Is it time to declutter your home? Check out these signs to watch out for and how to start getting rid of all the excess stuff and make room for the things you love.
Many people think of clutter as trash lying around the home. However, clutter is not just trash that needs to be thrown out. Clutter can be articles of clothing, toys, papers, and anything lying around that does not get used. If you look around your home, you will probably find plenty of clutter that needs to find a home right away. Read on for some great tips on how to declutter your home!
Why Declutter Your Home?
There are many benefits when you declutter your home.
Less to clean. Cleaning is already enough of a chore, but having to clean around things you have zero emotional attachment to (or worse, actively dislike) makes cleaning the house much more stressful.
Less to organize. Finding things suddenly become easier.
Less stress. Looking around at the clutter is a stress inducing sight once your home becomes cluttered. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to look around and see a home you love?
Less debt. Spending less time shopping for material possessions and adding to the clutter means your wallet and bank accounts remain fuller, your credit cards’ statements are lower, and your home doesn’t get filled with costly things you don’t need.
1. Kitchen Cabinets That Do Not Stay Closed
Cups are one thing that we seem to accumulate, but never throw out. It is easy to get souvenir cups from baseball games, movies, and the fair, but these cups tend to be pretty durable, so we never end up throwing them out. Before you know if the kitchen cabinets will be overflowing with cups. When your kitchen cabinets do not stay closed, it’s a sign it’s time to declutter your home!
What to do: Let go of all the plastic drinkware. Opt for Mason jars instead. The glass is so much better for you (read 21 signs of a hormonal imbalance to learn how plastics can affect your hormones), and can be used to store food too. You can get multiple uses out of Mason jars.
2. You Have Run Out of Hangers
Do you find yourself short on hangers, and drawer space as you are taking clean clothing out of the dryer? It is very likely that this is because you have too many clothes. Go through your closet and pull out anything that you haven’t worn or fit into in the past six months.
It may seem wasteful to get rid of clothing. However, it’s more wasteful to have more clothes than you can wear. You can always put away clothes, you don’t have any intention of wearing at the moment. You can choose to get rid of the clothing at a later date. This is especially a good idea, if you have kids that can wear these clothes later.
What to do: Get the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It’s a great resource to help you let go of clothes you don’t wear.
3. Falling Behind in Bills
Sometimes when you get home after work you head to the mailbox, grab whatever was inside, and then toss it on the counter as you make your way to the bathroom and change into more comfortable clothing. This leads to you forgetting to take care of the mail you brought in. The next thing you know, you have one or two week’s worth of mail, accumulating on the counter. Prevent getting bill reminders, by taking care of the mail as soon as you bring it in. Sort the mail, while you are walking inside, and instantly throw out any junk received. If you really want to ditch the paper clutter, sign up for electronic alerts through your email.
4. You Cannot Find Your Keys
All too often, we find ourselves heading out the door in a hurry, only to find that our keys are not where we thought we left them. This is likely due to clutter and poor organization. When you can’t find your keys, because of the clutter in the house, it’s time to declutter your home.
What to do: Get into the habit of putting your keys and outgoing mail in one place – usually near the door so as you walk in you immediately put your keys in an organizer like this.
5. The Toy Box is Overflowing
Most kids play with their toys for one to two weeks before they get abandoned in the toy box. If you find that your children have outgrown certain toys, it is time to put them in box to donate or sell. Most children play with the same 10-15 toys they have rather than the 100 or so that fills their room and closet.
What to do: Go through the toy box, kids’ closets, and other play areas at least once a month to get rid of things you don’t need. This helps to remove broken toys and toys that no longer work for your kids or that are just adding clutter.
6. You Can’t Find Anything Under the Sink
Look under your bathroom or kitchen sink. What do you see? You’ll likely see a ton of old bathroom and kitchen cleaners, old sponges and brushes, and maybe even some old products you don’t use (like makeup and skin care under the bathroom sink). If you haven’t used those items in the last 3-6 months, it’s time to let it go. Those makeup or skincare freebies you got from the department store? Those should go too if you haven’t used them in the last few months. All of it adds to the clutter and keeps you from having access to the things that you DO use.
What to do: Opt for natural products. When you make the swap from chemical household cleaners to something like Thieves Household Cleaner (which is one product and can clean basically everything in the home) then you’ll find that you’ll only need that and maybe some baking soda or vinegar and clean sponges under the sink. The same goes for beauty care products. I make a lot of my own beauty products with essential oils. Check out 100+ DIY beauty care products you can make at home.
What tips do you have to declutter the home?
What’s Your Clutter Personality?
By identifying which category below you fit into, you can avoid your weak spots, you can declutter your home more efficiently and stay one step ahead of yourself!
Too Busy/ Too Many Extras: You buy items you already own because you don’t have a system in place for where to store them or, when you need to find things fast, the time to search through all the possible storage spots.
Constant Worrier/ Must Save Everything: You’re concerned that you “might” need something in the future, so you save everything, “just in case.”
Overwhelmed in Life/ Overwhelmed at Home: You don’t know where to begin—so you just live with the chaos.
When You Declutter Your Home, Set Goals
Before you declutter your home, make a plan. No matter how many rooms or how much clutter you have to get through, starting with specific goals will help you create a plan that will reduce any frustration as you go. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get started decluttering your home:
- Write down or make a map of all the rooms and ‘clutter hot spots’ you want to tackle.
- Give each space a grade based on the severity of the clutter. For example, on a scale of 1 – 3 (3 being the most cluttered), a particularly messy room or closet would get a 3. This will help you prioritize your time.
- Do one room or one space at a time.
- Set completion dates for each phase of your cleanup. Be sure to pick dates that are attainable so you don’t get frustrated. If you make it into a declutter challenge for yourself, it may feel a bit more like a game.
- In addition to completion dates, you should plan time to work on specific areas when you expect decluttering those spaces to take longer than a few hours, such as a basement or a garage.
7-Day Decluttering Challenge
Looking for more ways to declutter your home? Join my FREE 7-Day Decluttering Challenge! I’ll go more in-depth on how to declutter your bathrooms and every room in your home. I’ll also show you how to deal with the emotions that often come up when you’re decluttering and simple strategies you can use to overcome them.
Top Tips To Declutter Your Home
- Schedule a time to declutter your home that suits everyone involved. Cleaning up is a family affair, so get everyone on board by scheduling your kick start at a time that works for everyone and make attendance mandatory! Set aside a Saturday or a Sunday, or a few hours every day, to start the process.
- If you haven’t used an item in the last year, it is highly unlikely you really need it or that you are going to ever get enough use out of it to justify it cluttering up your home. Take the plunge and get rid of it!
- If it’s something you’ve borrowed, give it back. If you’ve ended a relationship or gotten a divorce, now’s the time to let your ex’s belongings go. If your kids have established their own households, it’s time for them to pick their stuff up.
More Decluttering Tips
- 10 Steps to Declutter Your Home
- 5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Minimalist Living
- Is Minimalism Right for You?
- 5 Ways to Declutter Your Bathroom
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto.com / Kasia Bialasiewicz