Ten Tricks to Clear out Clutter
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
REPRINT from Susquehanna Style Magazine
March 1, 2019
If you’re ready for your home to bloom as the ground begins to thaw this Spring, consider these ten tips to tidying up!
1. Start with your most stressful space or category. Are the piles of paper scattered in every room causing you anxiety? Are you tired of tripping over the kids’ toys and nagging them to take care of their things? What area of your home just really pushes your buttons? Start there and take back the power! And remember, one thing at a time. Trying to tackle your whole house at once could keep you from actually starting the process.
2. Get some help. Whether it’s texting a friend to keep you accountable to your goal or hiring a professional to give you a jumpstart, the process can be easier and more fun when someone else is involved and rooting for your success.
3. Take pictures. Snapping some before, during, and after shots will help you track your progress AND keep you encouraged and motivated. Send the pics to someone who’s keeping you accountable and who will celebrate the steps you’re taking to reclaim your space. Everybody loves to see progress pics, so feel free to invite your friends on social media to see the steps you’re taking to change your relationship with your home!
4. Grab a large, sturdy trash bag. If your item is torn, stained, or broken, and you KNOW you won’t take the time to fix it, throw. it. out. Sometimes it just takes a couple seconds to sit with the item in your hand and ask yourself if you will honestly take the time and energy to fix what your holding. If the answer is no, you have permission to let it go. Also, resist the urge to donate things that are of poor quality.
5. Donate before you sell. If you don’t need the extra money, consider donating your nice things. I swear your generosity will be returned to you and you will be benefiting the people in you community. Find places that give their donations away for free or cheap! The Lancaster Council of Churches is an excellent organization to donate clothes to for this very reason. Music for Everyone is another reputable organization that will take musical instruments to distribute to public schools in need, and animal shelters are always looking for towels and blankets for their animals.
6. Make a profit. If you could use the extra cash or you enjoy hosting community yard sales, now’s the time of year to do it. Pick a weekend in the calendar and reserve a space in your garage or basement for everything that you can add to as you move through the decluttering process. Consider bagging or boxing up similar items like baby clothes and toy cars and selling by the bundle.
7. Grab a laundry basket. You’ll find things that you want to keep, but that don’t belong in the room you’re tackling. Instead of running that item to the room it belongs in and getting distracted by another task, toss it in the “transport basket” and deliver the items to their proper place once it’s full.
8. Sort your paperwork. If you find yourself drowning in paperwork from bills, to catalogs, to field trip permission slips, consider consolidating every piece into one pile or box. Go through each paper, one at a time, and categorize them into 3 separate piles “to do now”, “to do this week”, “to do eventually”. Trash or file the rest and find a trifold, desktop or wall organizer and label accordingly. Put it somewhere you will see but that won’t be an eyesore to you or to any company that may visit.
9. Don’t stuff! If you find a door, drawer, or lid hard to close, it’s time to organize that space. Get rid of the things you haven’t used or missed. Only keep what fits! Organize what’s left in a way that helps you see everything you have stored away.
10. Wipe it down. If you do clear out a space like a drawer, cabinet, bookshelf, or closet, take the opportunity to dust and deep clean the empty space. Another benefit of decluttering is that you will cut down on the time it takes to clean your home each week! Fewer things means there is less space for dust to collect and you can be ready for company quicker than ever.
Enjoy the fresh new look and feel of your space and invite more people over to enjoy it with you! For more tips and tricks, follow us on Instagram @MoreSpace_Organizing. Happy Spring!