Spring (Spring!!) is the perfect time to start organizing and decluttering your home. The process can be overwhelming, expecially for really messy areas, but we have a few tips to get you started on the right foot. Let's pour some coffee, fire up Spotify, take a deep breath, and do this!
Top Ten Tips For Decluttering
1. Create daily and/or long-term deadlines. Create a set window of time every day to declutter. Be honest with yourself, though. If you are not a morning person, setting the decluttering time at 5:10am probably won’t work. If your kids are really involved in extra-curriculars, 5:10pm probably won’t work either. Also, don’t expect to clean the whole house during decluttering time. Do what you can in one area for 15 minutes and watch that build over time. Need a really big goal to get you started? The 40 Bags In 40 Days Challenge is great example of deadline setting. Or, pick a day on the calendar for a family garage sale. Use the money you’ll earn towards something fun like getting out of debt, a vacation, or updating electronics.
2. For Pete’s sake, Ask. For. Help. If you have young kids at home or if you’re tacking a really cluttered area (garage, storage, basement, playroom…), you probably need a little help. That’s OKAY. It’s okay to need help editing, cleaning, and maintaining your home. Brew some coffee or pour some wine and have your best friend, mom, or sister over to help you tackle what everyone deals with: Clutter.
3. Always make the bed first. This one may sound a little weird, but the bed is a GREAT place to start getting organized. Once your bed is made, visually, a large percentage of your room looks “done.” That’s a great motivational boost. It also gives you a large platform to sort items and fold clothes during the de-cluttering process. Making the bed is an easy way to create a large ripple effect throughout your house.
4. Download manuals and recycle the paper ones.There is no need to keep binders and drawers of manuals. Get rid of them! Doing so will reduce visual clutter and free up space for filing away other things.
5. Sign up for enewletters (Here are ours! They're free!), auto bill pay, email/ text notifications, and e-receipts whenever you can! Go paperless, y’all! It not only benefits you with less paper clutter, but it benefits the environment as well. Reducing clutter and your carbon footprint? Yes, please.
6. Download the keyring app. Get rid of all those rewards cards filling up your wallet and key chain. Keep it all neat and organized on your smartphone instead.
7. Use all the hidden areas in your home. We’re talking the space under the bed, under the desk, under the sink, etc. These areas can hold more than you think. Store blankets, and seasonal clothes under the bed. Store files, a small recycling bin, and paper shredder under the desk. What goes under the sink? Cleaning supplies, pet supplies, a small recycling bin, or bath toys. Pedestal sinks need not apply.
8. Ask yourself these 7 questions when you’re cleaning out any space (but especially your closet):
- Have I used this in the last year? Be honest! Don’t make excuses as to why you haven’t used the item. If it wasn’t used get rid of it. Chances are the one or two times you may need that item in the future you can probably borrow it from a friend.
- Is money the only reason I’m keeping this item? Did you spend too much on that chair/ bag/ pair of jeans that you will never use? Now, you won’t get rid of it because it would be a waste of the money you spent? Think of it this way: You’ve already wasted that money on an item you’ll never use. You might as well pass it on to someone who can use it and gain back the space it’s consuming in your home.
- Am I keeping this for emotional reasons? This is by far the hardest piece of the de-cluttering process. Parting from sentimental pieces are 100% your call to make. Just try to keep in mind that the memory tied to that object will always live on. It is the memory that is important not the item itself.
- Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose? Own 4 chefs knives? 8 pairs of jeans? 3 mops? 4 winter jackets? Why? Donate the excess and simplify your life.
- Does it fit me and my family anymore? That train table probably isn’t getting much use from your 12 year old. Donate or sell it. Haven’t gone backpacking in 10 years? Unless you’re currently planning a trip you probably won’t need the gear. Make an honest assessment of your belongings with regards to where you are in life and where you plan to be in the next 5 years.
- Am I holding on to a broken item or craft project to fix, or finish, in the future?Fix the item in the next 72 hours or recycle/ donate it. Finish that project by next week or recycle it. If it sits around longer than that, chances are it will never get done. It’s okay to let go of broken things or admit that that Pinterest project was more complex than you thought. This is life. Let. It. Go.
- If I were shopping right now, would I buy this? No? Donate it.
9. Spend an hour or so decluttering your electronics. Purge and ferociously edit your email, desktop, and Facebook newsfeed. Take this time to back up your computer as well. It’s amazing how much clutter our mind sifts through all day through these platforms. Imagine how awesome it will feel to go to bed with an empty inbox, a desktop with just a handful of shortcuts, and a Facebook feed of just people and businesses (Like us!) that you love.
10. Identify your clutter traps/drop zones and then conquer them! Take no prisoners! Most people tend to drop their mail, keys, shoes, and phones in the same spots every day. Figure out where your drop zones are and set up baskets, bowls, or files to help keep that area organized.