them move on to someone else who needs them!
  • Giving is a brilliant way to recycle

Action items to be donated or disposed of as soon as possible

  • This will stop the temptation to re-sort or relook at
  • Book a charity pick-up or load items into your car
  • Give the charity/op shop a call to ensure they are accepting items
  • Organise a rubbish pick-up or take to your local tip
  • Check out free recycling options – cardboard, etc
  • Once items have left, you will see all the empty space and do a happy dance
  • Celebrate, congratulate yourself