Declutter 101: How to Cut the Clutter
Tackling clutter in the home is not something that most people look forward to. It can be overwhelming just figuring out where and how to get started. If you break it down into a series of manageable projects, the whole process will go much more smoothly. Here’s our guide on how to declutter your home:
Start with a Plan
Before touching any of the clutter, it is a good idea to make a strategy. List out each room and living area in your home that you need to tackle, such as dressers, closets, pantries and more. Having a written plan that can serve as a guide will help you stay focused and organized.
Once you have a plan in place, you will want to be sure that you have some basic supplies on hand. Have trash bags and storage bins at the ready. Don’t buy too many bins though, because you want to get rid of as much as possible. Decluttering doesn’t just mean packing things away into boxes. Your real goal with decluttering is to make your home more comfortable by reducing the number of unnecessary items you have in it.
Storage bins and boxes will be very helpful for packing away seasonal items, whether they are clothes or decorations. Have labels and a marker ready so that you can clearly mark those bins and boxes before putting them away.
Get your drawers organized by using smaller organizer bins that you can find for just a few dollars. They will come in handy when cleaning out desk and dresser drawers, as well as drawers in the kitchen and bathroom.
Trash bags are perfect for bagging up stuff that you don’t want or need. You can throw away any trash items, and then you can bag up items for donation. You’ll likely be amazed by how much you can clear out just by sorting things into donation and garbage bags.
Tackle One Project at a Time
It takes days, months and even years to build up clutter around the house, so plan on it taking some time to get it all under control. You will have your list of areas that you need to tackle, and you can take that and turn it into individual projects. Set aside a block of a few hours to take on each job. By breaking it down into more manageable projects, you’ll be able to check off the completed areas and see your progress.
You can’t expect to have your home clutter free in a day. Take out your calendar and choose the days and times that work best for everyone in the home. Then you can get those big jobs knocked out quicker. Once you have an area organized, then you simply need to focus on maintaining it.
Call in Reinforcements
It’s always a good idea to have helpers when you are sorting through clutter, especially when some of the items aren’t even yours, to begin with. Get the whole family involved in the decluttering process. This makes it much easier to get the job done.
Have kids help out by assigning specific duties to each of them, such as bagging up items for donation, or sorting through things. When you give kids tasks, they will likely feel more motivated to help out.
Set Aside Smaller Projects
When working on specific areas, you are likely to come across smaller organizing projects. For example, you may come across a shoebox of old photos or your kid’s craft projects. As tempting as it may be to go through those items right then and there, just set them to the side.Then you can go through those things and organize them when you have some time to sit down and focus in on that one task.
Other Tips for Staying Clutter-Free
Once you have completed a major clean up in your home by going through all of the closets, storage spaces, drawers, and cabinets, you want to keep it up. Unfortunately, keeping clutter at bay is much easier said than done. It takes effort and a little discipline to maintain a mostly clutter-free home.
Make good use of organizers and organization systems by maintaining them over time. For example, if you have organized your pantry by placing certain items on certain shelves, continue to do so each time that you stock up the pantry. It takes time to develop good habits, and for many, staying neat and tidy doesn’t come naturally.
Get into the habit of putting your items away where they belong. Don’t let things build up on surfaces, like mail, paperwork, and junk. Take a few moments each day to tidy up tabletops, go through the mail and toss unnecessary junk. Now It does take some effort to declutter your home. But once you have gotten into the habit, you’ll enjoy a clutter-free living space for years to come.