Happy Monday and happy Memorial Day! This is the last post in the 8 Small Home Projects that Make a Huge Impact series, and I wasn’t really sure how to end the series. As I was thinking more and more about what could be my last tip, finally it hit me – a clutter free space!
Let’s be honest, at least for this girl, nothing feels better than having a clutter free home that makes you feel relaxed instead of making you stressed out! Am I right? I’ve always felt there is something therapeutic about coming home to a clean and tidy home that makes everything feel calm and stress free. 🙂 So to finish out this series I want to talk about 4 easy steps to declutter and get more organized!
I like to think of myself as organized, clean, and tidy but to say that at any moment if you came into my home that everything would be perfect would be a major stretch! I constantly have some project going on, my son’s toys are scattered all over the place, and there’s always a load of laundry that needs to be put away (or two)! 😉
I tend to lean heavily on the Type A side and I try my hardest to have some sort of organization system in place for everything…I may or may not be one of those people that can’t leave their house without their bed made! But even with systems in place, I know that sometimes even the best systems break down – or just don’t work. It’s unrealistic to think that you’re going to have a perfectly organized, clean, and clutter free home all the time, and it would be hard for me to believe anyone that says they do! What I am a believer of, is that eliminating as much clutter as possible does wonders on your productivity, stress level, and just all around makes you happy!
I am a true believer that before you can organize you have to declutter. The key to decluttering your home is to take it one room or space at a time and not to expect to get it all done in one day or even over a weekend. When it comes time to tackle that clutter there are a few things you should do to ensure you get clutter free and stay clutter free. I am going to share my 4 easy steps for a clutter free space plus a free printable for you to snag to help along the way!
Step 1 – Plan & Clear Out
Before you start tossing and sorting you need to have a vision and plan for the space. How are you wanting this space to function? Picture in your mind how this space would work if it was exactly the way you wanted and it worked perfectly – what does that look like and what will it take to get there?
After you have your vision for this space in your head, now you need to schedule time to declutter. Like I said, decluttering is not something you can do all at once and I honestly recommend tackling one area every day or even one a week depending on the size of space. You can burn out quick if you try to do to much at one time. The key here is to focus on only one space at a time, not try to handle several spaces all at once – finish one area before you move onto the next. I recommend taking anywhere from 15-30 min a day for decluttering until you have every space on your list completed. If you struggle with feeling motivated to do this, block the time off in your calendar. Having it blocked out in my calendar makes me feel more committed to the task.
So you’ve got your inspiration on how you want the space to work and you’ve scheduled your 15-30 min to tackle the space, start clearing everything out. And when I say everything…I mean everything! You want to start with a blank slate.
Step 2 – Sort it Out
After everything is cleared out, next comes the sorting. This is where it starts to get fun (am I the only one that thinks this is fun?)! You will be sorting all the items into these 4 categories:
You have to be serious with this part. This can also be the hard part. We always seem to have this connection to things and sometimes we aren’t even sure what that connection is or why we feel so strongly about something, but we do. The goal here to keep only the things that you need and that help the space function. If something is broken or not working anymore throw it away. If you haven’t used something in a year, chances are you don’t need it. The key here is to have less stuff so that your space feels less cluttered, and the only way to achieve this is to let go of the things that you don’t need. Less is more!
If you’re struggling on what to do with something ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I love it?
- Is it in good condition?
- Would I buy this again?
- Have I used it in the last year?
- Do I have somewhere to put this in my home?
The problem with keeping everything is that eventually you end up not being able to find the one thing you really need because you have too much stuff, and you only held onto it thinking you might need it someday. Chances are if you haven’t needed it in the past 12 months, you don’t need it! If you’re still stuck on if you should keep something, another really good idea is to have a box set aside for anything you are unsure of and stash it away for a month or so and if you haven’t missed it during that time, get rid of it.
Step 3 – Toss, Recycle, Donate, or Sell
We discussed this in detail earlier, but if it is broken, worn, or ripped – toss it!
If it is old papers, plastic, or glass instead of throwing them out, recycle them. If you’re unsure of what you can and can’t recycle, check with your local city recycling company to see where you can take these items and what you can recycle.
My donate pile is usually pretty random and can range from anything like clothes & books to larger household items. I usually tend to donate items that I don’t plan on making money off of. Sometimes it is just easier for me to take a pile of clothes to Goodwill then it is to price and sell online. It all just depends on how quickly you’re wanting to get rid of something. This is your call here…if you’re really wanting to get rid of a lot of stuff quickly and pain free, donation is the way to go. Plus you are giving a good cause!
If you’re looking for a good and pretty 😉 way to keep track of your donations all year for tax purposes snag my free donation tracker printable by clicking the picture below!
After your sorting, if you end up with items that are of value and are in good condition, it might be worth selling it. What’s better than decluttering and making money at the same time?! Here are a few of my favorite ways to do this:
- Ebay – this is a good option if you are selling smaller items with higher values. You need to keep in mind that you will have to pay shipping or include shipping in the cost of your item as well as pay a fee to Ebay for selling your item on their site. Ebay is probably not worth it if you’re selling a lot of lower value items or large bulky items.
- Craigslist – I used to think the days of people buying on craigslist was over, but trust me it’s still hot! This is really great for bigger items that you would rather sell locally and not have to pay shipping for. A few things to watch out for on Ebay is spammers. I highly recommend never giving out your phone number and creating a separate email account for all craigslist business. Also, never go meet anyone or have anyone come over to your home when you are by yourself. I would even advise that you meet them at a public place instead of ever having anyone come to your home. Just be safe!
- Local Facebook resale groups – this has become one of my favorite ways to sell my used, but in good condition items. All you have to do is perform a search on your Facebook account for local Facebook resale groups or Facebook Online Garage sale groups. Same rules apply when selling on Facebook, always meet in a public place and keep communication through Facebook messenger.
- Yard/Garage sale – if you have a ton of stuff you want to sell, a yard sale may be a good idea. I am planning one of these in the next week (a post to come on that soon). Garage sales are great this time of year and can move a lot of your items quickly. My yard sale moto is price-to-go!
Step 4 – Daily Maintenance
Now that you’ve got your space cleared, sorted, and items discarded (in which ever way above you choose), and only the things you “need” put back into place – it’s time to maintain your clutter free space. I know this is easier said than done. Something I have started to do that has really helped is to dedicate 15 minutes a day to having a 15 min pick-up before I go to bed. Adding 15 min of pick-up to your daily tasks can help keep those clutter piles from slowly creeping back into our space!
No matter how many systems we put into place or how many spaces we clear out, the clutter sometimes tends to come back in. Either we just have days where we tend to get lazy or we cling to systems that just aren’t working. Decluttering and organizing requires sometimes reevaluating a system and not clinging to what is not working and come up with a better system. The process of decluttering and organizing is a marathon not a sprint so take your time and before you know if you will be on your way to a clutter free (well most of the time) 😉 home!
What are your best decluttering tips?
Do you have a special way that you keep your home free of clutter? I would love to hear your ideas and tips. Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite ways to declutter your spaces! Have fun!
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If you missed anything in the series, get caught up quickly here!
The Beginner’s Guide to Painting (Week 1)
How to Stain a Door the Easy Way (Week 2)
Updating Door Hardware (Week 3)
Beautiful Area Rugs (Week 4)
7 Affordable Landscaping Tips (Week 5)
Install DIY Shiplap: The Easy Way (Week 6)
How to Choose the Perfect Curtains (Week 7)
4 Easy Steps for a Clutter Free Space (Week 8) You’re Here!
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