One of the best gifts you can give yourself as a young, first-time homeowner is a clean, organized start. You certainly don’t want to pack your brand-new home full of junk -- unnecessary items that you’ve amassed over the years. And if you think only older people have to worry about downsizing and hardcore organizing, then think again. Everyone can benefit from a somewhat minimalist mindset -- especially someone starting their adult life. Here are some tips to make that happen.

 

Examine your closet

 

In our closets, lurk the largest collection of items we don’t really need anymore. The biggest culprit is usually our clothes, where we amass a staggering amount of completely unnecessary clutter. Thankfully, it’s very easy to make some inroads. As LifeHacker suggests, if you get rid of clothes that don’t fit, are torn or stained, are simply ugly/out of style, and don’t make you happy, then you’ll be well on your way. Beyond that, think about getting rid of anything you haven’t worn in a year. Make the process as cut and dry as possible; that will help it be successful.

 

Move on to your media

 

How many books, movies, CDs, etc. do you really need? Consider cutting your collections down to the basics and selling/donating the rest (an app like Decluttr makes this pretty easy). In this day and age, with streaming music and video options, it’s not imperative that you hold onto every DVD and album you love.

 

Digitize your paper clutter

 

What if you could get rid of a ton of physical items but not get rid of them at all? Luckily, you can. Digitizing (scanning) your important paper documents is a great way to downsize and declutter. This includes receipts, invoices, tax documents, and even photos. Some tips for doing this include scanning and saving in a universal file type like a PDF, keeping the documents on a physical drive as well as in the cloud in digital storage, and scanning things as soon as you get them. 

 

Make sure most things have more than one purpose

 

Putting aside family heirlooms and some emotionally charged keepsakes, you should try to find at least two reasons for keeping each item in your home. If you can’t think of something as multipurpose, you should put it on the downsizing chopping block first. For example, your TV stand. It serves the purpose of holding up your TV and storing your movies/gaming systems inside its cabinet. But what if those cabinets are empty. Then it only serves one purpose. Mount your TV to the wall instead. See how this works?

 

Get some help

 

It’s understandable to take a “it’s my stuff and I know what’s best for it” kind of mentality. You know how you want your new home organized. How could anyone be better at that than you? Well, some people are, and they are called professional organizers. If you’re feeling really stressed out and overwhelmed by the downsizing and decluttering process, it might be worth the money to hire one. A home organizer typically charges between $257 and $744.

 

Change your address

 

Now that you’ve bought your first home, did you remember to change your address? Follow this change of address checklist to make ensure you’ve alerted all the proper channels of your new address. 

 

Starting a new family at a new home or beginning a new career as a single person are both big moments in life where a lot of excess clutter, baggage, and space can really tie you down. If you’re just now moving into your first home, make sure you do what you can to start off clean and organized.