It’s the start of a new year and that means you can get a fresh start on having a new and improved and organized home! We all accumulate junk over the year, and exponentially on the holidays. We’ve got you covered with these easy tips that you can start today for a decluttered home in no time!
- Spend a few minutes visualizing the room. When decluttering, take a moment to take a look at a room, and think about how you want it to look. What are the most essential pieces of furniture? What doesn’t belong in the room but has just gravitated there? What is on the floor (hint: only furniture and rugs belong there) and what is on the other flat surfaces?
- Work on decluttering 15 minutes a day. This will help work through what is there and prevent it from happening again.
- Start clearing a starting zone. What you want to do is clear one area. This is your no-clutter zone. It can be a counter, or your kitchen table, or the three-foot perimeter around your couch. Wherever you start, make a rule: nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use. Everything must be put away. Once you have that clutter-free zone, keep it that way! Now, each day, slowly expand your no-clutter zone until it envelopes the whole house! Start at the corner by the door and move your way around the room. First do the superficial – surfaces, trash cans, etc., then go back and do more- open and empty cabinets, etc.
- Designate a spot for incoming papers. Papers often account for a lot of our clutter. This is because we put them in different spots — on the counter, on the table, on our desk, in a drawer, on top of our dresser, in our car. No wonder we can’t find anything! Designate an in-box tray or spot in your home and don’t put down papers anywhere but that spot. This one little change can really transform your paperwork.
- Clear off a counter. You want to get your house so that all flat spaces are clear of clutter. Maybe they have a toaster on them, maybe a decorative candle, but not a lot of clutter. So start with one counter. Clear off everything possible, except maybe one or two essential things.
- Pick a shelf. Now that you’ve done a counter, try a shelf. It doesn’t matter what shelf. Could be a shelf in a closet, or on a bookshelf. Don’t tackle the whole bookshelf — just one shelf. Clear all non-essential things and leave it looking neat and clutter-free.
- Use the “one in, two out” rule. The rule: whenever you bring in an item, you have to throw away two other items. First you cheat, by throwing out two pieces of paper, but soon you will have to move to big stuff.
- Schedule a decluttering weekend. Maybe you don’t feel like doing a huge decluttering session right now. But if you take the time to schedule it for later this month, you can clear your schedule, and if you have a family, get them involved too. The more hands pitching in, the better. Get boxes and trash bags ready, and plan a trip to a charity to drop off donated items. You might not get the entire house decluttered during the weekend, but you’ll probably make great progress.
- The One-Year Box. Take all your items that you unsure about getting rid of (e.g. “I might need this someday…”), put them in a box, seal it and date it for 1 year in the future. When the date comes, and you still didn’t need to open it to get anything, donate the box WITHOUT OPENING IT. You probably won’t even remember what there was in the box.
Now that you’ve been given the steps to declutter your home, all you have left is to find that motivation and make it happen! Are you lacking in that motivation? Just look around until you’ve spotted ten things that can be put away (or thrown away) and start with the first step of Visualizing your home clutter-free! Did that work?.