Fall is here and many of us are thinking about the holidays. Those thoughts may include hosting family, parties, and – decluttering. (And, those of us that aren’t thinking about it, probably should be)! Even if your home seems tidy and neat, how are your closets and kitchen drawers looking? Let’s face it, we all accumulate “stuff” and, while we would all love to abide by the idea of “a place for everything and everything in its place,” that can be very difficult sometimes. I suspect there are areas in your home that are screaming “please get rid of the clutter now.” Fall is a fantastic time to declutter your home and get more organized. We have looked at tips on cleaning out the garage, but let’s take a look at the inside now.
Declutter Your Home…and Have Fun! What?
Joshua Becker lists his “10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home.” He says that this task “doesn’t have to be as painful as some make it out to be.” He suggests that you can actually make it fun. You are probably laughing at this statement right about now, but he does have some cute ideas that might brighten your organization day. He gives 18 5-minute decluttering tips. He suggests that you give yourself just 5 minutes a day and use one of the tips. Another idea is to give away one item a day. Within Mr. Becker’s article, Colleen Madsen is referenced for her “365 Less Things” idea. Ms. Madsen has given away something for a solid year. Maybe you don’t want to take it quite to that extreme, but being consistent about donating things you don’t use or need is an excellent solution to the clutter problem. It is also suggested by Mr. Becker to make a commitment to fill one trash bag with either trash or things to donate to Goodwill. In addition, check out the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment by Peter Walsh. It’s an excellent way to clear out unwanted clothes. The 12-12-12 challenge is another good one. Try to come up with 12 things to throw away, 12 things to donate, and 12 things to return to their proper place in the home. I found these and several other tips in the article really worth considering as you declutter your home.
What should you keep and what should you get rid of? David Wright has helped us answer this question with an infographic entitled, “How Many Physical Things Do We Really Need?” In this infographic, Mr. Wright helps us strip down everything we really need to only 300 items! Let that sink in…only 300. Check out his infographic and see how close you can get. Now that’s what I call decluttering!
Also, I recommend you download The Art of Tidying Up: A Complete Guide to a Decluttered Life by Rebecca Moses of GroomandStyle.com. She packs a wealth of information into this wonderful article and it will inspire you to declutter and organize your home!
Good Housekeeping lists nine things you should finally get rid of this year. (The way they put it is, “You’re done with this stuff. Seriously.”) They talk about unused electronics, books never to be read again, craft supplies you never will use, tax documents from 2008 and before, and others. Do these strike a note of familiarity? They do with me.
Clear The Clutter
I also like designating a certain spot for differing incoming papers. Have a box for receipts, one for mail, etc. This small change can make life so much easier. Also, countertops can be stripped of non-essential or decorative items. I like the “one touch rule.” Try and only touch mail once. Junk mail goes in the trash or recycling bin, bills go in a designated spot to be payed, and all other mail is sorted and placed in its area as well (as soon as you get it). Zenhabits.net has some great tips to help with this process. They mention designating an inbox and then, “don’t put down papers anywhere but that spot.” They go on to discuss ways to declutter your home. One I find particularly compelling is to, “visualize the room without certain things.” This will give you a better idea of items that need to stay and which can easily go. I know this may be a hard task, but I think it could be a crucial step in the decluttering process. Finally, once things are clutter free, they suggest that you sit back and “enjoy the look.” This helps sub-consciously to want to keep things that way.
These are some suggestions for really getting in there and making life easier. There is a sense of freedom when the home is free of unwanted, unused, and unneeded things, and we can enjoy our home so much more seeing it in this new and improved way! And, if you are considering selling or would like to discuss your options, please don’t hesitate to call me at (512) 771-7082 or simply contact me by clicking here!
photo credit: 17/365 - My messy craft room via photopin (license)