Looking to declutter your life this year? Why not start with your home? Here are 8 simple ways to declutter your home.
1. Determine why you want to declutter
Before you start, think about why you want to declutter. Do you want to live a more simple lifestyle? Are you hoping to sell some items for extra cash? Is your goal to have less items to make your home life more efficient?
Having a meaningful reason for your decluttering efforts will help you stay motivated when it gets tough. Decluttering is a lot of work, so decide exactly why you’re doing it, and remember this reason when it gets tough.
2. If you’re not sure where to start, try your bedroom closet
I started with my bedroom closet and have gradually been streamlining my wardrobe. It feels great to get rid of clothes that are outdated, poor-fitting, or just taking up space in your closet. Now I have less clothes, but I’ve found that having a small amount of items I love is much more enjoyable than a closet packed full of items I only somewhat like. Starting with your closet can help you build momentum to declutter the rest of your home. Since your closet is a place you use every day, decluttering your closet will allow you to immediately see the results of your efforts. Plus, having only clothes that you feel great in can build your confidence, and you’ll spend less time searching for what to wear each day.
3. Think of the habits involved in cluttered areas
Think about where you tend to accumulate clutter. For me, this is my kitchen counter. The biggest source of clutter on my counter is incoming and outgoing mail. Therefore, I’ve been streamlining this process. Instead of letting mail sit on my counter in a big messy pile, I’ve sorted it immediately into a small bin for the appropriate recipient, and junk mail is immediately thrown away. That way, I don’t end up looking through the mail multiple times. I have gradually automated most bills, which helps decrease the mail pile and streamlines my finances. Outgoing mail now has a designated spot. This is still a work in progress, but it has become much more efficient and less cluttered with these changes.
4. When you purchase a new item, get rid of 2 items
One way to gradually declutter your home is to get rid of more than one item every time you purchase something. This has worked great for me to declutter the kids’ items they’ve outgrown. When they get new clothes or new toys, I give what they’ve outgrown to friends with younger children. When you get rid of 2 items per every item purchased, you will slowly declutter your home and the process doesn’t feel nearly as overwhelming as a giant overhaul all at once.
5. Turn your hangers around in your closet
Turn all your hangers backward in your closet. If you wear the item on the backward-facing hanger, turn it back around so it is forward-facing. After a predetermined amount of time (6 months, 1 year, or another amount of time you choose), get rid of any clothing items on the backward-facing hangers, because you haven’t worn them in a while.
6. Get your whole family involved
As you work on decluttering, involve the entire family. Even young kids can put shoes away, match socks, and help pick up toys. Work on developing designated places for certain items, and make sure everyone in your family understands where these items go.
7. Consider rotating toys
I have 3 very young kids, and the playroom looks like a disaster some days. One thing that is helping (although it’s still mass chaos here at times) is to rotate the kids’ toys. We put some items in a bin and rotate the toys every couple of weeks. That way, the kids are really excited to play with their toys and there is less clutter.
8. Think about why you have your belongings
Getting rid of certain items can be so freeing. As you work on decluttering, think about an item you’re struggling to get rid of. Is it useful? If so, have you used it in the recent past? Do you love it, or would you not even miss it if you got rid of it? Getting rid of certain items can be tough when you have an emotional attachment to them. Certain things were hard for me to get rid of, as I’m pretty sentimental, but I can’t even explain how freeing it felt to get rid of things.
Decluttering is an ongoing process. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it feels great to have a less-cluttered home.
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