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There is just stuff ev.er.y.where and you know that there are things to declutter but GAH!…it is so difficult to get started.
Kinda like a “can’t see the woods for the trees” situation.
As a mom, I personally find it close to impossible to stay on top of the house and my attitude when I am overwhelmed by stuff.
I don’t think I’m alone in this either…
Why You Want to Declutter
Decluttering your home is almost like magic. All of a sudden you feel refreshed and motivated to keep it clean. And you know what else?
It actually IS easier to keep clean, because there is space to put things away.
The key to getting started is to not get overwhelmed by it all. Yes, it is a big job if you haven’t been keeping on top of all your stuff, but it can be done without losing your mind.
Start by using the list of things below and you’ll find that as you complete one job, you’ll be that much more motivated to move onto the next.
It is like a snowball effect and the result will be a cleaner home and a clearer mind.
If you really need an overhaul in this area, you should definitely check out The Organized Home. It is a course that will take you through the steps of organizing your home so that you can do more with your time…or maybe just relax a little. Check it out HERE.
Decluttering Made Easy
Here’s the thing…I have three tiny humans that I care for day in and day out. I also work from home and so what time I do have to declutter is definitely limited and broken up.
For that reason, I have to tackle things that I can do in an hour or two…a day at most.
That’s why I put together this list. To show you that even if you don’t have much time, you can still get rid of the junk that is cluttering up your home and your mind.
If you do have a BIG decluttering job to do, like cleaning out the garage, break it up into manageable tasks. Things that you can do in an hour or two.
But like I said…start with this list and then tackle the big stuff.
13 Things to Declutter
There is a printable declutter checklist at the end of this post that you can use to make your way through this list. Be sure to scroll to the end to get it.
#1 Tupperware Drawer
How fast does your Tupperware drawer get out of hand? It doesn’t take long at all…especially if you have toddlers that like to play kitchen.
The other thing is that you are probably wasting valuable time looking for lids that match containers, etc.
Did you know that the other day I went through and sorted my Tupperware drawer? I had 2 ice cream containers and FIFTEEN lids…yeah.
It felt SO GOOD to clear that drawer out and only put back in what I actually needed.
#2 Cleaning Products
How many cleaning bottles do you have sitting on a shelf that have just a squirt or two left of product in them?
Do yourself a favor and get rid of them!
In fact, just keep cleaning supplies to a minimum all around. You don’t need a different surface spray for every room in the house.
I get by with the DIY spray you can find at the end of this post, toilet bowl cleaner, and some bleach for the really heavy-duty stuff.
#3 Catch-All Shelf
I’d like to know a person that doesn’t have a spot in their home where all the lose ends collect.
Y’know…the place where every family member dumps whatever is in their hands when they get home.
It could be bills, keys, hair ties, a pack of gum, playdoh, loose change…you get the picture.
Go through that shelf and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong there. While you do that, see if you can organize it in a way to keep it better contained.
#4 Desk Drawers
In this time we barely need to hang onto paper like we used to. So much of the paperwork we once needed is now digital.
Take the time to clear out your desk drawers and scan stuff onto the computer so that you can save space.
If you have the option of opting out of receiving your bills via mail then do it. We get all of our bills online now and it is so much easier to just file them that way.
#5 Bedside Table
I don’t know about you, but my bedside table seems to become a dust-collecter after some time.
Half-read books, little things that the kids bring me, hair ties and bobby pins…they all collect there.
It’ll take you no time at all to clear it all away and only put back what is truly necessary.
#6 Electronics Drawer
Have you ever looked at all the cords that you own and wonder what they’re all for?
Take the time to go through and get rid of electronics that you’re no longer using. TV remotes, broken chargers, cables that are obsolete…get rid of ’em!
Once you’ve decluttered, go ahead and organize what’s left by getting proper storage and labelling items for future reference.
#7 Catch-All Drawer
As with the catch-all shelf, I’m pretty sure it is a right of adulthood to have a catch-all or “junk” drawer.
