Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Decluttering Is the New Spring Cleaning

Spring may be in full swing, but Spring cleaning can feel impossible if you're faced with piles of clutter!

Whether your goal is for your home to sparkle by the Summer Solstice, or you just need to clear some space for some peace of mind, any time is an ideal time to organize and declutter your home. There’s almost nothing that makes a space feel fresher than organizing and decluttering.




Don't Get Overwhelmed, Get Started

Beginning a decluttering project can be overwhelming. If thinking about decluttering your home makes you want to lie down until the feeling goes away, start small. Breaking big jobs down into smaller ones makes them easier to handle.

Choose the room that is in the most urgent need of organization, and decide how to divide and conquer your clutter.

Do you have big tasks to tackle, like piles of paperwork that need filing or old photographs you've been meaning to digitize? Are there quick(er) and easy(er) fixes like putting away toys or craft supplies, or organizing a tool set?

When you have a mix of daunting and not-so-daunting tasks to tackle, decide how much time you have to dedicate, and what will give you more relief - will completing the small tasks make you feel you accomplished more? Or will getting the big project out of the way take a larger load off? Be honest with yourself about the time and commitment you're willing to make, and stick to it. Otherwise, the clutter will continue!

Remember that you don't need to declutter your whole home in the space of a day. Make strides on your schedule. Once you’ve completed your first room, move on to the next.

Keep the following questions in mind as you declutter your home: 
  • Is it an item you use regularly? 
  • Does it make your life easier? 
  • Is it expired or no longer efficacious? 
  • Does it have a place where it belongs?
  • Is it an item you are keeping out of feelings of obligation, even if you don’t like, need, or use it?

How to Declutter Your Living Room

The living room is where you spend time with family and entertain friends. It is often the first space people see when they enter your home. Keeping it neat and organized means you don’t have to do the “white tornado” when guests arrive on short notice.

  1. Go through all your shelves and edit your knick-knacks and curios. When shelves are too crowded, it’s hard to see what they contain. 
  2. Go through your magazines and books. Recycle any old magazines and donate any books you have already read (or, let's be honest, probably never will). 
  3. Go through the drawers of your end tables and coffee tables. Get rid of loose papers or unnecessary items. 
  4. Once you’ve decluttered the living room, create a tablescape on the coffee table that welcomes guests. After you’ve cleared out the drawers of your end tables, there will be plenty of space for things like TV remotes and other essential items you want to be kept out of sight.

How to Declutter Your Kitchen

The kitchen is where you work and socialize, so keeping it free of clutter helps you work more efficiently. 
  1. Get rid of any food past its expiration date and other items in the pantry you know you won’t use. 
  2. Get rid of any spices you don’t use since, over time, spices lose their freshness. Buy new ones the next time you need them. 
  3. Go through your kitchen towels and get rid of any torn or stained ones. Either set them aside to use as cleaning cloths or toss them. 
  4. Go through your dishes and get rid of any that are chipped or cracked. 
  5. Go through all drawers and cabinets and get rid of any appliances, tools, or bakeware that you don’t use or that are broken.


How to Declutter Your Home Office

It’s hard to be creative or productive if your desk isn’t organized and you don’t have a comfortable office chair. Decluttering your workspaces will also declutter your mind.

  1. Toss any receipts that are over a year old unless they are needed for tax purposes. 
  2. File the tax-related paperwork. The same goes for bills that are more than a year old. Invest in a paper shredder for any documents that contain personal information. 
  3. Dispose of the shredded documents immediately, so you don’t forget about them. 
  4. Go through any file drawers, cabinets, or filing folders and toss or shred any items or papers you no longer need. 
  5. Examine the items on your desk. Are they d├ęcor or clutter? Make a decision and relocate or dispose of any items that don't make your workspace more inspirational. 
  6. Check that pen collection, and throw out any pens or markers that no longer produce.

How to Declutter Your Bathroom

Imagine how much easier getting ready in the morning will be when your bathroom is free of clutter and organized.

  1. Cosmetics and makeup have an expiration date, so throw away any that you are no longer using or are over a year old. 
  2. Get rid of any old or empty toiletry containers. Combine containers that are almost empty into new ones to save some space. 
  3. Take a quick look at the shower and get rid of any empty containers hiding there. Do you have any items that you don’t use regularly on the sink, counter area, and the back of the toilet? Stow them under the sink or in the medicine closet. 
  4. Go through your bathroom towels, and remove and replace any torn or stained ones.

How to Declutter Your Bedroom

It’s incredibly difficult to feel relaxed and refreshed if your bedroom is cluttered with too much clothing, shoes, and accessories. However, you can never have too many pillows on the bed.

  1. Remove everything from the top of the dresser that you don’t use every day. 
  2. Go through your closet and drawers and remove any clothing you don’t wear. Donate any pieces of clothing that are in good condition. 
  3. Line up your shoes in the closet. Donate any you haven’t worn in the last three to six months, except any special occasion shoes. Repeat with scarves, belts, jewelry, and other accessories. 
  4. Check the nightstands and under the bed for any items you can store somewhere else, donate, or throw away. 

In your mission to declutter, don’t just move items to the garage or fill up the spare room. 
Get rid of anything you no longer need by having a garage sale or take items to a thrift shop. Any items that have missing pieces or parts, or that you don’t need or use, have to go. 

When the mission is completed, sit back, relax, and survey your work. Enjoy your freshly decluttered space and peace of mind.

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