Are your closets crowded, drawers jumbled, shelves overflowing? If the car won’t fit in the garage – and you’ve been thinking about adding a shed in the backyard, for extra storage space … here are a few tips & ideas to help declutter your home!
Keep in mind, decluttering isn’t about perfection – it’s about clearing up areas in your home that inhibit proper functioning; areas that make you feel bad when you look at them or areas that simply don’t work!
Remember to start with whatever irritate you the most, organizing the most annoying clutter zone will be motivating!
Do one job at a time. It’s easy to get pulled from one clutter zone to another and the first area you tackle will be the most difficult. Stay focused on the one area until you’ve completed it.
Set time limits. Start small, initially work in 15/30 minutes- even if you need more sessions to complete an area (ie: larger areas like kitchen, garage, basement)
Sort as you go. Use 4 plastic laundry hampers – they’re easy to carry & can see best into them. Plus they’re reusable! Label as needed (ie: Keep, Donate etc) Organize what you
plan to keep in this area/room and distribute the rest into the other areas/rooms. Let no sorting group go unmarked! Use masking tape, label maker, marker, ETC
- Get everyone in your household involved! Make a 10 minute pick up “on the way”, up & down stairs, heading to bed, etc – part of everyone’s routine.
- Assign each person in your family a room/area, that is their responsibility to keep clutter-free & organized.
- Establish a specific place for things. Hooks for keys, purses, backpacks, basket for mail ETC
- Centralize your paper clutter instead of spreading it around. This will help you be relentless in tossing out papers – newspapers, magazines, junk mail ETC
- Make it a rule; something new comes into the house, something old goes out!
- Adopt the attitude; use it or lose it!
- Create a “reluctant to part with” box. Store it in a easily accessible spot – when it’s full, you have to part with something!
- Don’t overbuy baskets or containers – too tempting to spread them out and fill them up! Purchase a basket or container only if & when you have a use for it.
- Concentrate on creating vertical storage; shelving, bookcases, stackable bins – wherever possible.
- Incorporate storage into your decor – choose furniture that “doubles” as storage ie: benches, small dressers, coffee table with storage underneath ETC
- Shallow plastic containers for under beds are ideal for storing seasonal items; clothing, decorations & sports gear.
- Put hooks on the backs of doors, closets, cupboards & cabinet doors.
- Assign a basket/container for each member in your household to store things that come out of their pocket!
- Regularly deal with the garbage gremlins: grocery bags, soap shards, rubber bands, dried up pens, chipped glasses/dishes, loose screws ETC
Develop an organizing system that works for you…and stick to it!
Always put things back in the same place. Children’s papers belong in a basket in central location. Bicycles & sports gear go in the designated area of the garage. Coats belong on coat tree, closets, hooks. Toys & games in the chest or bin every night.
Place tools you use often (screwdriver & hammer) at arm’s reach on a pegboard or in a drawer of the kitchen or laundry room – readily at hand & able to quickly put away.
Hang clothes you wear to work from & centre. Dresser drawers should be organized from top being most frequent to bottom being less frequent. No Dumping Areas!