Decluttering and Organizing Your HomeJump To Recipe
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“If everything has a home, nothing will get lost” -My momma
You’ve shoved so many pens and coupons in your junk drawer, you can’t see the bottom of the drawer. Your plastic containers and lids have gone rogue in your cabinets. If you slide your dresser drawers open, you have to stuff the clothes flat to get them to slide closed again. Your pots and pans look like a tornado came through your kitchen. You have a hard time finding your other shoe in the morning. Clothes seem to fall off the hangers in the middle of the night and it is a struggle to make room to hang your clothes. Can you relate to any of these things?
You don’t have to be a Type A person to enjoy a clutter-free home. I fall into the category of I am a Type A person who loves color-coding, organization, and cleanliness. However, I also am creative & clutzy. I make messes with crafts and baking, so needless to say it can be a struggle to always be neat and tidy.
Chances are you’ve watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, read some de-cluttering tips in magazines, perhaps you have been to friend’s homes that look like a showroom.
Maybe you’ve thought enough is enough and you are ready to make a change in your life.
There are several approaches to decluttering and simplifying your home. I don’t think there is only one method that can get the job done. It can get overwhelming though, so it is best to start little by little. Remember the old adage of its a marathon, not a sprint. The same applies to declutter your home.
Think about it-it probably took several decades for your home to get cluttered. Nobody goes out and buys hundreds of items and junky little trinkets in one day and stuffs it in nooks and crannies in their homes.
In this blog post, I am going to uncover strategies to declutter your home room by room, but I am going to mainly focus on the kitchen and the bedroom.
How to Declutter Your Home
I know one of Marie Kondo’s methods is to bring everything out in one pile but that can be intimidating AND overwhelming. Yes, I agree things have to get worse before they can get better, but I think its best to ease into decluttering projects.
Begin with one room at a time.
Examples of Starting Small by Room:
- Throw away expired coupons
- Test any pens in the kitchen and throw any away that don’t work
- Find any random items that don’t belong in the kitchen and put them in a permanent home (this could be screwdrivers, batteries, etc)
- Collect items that are in excess and unnecessary and throw them away e.g: old magnets, paper/notes, pens, coupons, odds and ends.
- Throw away underwear and socks with holes.
- Open your night table drawer and take out paper stuff-receipts, to-do lists, notes, post-it notes, etc.
- Put your shoes away in a shoe organizer
- Throw away any expired or unused creams, gels, and liquids.
- Downsize any hairbrushes you don’t use-only keep one brush and one comb per person.
- Throw away any expired vitamins/medicine in your medicine cabinet.
- Donate any unread books or magazines to a used bookstore, or thrift store.
- Toss any remotes that aren’t used anymore.
- If shoes are in the living room, align them by the door, or put them away in the bedroom.
- Throw away mail sitting on the table.
- Anything like keys, pens, journals, put them away in their homes.
- Put food/beverage items in the kitchen. Don’t use the table to be a holder for when you go to the grocery store.
Repurpose or Donate
There are some unknown treasures in your home just waiting to be repurposed.
For example, I have a solid fondant roller that I haven’t used in over two years because I stopped making cakes with fondant. I had placed it in our Goodwill box to eventually donate to Goodwill. One morning my husband asked me to massage his lower back as he had tight muscles. I was mentioning to him I used to have a muscle roller when I ran track in college, which made me think-what about the fondant roller? I jokingly went to get it-but hey, it actually worked to roll out the kinks in his lower back! A new purpose.
My mom says that repurposing an item is breathing new life into it. She wanted her wedding dress to have a new life, so she asked if I could use it for our wedding. I took lace from her dress to make my bouquet holder and the ring pillow for our wedding.
I don’t believe in wasting items that can be reused or can have a new home. Before you think to throw something away, ask yourself-can this be upcycled or repurposed? If not donate it as long as it is donatable and in good condition (no used underwear, toothbrushes, retainers haha).
Tackle the Bigger Items
Start in the most used room in your home, which I assume is the kitchen. I know it is our most used room! Now that you have gone through smaller items, go after items that are around the same size or bigger than a piece of paper.
Do the Marie Kondo thing and ask, “does this spark joy?” If you don’t like something in you home or kitchen, get rid of it! No sense in keeping items even if they are functional if they don’t spark joy. For our wedding, we received dozens of dish towels, and as grateful as we were to get them as gifts, we simply don’t need 30 plus towels! I gave some to my sister-in-law Candace and some to Goodwill.
Another important question to ask yourself, are these items used on a regular basis? Understand that it is okay to keep 5-10% of items that are seasonal and not used on a regular basis. Keep the Turkey roasting pan, keep the Santa cookie plate you use every Christmas Eve.
Examples of Bigger Items to Downsize in the Kitchen
The goal here is to get rid of things that are in excess, or rarely used.
- Casserole dishes
- Frying pans and pots
- Tupperware/plastic food storage
Now that you have downsized your kitchen, you should start to see more space! Begin investing in some practical storage containers/shelves. You don’t have to go on a shopping spree at the Container Store, in fact, many storage items are affordable on Amazon, Target or even at Dollar Tree!
Think: maximize vertical space! It’s a shelf in shelves’ inception! I bought these storage shelves from Amazon.
Next, Closet Space!
Before I got married, my bedroom at my parents’ house was so small, but I made it work! I also would hang 90% of my clothes, and place my underwear, socks, undershirts and workout clothes in storage drawers. The trick to fitting more clothes in your closet is by buying uniform hangers! Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but thin velvet hangers will maximize hanging space. I use to have all sorts of hangers in my closet-plastic, hangers from the store, wood, wire from dry cleaning, and the varying sizes just added bulk to my closet. I bought my hangers from Amazon, but I know they have some at the Dollar Tree. Amazon is great if you need to buy hangers in bulk, as they will be less than a dollar per hanger.
Go through your clothes and filter out which ones fit, aren’t stained/ripped, and that you wear on a regular basis. Donate clothes you don’t wear anymore and that are in good condition.
The closet should be 99% apparel related items. Take out items that don’t belong such as puzzles, books, binders, craft supplies, tools, office supplies, etc. Your closet and bedroom is not a dumping ground.
Downsizing in the Bedroom
The goal is to create a relaxing space or paradise in which you can decompress.
- Consider removing your TV from your bedroom. A bedroom should be relaxing and promote sleep, not blue light keeping you up at night. Also consider what can accompany TV-snacks, spills, crumbs, and kids bringing in toys watching their kid shows haha. This is optional, but just something to think about.
- Dressers/nightstands. Wait, hear me out. I am not saying banish altogether, but look at your current dressers and nightstands, Are they a catch-all for your junk? If you don’t have drawers to house clutter, guess what? You won’t have clutter! Consider getting smaller dressers and night tables (without drawers) to lessen the amount of clutter that can build up. This way you deal with clutter as it comes, rather than it being out of sight out of mind.
Decluttering Questions to Ask in Any Room:
- Does this item spark joy?
- Am I keeping an item because of obligation or guilt?
- Is this item a duplicate?
- Do I keep telling myself I will use it one day?
- Have I used this item in the last 18 months?
- Is this item easily replaceable if I need it in the future?
- Do I need this item?
What are your favorite decluttering techniques?