Let’s face it, we all want the perfect clutter-free home, but never have the time to get it all done. We’ve got the tips today to get you started! You don’t have to get it all done in one day, either and here’s how!
Enjoy A Clutter-Free Home!
The longer we live, the more things we acquire. Material possessions often end up taking a large amount of space in our homes. Some of them invade our living space and get to the point where things are both untidy and unhealthy.
It may not always be easy to let go of personal belongings. Many of them may have significant monetary or personal value. Others may provide certain people with a sense of security or bring back fond memories of beloved friends or family members who have since passed on.
Here are a few simple steps that you can take to make your home as clutter-free as possible:
1 – Donate Donate Donate
A few months ago, I decided to get all Marie Kondo and do some major overhauling and organizing. I’ve always been a clean freak when it comes to my home, but that didn’t mean I needed to a deep dive and rid of some “stuff” either.
Now that I’m 99% done making my life as clutter-free as possible, I feel such a sense of relief. I also was able to donate at least 10 bags to The Salvation Army too which gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling. Take the time and go through all of your cabinets, drawers, shelves, and anywhere else you see clutter and donate it!
My test whether to donate or keep was simple and involved answering a few questions:
- It had to pass the smile test – if the item made me immediately smile or happy in some way, I kept it. In other words, the item had to bring me joy to keep it.
- If it was an article of clothing that didn’t fit, and I kept telling myself I would lose weight and wear it then for sure, I donated it.
- Don’t let nostalgia cloud your judgment when making your decision. If the item doesn’t pass rule number 1, or if you want to pass it down to your kids, get rid of it. Remember, your kids truly don’t want your “stuff”!
- Ask yourself this – are you respecting your stuff? Is it nicely stowed away or thrown into some closet or drawer? If you took the time to store it properly, then keep it. That means you value it and it’s worth keeping.
Basically, those were the four criteria I used when determining whether to keep or donate. I ended up with over 10 bags of donations so must tell you something!
2 – Know your limits by measuring your room size
Most of us only have so much space in our home and on our property to store things. Going beyond that can cause problems. If you want to add more belongings, then take some time to think about the things that you’re willing to let go.
If you know you’ve purchased some furniture pieces that are way too large for the room you have it in, sell it! You can take that cash and put it towards a new piece that fits the smaller room. Make sure to measure before you commit to a new piece. I used to be that person until my husband pointed out all the furniture pieces that are oversized. Now, before we purchase anything, we measure first.
Below, you can see an example of an office with oversize furniture pieces. While it might look bold and stunning to some, it looks like nearly everything in the room is way too large for the room size. From the seating to lamps and chairs and all the way to the built-in cabinets, it’s way too much for this small home office to handle.
3 – Take spring cleaning seriously
Many people view the changing of the seasons as a time to clean their homes from top to bottom. It’s a perfect time to get rid of the things that are broken, outdated or just haven’t been used in a while. That’s why you usually see so many garage sales and yard sales during the spring. People are freeing up space in their homes to make way for new things that they have their eye on.
If you are looking for a cleaning checklist to help you along, we’ve got that too! Cleaning checklists are great to help you take your Spring cleaning tasks on effortlessly. I always use one because I like checking off the tasks as I go. I get a huge sense of accomplishment as I check my way to cleaning.
4 – Rent storage space for a clutter-free home
If there are items that you don’t use as much as you used to but simply can’t bear to part with them, consider renting a storage unit to house them. Storage units and portable storage pods are perfect for when you are moving or simply need more space for your things. If you find yourself not being able to part with some of your possessions, just store them.
Here are some reasons you might consider using a storage unit:
- Running out of space in your home
- If you are renovating your home
- Moving to another location
- If you have lots of expensive tools and don’t want to part with them
- During the winter, you can store your garden furniture and lawn equipment there until you need them
- Running out of closet space – you can stow your clothes seasonally
Eventually, you will have to make a decision and go through what you really want to keep in storage and what you can donate or sell. Storage units are a perfect way to ease the pain of getting rid of your things and you can take your time deciding too.
5 – Organize!
One way to reduce to clutter is to organize your belongings. Have a place for everything that’s important. You may find that you have multiples of the same thing or other items that you probably forgot you had. These items should be tossed, sold or donated to a local charity if they’re in usable condition.
You can organize your home room by room or you can tackle organizing by category. That’s completely up to you. Many professional organizers state it’s best to organize by category but I prefer room by room. If you do too, you can start with the kitchen.
Kitchens seem to gather most of our junk and even have drawers named after it. If your junk drawer is a mess that might be the perfect place to start organizing. Next, you can start by cleaning up the tops of your kitchen counters. Once you have those two areas tackled, seeing your progress will motivate you to move forward!
If you have to spend money on baskets and containers to organize your things, that’s fine, but when you see home loaded up with them, well, that’s another. After all, the whole point is a clutter-free home, right? Just be aware that when you are organizing your home, don’t have baskets and containers everywhere. Not only are they unsightly but you need to realize all you are doing is replacing one mess with a more organized mess.
You will want to reorganize your panty for sure and after you do that, you’ll feel so much better. I reorganized my pantry and words can’t express how good it felt! Now, when it comes to using baskets and plastic container inside your cabinets or pantry, that’s fine. As long as you can close the doors and not see the mess, that works great!
Below, is just one example of how I cleaned up the cabinet where I store my paints and tools. Wow, it made a huge difference and a year later, it’s still perfectly organized! It only took a few containers and my previous mess disappeared!
6 – Stop wasting paper
Most of us probably have documents lying around the house that we no longer need. Take the good part of an afternoon or weekend to go through those documents. If they’re important, you can save them in a binder or scan them onto your computer. Shred the originals as well as any other outdated paperwork that may contain sensitive or confidential information.
Getting rid of paper products and old newspapers is a great way in the steps towards a clutter-free home. You might be surprised when you take inventory and see just how many pieces of paper you have lying around that you don’t need.
These are just some of the many ways to reduce clutter in your home. We are a consumer-driven society, and we usually tend to accumulate a lot of material goods. Some we use every day, while others are only used once in a while, if at all.
Things are replaceable, people are not. Life is more about experiences than things, anyway. All things serve a purpose. The difference is for how long they serve a purpose. Taking a realistic approach to your belongings can help reduce clutter and give you more room to spend time making memories with the people and pets who really matter. So get moving and start taking the steps to a clutter-free home!