Do you feel overwhelmed by all of the stuff that you have accumulated in your house? It happens to the best of us, and this is a sign that it’s high time you start decluttering your space! Yet, for a lot of us, it seems like a pretty daunting task to start to take out all of the junk in our homes and throw away (or donate) all the stuff we have.
However, it shouldn’t be a stressful task! Like Marie Kondo has shown us over the years, the task of organizing your space can actually be pretty easy and stress-free if you follow some simple steps and simply let go of everything you do not truly need. This is, of course, easier said than done, and we all need a little help with it sometimes. There’s no shame in that!
This is why we have gathered some of the best tips you need in order to help you on your decluttering journey! From what you should do before you start decluttering, to specific tips about certain areas in your house, and general advice about how to go about keeping things organized after you declutter, we are sure you will find something useful within these tips!
When was the last time you decluttered?
#1 Take note of the measurements
Before you start any decluttering, you should definitely make sure you’ve got all the items you need! This means that you should measure the spaces in which you plan to put bins before you go out to buy said containers!
A lot of people make the mistake of getting the containers before they are sure if they are fit for what they want, so they end up with more clutter because the bins are too big and take up too much space! Before you go out to buy any bins, you should be careful about the final space in which you plan to put containers, what it is that will go in them, and how you want to organize the place before you go out to buy any bins.
Believe us, just getting one huge bin and calling it a day is not going to help you declutter at all!
#2 Make sure you have digital recipes too!
Are you a chef in the making? That’s amazing. But we are sure that, like all foodies out there, you may have a ton of cooking books that you aren’t truly using. And while some make great coffee table decorations, you’re only keeping most of them for the odd recipe or two that you absolutely adore.
It’s a way better idea to just scan the page or copy it in a word document, then print it if you use it a lot, or just store it in a digital version until you need it. Otherwise, you can donate the book so someone else can enjoy it! Let’s be honest, a lot of the cookbooks we have, have been read but not used otherwise, so it’s better to just let them go. The same goes for magazine recipes: keep the page you need and recycle the rest of the magazine!
You can keep one three-ring binder with the printed recipes or magazine pages that you use more often, and like that, you will definitely declutter the excess books! You can even just use online apps to store the recipes for you if you don’t want them in physical form!
#3 Do you have a junk drawer? Good! Just keep it organized!
Contrary to what a lot of people say, it’s actually a good idea to have a junk drawer!
The only downside is that you actually need to keep it organized. We know it’s called a junk drawer because you end up throwing a lot of odds and ends in it for when you’re going to need them, but it doesn’t mean it has to be complete chaos in there. This is why you should take the time to declutter it of all true junk and at least try to have a system until you get to go through it.
#4 Functionality first! Emotional Attachment later!
You shouldn’t let yourself form too many emotional attachments to unnecessary items! Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t saying you have to throw out your wedding dress or any clothes or items of emotional importance to you. But rather, you shouldn’t keep anything in your closet just because it’s the thing you wore for that one event 10 years ago but haven’t worn since then. It’s not practical and you will end up acquiring way too many clothes.
You should periodically go through your clutter and ask yourself a few questions about most of the clothes there that you’re supposed to wear on a daily basis: do you look good in them? Have you worn it since you bought it? Do you adore the product? Because in true Marie Kondo fashion, if it doesn’t spark joy, it’s time to part with it!
If your answer is no to any of those questions (or other questions you may have), then it’s time to donate those clothes so someone else can enjoy them. And just like that, you decluttered your closet!
#5 Make sure you have criteria and some rules when you clean out a space!
Don’t just start decluttering without a plan! It will make your life harder and you will end up keeping more things than you would like. Depending on which part of your house you are tackling, decide what you want to do and where the line between the “keep” and “toss” piles are (maybe you even have a donate pile).
To give an example, if you’re organizing make-up or toiletries, it’s fairly simple. The ones you use most often and love are a definite keeper, but the ones you haven’t used in a while or that have been opened for a long time need to go! Just make your own rules and stick to them, and decluttering will be a breeze!
#6 Try the Dollar Store for decluttering storage options!
Don’t close your eyes when you walk by the Dollar Store! When it comes to decluttering, they have a lot of bins and baskets that will make your life a lot easier when it comes to organizing things around the house. The best thing is that they’re inexpensive by comparison with other stores, and you can get multiples of the same color.
You can even choose from different materials if you’re not keen on plastic. So there’s nothing to worry about! They even have special bins for items such as accessories, toys, sports equipment, or toiletries! Give them a visit; you won’t regret it.
#7 Declutter your linens! Yes, there is such a thing!
Does it ever happen that you end up buying something new or receiving a new bedspread and you struggle to close your linen closet? It may just be overflowing, and that means it’s high time to declutter it! It sounds a bit strange, but a lot of us end up accumulating a lot of linens and not a lot of us think about decluttering.
You don’t actually need fifteen towels in each color out there. Just make sure you have enough for the people in the house, along with a few spares and a few sets for guests. Do the same when it comes to bedspreads! Then use baskets and bins to keep all the smaller items from taking up too much space and prevent extra clutter. You can always donate the things you do not need or repurpose the ones that are too old into cleaning rags!
#8 Make sure kids can reach any storage options!
Having a lot of bins all over your home might actually be counterintuitive when you are decluttering: you’re just replacing a mess of items with a bin that’s just as big. But for children’s rooms, bins are the actual solution to no longer having a ton of toys all over the floor (stepping on a Lego piece by accident is actually really painful).
Having smaller bins for certain types of toys in the kids’ play area or room is a great way to not only make it easier for them to reach their toys but also teach them to put them back when they’re done playing! Not to mention that it beats having one huge bin that needs to be dumped on the floor for a specific toy. Just be sure they’re in a place where they can reach it!
#9 Use all the available space! Including the doors!
Even if the space is tiny, it shouldn’t be ignored, as you would be surprised at how many things you can store in places you would initially disregard. The backs of doors or some kitchen cupboards are amazing bonus storage spaces! All you need are either some shallow shelves, some hooks, or over-the-door organizers, and you’re set with a whole new spot to store some items!
Depending on where these new organizers are placed, you can end up decluttering cupboards of lids or some pans, or you can make sure the desk is no longer full of papers, as you can put them on the door. Not to mention, the hallway cupboard door is a prime place for storing shoes! Decluttering the hallway will no longer be a problem, and you will be able to easily find the shoes you need. Two birds with one stone!
#10 Involve the whole family in decluttering!
You should never feel like you have to do everything by yourself if you’re living with others! Especially if you have a large family or have multiple roommates. It doesn’t mean you all have to gather around and start cleaning every few days. Rather, everyone should be aware of what it takes to keep the house decluttered and participate in a weekend morning decluttering every few months.
The best thing would be for everyone to take care of their own space and to have a few bins or piles of items depending on how you want to do things. And then set a timer for 30 minutes, or a maximum of an hour if the space is really big, and go through their things to see what they want to keep, throw away, or donate!
If you have little kids, this may take a little longer, but it’s worth it in the long run as they will learn to be more organized. After that, you can go donate the things you have gathered and reward everyone with lunch out for a successful decluttering session!
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