Tips to Declutter and Organize
How to Organize Your Clutter
We’ve all had the experience of walking into a home (ours or someone else’s) and feeling like chaos reigns. All of us have some junk lying around here and there but some of us have our share of more than just a little.
When we have more clutter around the house than we can manage, it can feel like we’ve lost control of the situation and leave us feeling stressed out, hopeless and not even knowing where to begin the process of decluttering.
What is clutter?, things we keep that don’t get used or add any kind of value to our lives. When is clutter not clutter?, when it’s organized and making room for the things that do matter. Why should you organize and declutter?, because it can relieve stress, make you feel in control, make you feel a sense of accomplishment, and free up extra space.
We’ll help you get started with the basics of how to declutter around the house with these organizational ideas and decluttering tips.
Planning to Declutter and Organize
Before you get started, make a list of what needs to be done in each room then plan the day and what you hope to accomplish on that day. Try to tackle one room, the garage, or a few closets on that day.
Make sure to have garbage bags or boxes where you can put the things that you will get rid of, what you will keep, what will be stored and what will be donated. For the things that will go in storage, make sure you have appropriate containers and labels. For the items to be donated, try and drop those off that day or at the very least put them in the car so no one can take something back – “out of sight, out of mind” kind of thing. And of course, take the trash out.
When you put things back, there are many storage options; containers, baskets, shelving, bookcases and so on. To help you keep track of things, keep like items together. For instance, cleaning supplies, keep these together so you can find what you need when you need it. If you don’t have an office, keep all office supplies together (like paperclips, envelopes, stamps, notepads, etc), maybe in a kitchen drawer, so the next time you pay a bill you aren’t hunting around for stamps.
A Place for Everything
We can’t say it often enough: A place for everything and everything in its place.
If it’s out of place, whether it’s your watch, your retainer, or your favorite magazine and not where it belongs, it’s clutter. Obviously, these are valuable and useable items and you aren’t going to trash them. But you can keep them organized by keeping them where they belong. You are the one who determines that.
Organizing your clutter transforms it from being useless junk into its proper role in your life. Watches and rings are not like empty cans of soda. Your jewelry needs to be consistently returned to a proper place where you can find it when you want it. But if it’s laying on an end table next to the empty soda can, you may lose it in the trash.
How to Declutter the Kids Room
The scenario is the same – all over the world. A home with children can often times be chaotic and leave a room feeling like a clutter-zone. It doesn’t seem to matter how old the kids are because sometimes, teenagers can be more work than toddlers when it comes to clutter.
Kids are the ultimate clutter machines. They’ll attach themselves to the grimiest, tackiest toy in the box and refuse to give it up even if it’s falling apart. I’ve seen rooms that are so cluttered and messy, there’s scarcely room to walk. Clutter like that can be a hazardous room to walk into.
Get the Kids Involved
When it comes to decluttering a young child’s room, it’s important to get them involved. Have them go through the room with you and ask them what should stay that are some of their favorites and things that do get played with and what should go – give things a new home that can be donated to another child that may not have all the things you have.
With older kids, have them go through their room and create piles for items that don’t work and can be thrown away, a pile for items that are rarely or never used that can be given to another family member or donated, a pile for the things they just aren’t sure about, and then the things they want to keep that can be organized in a better way.
After deciding what is going to stay, then it’s time to decide on what storage ideas will work best when putting things away. For young kids, you’ll want to think about easy access containers where they can take toys out and put them away. Older kids may want baskets and containers that can fit under the bed to store seasonal clothes in, crafts, games, etc.
Regardless of age, you may want to think about closet organizers and maybe shelving as well.
More Organizing Tips
Here are a few more organizing tips that can help keep things tidy.
- In the living room, you can use baskets for keeping magazines and books, an ottoman with storage for movies and games.
- In the kitchen, keep daily used appliances and utensils on the counters, if you have the room. If you don’t have the room, then make sure they are in a cabinet where they can easily be taken out.
- In the bathroom, you can also use baskets or bins to help keep makeup, hair care items and the like from messily taking up drawer or cabinet space.
- When you are done using something, put it back where it goes.
These are just some basic ideas that can help you out. Don’t forget that you are not the only one responsible for keeping clutter at bay. Get the whole family involved.