If you can’t breathe in your own house as random stuff has slowly but surely turned it into a total mess, you need to conduct a couple of decluttering sessions to get your place looking good and organized. These decluttering tips might help you out, so give them a shot and don’t let the clutter rule in your house anymore!
How to declutter your house. Effective decluttering tips.
- Organize your stuff before buying any storage items. Do not head out to the store to purchase a ton of storage things and supplies the moment you decide on decluttering your house. Those things might end up being completely unnecessary and add to the existing clutter. Those cute bins, boxes with your favorite prints that match your decorations and wicker baskets the container stores and departments are full with might get you really excited. However, they won’t help you out with decluttering unless they fit the designated space (like a shelve of the shelving unit or in the pantry). Besides, those have to hold the items you need to put in order. And finally, they need to fit into the certain area in your house. That’s why storage items have to be a well-planned and well-thought purchase. I suggest that you should clean out the areas or rooms first, sort out your things, divide them in groups and think about what containers may be perfect to hold them. Then, purchase a couple of bins or pretty boxes to see how you like them in action. You can always buy more of them later. Thus you won’t find yourself with empty bins cluttering up your house along with the thing you didn’t manage to put in them.
- Combat the 12-12-12 challenge. It’s a simple task of sorting your things into 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to put in place. This process can be a really fun and exciting. And, it’s a fast way to organize 36 items in your house or room and get rid of those you don’t really use. Let your roommates, kids, partners to participate in this challenge, turn it into an entertaining and yet useful competition.
- Try the four-box method. Cluttered house is often a result of bad habits of people who live in it or the lack of time. The lack of organization, unhealthy sentimental attachment to material things, stockpiling of stuff may cause the clutter too. But, in fact, each item of clutter is a result of the decision delay. The well-known phrase “I’ll go through that later!” is that cluttering monster you need to defeat.
The Four-Box method requires you to make a decision regarding each thing, each paper that comes to your house. Basically, you need to get four boxes or bins and label them this way: “Put Away”, “Give Away/Sell”, “Storage” and “Throw away”. The last one is basically a trash can.
Take these boxes to the room or area you plan to organize and sort all things in it with their help. Go through the entire house with those boxes using them as the decluttering tools. The rule is that you can’t drop the item until you make a decision and select a category for it.
Don’t let the second thoughts get in your way. Be confident and irreversible in your decisions.
Empty the boxes by putting away the stuff you’ve decided to save. Those things have to be carefully organized or put into the storage. Set up the things you want to give away in your front yard to let your neighbors get something if they want to. Ask your relatives if they some of those things.
- Devote 15 minutes of every evening to a quick clean-up. That’s one of the secrets to a stress-free home. It might seem difficult, but your family may totally turn this Bumble Bee Cleaning method into its common habit. The regime includes making the couches, cleaning the kitchen countertops and dining table, taking out the trash and starting the dishwasher. It makes waking up the next morning much more enjoyable. And, it also makes the weekend cleaning much easier.
- Carry out a spring cleaning at least two times a year. Set the spring cleaning dates in advance. For instance, you may conduct a spring cleaning be before Easter and before Christmas. Or, before summer and before spring. Hire professional house cleaners to make your house sparkling clean. Get your carpets and upholstery cleaned, windows washed, etc. Believe me, this step is just vital, as you just can’t conduct some of the house cleaning procedures on your own. The less time you have, the harder the job is. So, go to HireRush.com to post a spring cleaning task to get the local cleaning specialist contact you or call them yourself directly from the website. Post a task for cleaners here
- The lack of kitchen storage is killing you? Short on cupboards? Get things out in the open. Try out displaying everyday dishes against a well-marked chalkboard wall. Such dark backdrop allows you to clearly (and cutely) indicate a home for each item. Encouraging your kids or roommates to help you restock once the dishwasher is finished and keep the items on their designed places. Grab a chalk pen and raw the outlines of shapely pieces if you’re the artistic type. Or, just say it like it is, with words. Or, use the shelves or racks to store the expensive chine high up on tops of kitchen cabinets away from the playful kids’ hands and pets.
- Tame the kids’ toys. Playthings have a will of their own. You can’t keep them pristine and keep your kids entertained still at the same time. But, you may contain the playroom chaos by stocking shelves with opaque containers labeled with graphic photos of what’s inside. Teach your kids to put their toys away after they’re done playing with them. Come up with fun clean-up games and contests.
- Rotate toys in and out of a larger storage area. Keep only a handful of current favorites available. Let your little ones play with them for a week, put them away and give other toys to have fun with. This way your children will play with all toys they have and they won’t get bored of them. Besides, you may introduce a three-basket system for communal rooms in the house: a basket for toys in the living room, another for books and a third basket for books in the office. Check out Appartmenttherapy.com to get more amazing ideas on how to organize kids’ toys.
- Papers often account for a lot of our clutter. This happens because we throw them in different spots. They are often scattered all over the kitchen counters, tables, desks, drawers, dressers’ tops, cars, etc. No wonder we can’t find anything! Designate an in-box tray or spot in your home (or at your office) and don’t put down papers anywhere but that spot. Got mail? Put it in the inbox. Got school papers? Put it in the inbox. Receipts, warranties, manuals, notices, flyers? In the inbox! This one little change can really transform your paperwork.
- Organize your closet. Instead of folding everything in drawers or piling on a shelf, use bins in your closet. The best part is how much easier it makes putting away laundry. Set up separate bins for pajamas, camisoles, bathing suits, workout clothes and off-season clothing. Don’t keep the seasonal clothes you’ve not worn for a long time. For a baby’s room, use bins for blankets, shoes, towels and crib sheets.
- Create a 30-day list. The problem with decluttering is that we can declutter our butts off, but the house keeps turning into a mess just because we buy more stuff. So fight that tendency by nipping it in the bud: don’t buy the stuff in the first place. Take a minute to create a 30-day list. Every time you want to buy something that’s not absolutely necessary, put it on the list with the date it was added to the list. The rule is that you can’t buy anything (except the necessities, of course) unless they’ve been on the list for 30 days. Normally, most of those items won’t survive such a challenge. This list will help you not only declutter, but save some cash too.