You know what I”m talking about, right? That drawer in the kitchen that houses all the stuff that you just weren’t quite sure what to do with.
Go through it and see what you actually need to keep. Then get some drawer organizers and use them to keep things a little tidier.
It makes it a lot easier to keep things minimal when you can actually see what you own.
We have teeny tiny closest in our home which may seem like a bad thing, but I beg to differ.
It has forced me to #1 – keep clothing to a minimum, and #2 – regularly get rid of things we don’t wear.
I personally recommend going through your clothing every season and donating things that you no longer wear.
For kids, you can store clothing to be passed down in vacuum-sealed bags and then put them in large plastic containers.
Alternatively, if you vacuum seal them, they’ll fit really nicely under beds.
I’m also a big fan of storing off-season clothing so that there’s less clutter in the closets.
Again, if you can see what you own, you’ll be more likely to use it…or at least know what to get rid of.
#9 Shoe Storage
This decluttering chore may not be something that is relevant to everyone, but you could adapt it to suit your home.
Here in New Zealand, we do not wear shoes indoors. It is something that is just expected, even when you go to visit someone. Shoes are left at the door.
In our home, we’ve always had somewhere to put said shoes. Right now it is a drawer in a cabinet near the door.
After a while, shoes build up and some of them my kids have even grown out of.
If that’s the case for you, go through it seasonally and get rid of whatever is no longer being worn.
You can check out this post about how to keep toys under control, but yeah…go through them on a regular basis and get rid of things that are broken or no longer being played with.
Toys seem to just auto-populate somehow and I’m even left wondering where on earth certain ones came from.
By decluttering in this area you’ll be less frustrated with the toy mess and it will be easier for your kids to tidy up.
Decluttering the pantry is something that I always put off because it seems so daunting, but in reality, it isn’t that bad and I feel SO MUCH better once it is done.
Give yourself a couple of hours for this one and start by clearing everything out.
Once you’ve done that, get rid of any old or expired food.
Then you can start to put everything back in and organize it as you go. You may need to invest in some storage solutions to better utilize the space.
#12 Bathroom Cupboard
Remember how we talked about the cleaning products with barely anything left in them taking room up on the shelf?
Well, I bet you have a bunch of products like that in your bathroom cupboard.
Give yourself an hour to go through everything and get rid of unused or finished products.
#13 Linen Cupboard
How many sets of sheets do you have that you never use? I’m not talking about the really good ones that you love, but the ones that are just meh…
Be ruthless. If you don’t need it…donate.
Once you’ve gotten rid of what you don’t need, fold your linens up so that they take up the least amount of room.
Rolling your towels and learning how to fold a fitted sheet (see this video) can really help to keep things organized and tidy.
As promised, here is a declutter list that you can download and then print to use.
Having a decluttering checklist is great to use as a visual motivator.
How to Throw Things Away
Sometimes what puts people off of decluttering is simply the fact that they’re not sure what to do with the stuff.
If that’s you, here are a few tips:
- Do some research – Find out where you can donate things in your local area. Some places will even come by your house and pick things up. Make a note of them and then move onto the next thing.
- Categorize the things you’re getting rid of – Decide whether it needs tossing, donating, or to be given to friends.
- Have a system – Once you know what categories you’re using to decide where things are going, set up bins or bags that are clearly labelled. It’ll make it that much faster.
- Hire a skip bin – I’m not sure if they’re referred to as that internationally, but that’s what we call them here in New Zealand. If you’ve got a lot of stuff that just needs to be tossed, hire a bin so that you can get rid of it all in bulk. It’ll be cheaper and easier in the long run.
Once you get into the habit of decluttering your home on a regular basis, you’ll find that it is that much easier to stay on top of the general cleaning and maintenance.
I write these tips as a work-from-home mom of three, but the reality is that these tips will benefit anyone wishing to simplify their home and de-stress when it comes to cleaning.