What is clutter? It can mean different things to different people. What one person sees as clutter may be seen as treasure to someone else. But what we can all agree on when it comes to home organization is that clutter needs to go! We have some tips to help you get your home organized.
Destress Your Life by Decluttering Your Home
Decluttering can be a great stress reliever. Anything that doesn’t add value to your life or home should be removed, leaving more room for the things that do matter and that do make a difference. Deciding what is what is the challenge so we have some tips to get you started!
- Create a plan.
- Take photos/video.
- Prepare to be organized.
- Make bins for trash, donation items and keepers.
- Do one room at a time.
- Get creative.
- Set yourself up for continued success.
Create a Plan.
The best way to start anything is to understand what you want to accomplish and how you can get there. Plus, once you get your home storage and organization plan set, it instills motivation and helps to curb procrastination. If you delay once you have a plan, then you are failing. And no one likes failure. Include in your plan a timetable to when you want to complete your decluttering project and set tasks/goals along the way. Accomplishing even small goals, like organizing a closet or your junk drawer, keeps you motivated and working toward the bigger picture.
Take Photos and Videos.
Sometimes it is hard for us to truly see our own clutter. We can suffer from clutter blindness, which is the inability to see one’s own clutter or at least see it as a problem. By photographing or recording your clutter in photos or videos, it gives you the ability to actually “see” it from a new perspective. It will put your clutter into context and allow you to truly visualize the problem. Some people won’t need this step, but if you are anything like me, the more pictures, the better!
Prepare to be Organized.
Buy all necessary cleaning supplies and home organization supplies that you need before you start. Look at your plan and your pictures and make a list of needed items that will prepare you to declutter. Find a location that will accept home goods, clothing and any other items that you expect to donate. You run the risk of keeping these items if you don’t pack them up and get them out right away!
Make Bins for Trash, Donation Items, and Those You’re Keeping.
Choose any size bin that works best for your needs. Keep these bins in your attic, basement or a closet so you can pull them out whenever you feel inspired. You’ll be amazed at how fast you can fill these bins once you get started on a decluttering project.
Do One Room at a Time.
A great way to start your home organization is to empty an entire room and only put back what you need to be in there. However, that can be a very time-consuming process. If you don’t have a full day to devote to the task, start with one garbage bag. Vow to fill it. Don’t forget the donation bin too! And when you clean, actually think about the pieces you are moving around and dusting off. Do you really need to keep it and put it back? Don’t just dust that pile of mail; go through it and toss it! Stick to one room at a time to avoid cleaning fatigue.
Sometimes it is really hard to acknowledge that everything you have you don’t truly need. For instance, closet organization seems easy but proves difficult to accomplish.
No one likes to get rid of that piece of clothing because we’ll always wear it again or someday we’ll fit into our favorite pair of pants again. So the experiment works like this: Make sure all of your hangers are facing in the same direction. After you wear a piece of clothing, place it back on the hanger, but put the hanger back in the opposite direction. By the six-month mark, look in your closet and every article of clothing that is still facing the original direction gets donated. If you aren’t wearing it in six months time, you aren’t going to wear it (in theory).
Another idea is to follow the 80/20 rule. If you don’t use an item 80 percent of the time, then it’s time to get rid of it. Or at the very least, really ask yourself if it’s worth keeping. When was the last time you actually used, looked at or wore the item? Reflect on items without tying in emotions.
Some decluttering experts suggest throwing a party or inviting over a toddler. Whatever you have to clean up or put away for these occasions may not be necessary to keep around at all. Of course, you may even be surprised at what a toddler is able to find. He may introduce you to clutter you didn’t even know you had. And that, of course, gets the trash can treatment!
Set Yourself Up for Continued Home Organization Success.
This is the hardest tip of all to follow. It’s so easy to fall back into your cluttering ways. But if you prepare in advance, you can do it! Realizing what type of storage and organization products you need helps you avoid re-cluttering. If you’re anything like me, you kick your shoes off as soon as you enter the door. Put a shoe rack there to avoid an eyesore shoe pile! Unclutter drawers and closets by only having seasonal clothes in them. Use under-bed storage to store the out of season wear. Closet organizers, bathroom storage cabinets and racks, bookshelves, wire racks and more are great ways to keep yourself organized. And always remember to deal with the mail as soon as you get it out of the box!
Are you ready to declutter?
Check out our Room for Improvements blog archives for more storage and home organization suggestions.