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Declutter and Organize Your Home
If you have a clutter in your home that you want to organize, you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. It's understandable, life gets busy and organization falls by the wayside! When there is clutter and disorganization in your home, it's difficult to find things when you need them, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Conversely, when your space is decluttered and organized, you will be more relaxed, have a clean space for creativity, you will be able to find things when you need them, and have more overall peace of mind.
Some of you may love to clean and organize (I'm in this camp too), but I realize that the majority of people don't want to spend their free time decluttering and feel they have better things to do! So with that in mind, I have listed 10 easy tips to help you declutter and organize so you can get back on track in no time at all!
This post is packed full of informative, fun, and useful information! I'm sharing with you my 10 favorite tips for decluttering and organization (and how to stay that way), my recommended 5 best organization books for further inspiration, and my FREE Printable Project Planner!
10 Simple Steps to Declutter and Get Organized
1. Clean as You Go - If you have one take-away from this list, this is the one strategy to start and end with. When you make the "clean as you go" method a habit, your home will always be picked up and less overwhelming to clean. For example: when the mail is delivered, open it and deal with it that day. It only takes a few minutes and you will avoid a pile of overwhelming unopened mail sitting on your kitchen counter to be dealt with all at once (and potentially miss something important). Another example: when you're preparing a meal put things away and do the dishes in the time between prepping and cooking. Clean up as soon as the meal is finished for an always ready and organized kitchen. Be sure to check out Aunt Fannie's Safe and Sustainable Cleaning Supplies!
2. Make Your Trip Work for You - This is my second favorite tip to keeping a tidy and organized home. I'm sure my kids were tired of me constantly reminding them to, "Make your trip work for you," ...but it worked! This means that whenever you leave the room if there is something that goes somewhere else, take it with you and put it away. For example: There's a pile of folded laundry on the sofa that needs to be put away. Instead of walking past it all day long, pick it up and take it with you if you're going to the bedroom. This small act, made into a habit, applied across your home will have a huge impact.
3. Set a Timer When You Clean – Instead of getting overwhelmed and thinking you have to clean or organize everything all at once, break it up into bite-sized chunks. Set a timer for 30-60 minute intervals and focus on one task. For example: Your kitchen pantry is a disorganized mess and you are ready to tackle it, but it feels overwhelming. Set a timer for 60 minutes and take care of 3 shelves. Then the next day, do it again and clean a few more shelves. Before you know it, you will have a freshly clean and organized pantry.
4. Put on Your Favorite Music – There's nothing more motivating than your favorite upbeat music! So, when you are ready to clean, put on your favorite jams and start groovin' and cleanin' - this will make the time go by faster and a lot more fun! You may find that you lose track of time and clean/organize more than you had originally planned to do because you were having such a good time!
5. Containers are Your Friend, – You're probably familiar with the saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place." Containers are a great way to quickly pick up clutter around the house, store things in, and stay organized. Containers don't have to be ugly! In fact, they can be a fun addition to your home decor. I personally love using beautiful baskets of all sizes around the house to store everything from blankets, games, movies, toys, kitchen utensils, bathroom supplies, and anything else you can think of! In your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, having small boxes and organizers keeps everything tidy and in its place. I personally LOVE these Seagrass Wicker Baskets from Amazon for easy organization in the kitchen and bathroom!
6. Buy Something, Give Something – This is a great tip to keep clutter from accumulating in your home. How many duplicates of the same type thing do you already own in your clothes closets or kitchen cabinets? Make it a rule that whenever you bring something new into the home, something has to go out. For example: You already own 5 pairs of black jeans. You purchase a new pair of black jeans, so you donate or sell one of your old pairs. If you buy something new, try making it a habit that you need to get rid of something at the same time.
7. Specific Purpose – Most things in your home serve a purpose, so look at your home in terms of "zones." For example: You may have a bookshelf with a comfy chair next to it as your "reading zone," where you will organize the books and make it an inviting place to read. You may have a table set up in an area of your living room where your family likes to play games, this is the "game zone." Or a desk in a den which is the "study zone." The idea is to have items available and organized in their zones, which will keep your home tidy and useful.
8. Consider Function – If you're like me, you want your functional items to be equally beautiful. Some people truly don't care about the aesthetics, but if you can buy something that is functional AND beautiful, then it will add warmth to your space. For example: You need a small trash can in the living room next to the sofa. Use a decorative wicker basket instead of a plastic trash can. You can easily beautify and organize by adding functional pieces throughout the house.
9. Seasonal Organization – This is a difficult step for a lot of people. It can be tough to let things go, especially if you think that you are afraid to get rid of something you think you will need again someday! We've all been there and collected way more than we need over the years. Go through your closets and donate or sell seasonal items if you have not used/worn them in over a year. Chances are you won't be needing it. You may think to yourself that you will need it "in a few years," but think about how technology, styles, and decor change (not to mention your waistline!). Will you be watching that old VHS or DVD movie anytime soon? Or how about that 1990's sweater? If you're not using it in the next year, it's time to pass it on.
10. Re-Purpose Meaningful Items – This tip is a fun way to get organized and also pay tribute to special mementos. Put your photographs in beautiful displays creating a wall collage. How about digitizing your photos to easily create photo memory books (these are especially great to preserve vacation memories and can be shared easily). You can display a beautiful quilt that was handed down to you on your bedroom wall as a piece of art. Display your grandmother's china. Have fun and get creative incorporating these special keepsakes into your home rather than having them in a dusty box somewhere.
You see, it's really not difficult once you know the tricks to make your life easier! All you need is to invest a bit of time upfront to create your organization plan, a little discipline to form new habits, and then just get started...you've got this!