If you are struggling with clutter in your home this New Year, then join the club! With all the crazy activities needs and wants from family members, finding time to keep the house clean and organized can feel like an impossible task! Let us all feel beautiful on the outside with a few tips that can make our spaces more livable and organized.
If you think of organizing your entire home all at once, you will most likely feel overwhelmed and completely stressed out. Take it one step at a time. I’ve heard that if you don’t use items in your living space within 8 months you should get rid of them. Now, of course this doesn’t mean your holiday decor, but if there are holiday items in those storage bins that you haven’t used for a while, you should also consider getting rid of them. Items like: memorabilia, clothes, shoes, heirlooms, decor, books, games, toys and items we found good bargains on (but don’t really need) that have been building up over time (you get the idea). Each day, make it a goal to spend at least 30 minutes in a room and do some purging. When you go through your things, study them carefully and decide if you really need to keep them. Is the item really worth the space that it takes up? Be honest with yourself. If you can’t think of a good reason to hang onto it consider donating it, giving it to a friend or selling it.
Shall we start with the kitchen?
When decluttering your kitchen, start with pots, pans, dishes. Pull out the chipped or damaged dishes plus any pots or pan with broken handles, missing handles… you get the idea. How many people are in your family? How many dish sets do you actually need? Again, this doesn’t mean get rid of your fine china for hosting company, but if you’re not using it… well maybe it’s time to get rid of it. Also get rid of any plastic containers that don’t have lids. Check sell-by dates on cans and items in your refrigerator and pantry. I’m all for food storage, but store additional food in the basement or another location in the house if you can.
Image from House Beautiful UK.
Your counter tops don’t need to be a museum for decorative items and appliances. Make it functional and clean. Store your toaster, kitchen aid and other gadgets. I’ve found the most useful item to have out on my counter top is a bowl of fresh fruit. It’s hardly ever wasted and is often the first pick for a delicious and nutritious snack.
Image from Domino.
Image from HGTV.
Don’t do what I’ve done in past years and work at your kitchen table. Yuck! My work was always around me non-stop. Keep your table cleared so you always eat together as a family!
Image from Domino.
Let’s move on to the bedroom, shall we?
Start decluttering your room and your kids’ rooms. Hit the closet first! As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t care for having a lot of clothing. Purge that wardrobe! If you have to, try storing clothing by only having seasonal clothes hanging in your closet. Store your summer clothes if it’s winter and vice versa. That will instantly give you more space. If there aren’t enough shelves or your space is small, buy storage bins or place clothing in a suitcases for storage under the bed. Don’t forget: Ikea has some pretty cool ideas for storage in very tight spaces! I’ve found that with less clothing it takes me less than 5 min to throw together a cute outfit. I don’t even have to dig for it!
Image from Just A Girl and Her Blog.
In kids bedrooms, keep their toys together in a play room or play area. Don’t let their stuff take over your home! My kids keep their toys in the basement. They keep their stuffed animals (that they call “pets” – too cute) in their room and that’s it. For the most part their rooms stay pretty clean!
Image from Domino.
Your bedroom should feel like an escape from the world! You don’t need clutter on your dresser, bills piled on your night stands or clothing and baskets of clothing stacked high to the ceiling. It wouldn’t hurt to get rid of some jewelry, make-up or bottles of lotions… you know all that stuff that lurks around your master bedroom and bathroom and somehow they get mixed together. 😉
Images from Elle Decor.
With that said let’s hit the bathrooms!
First start taking everything out and getting rid of anything that isn’t being used. Clear out those shelves and cupboards filled with shampoos, soap, shower gels, discarded make-up and cotton balls, nail polish, any complimentary items from hotels you were holding on to old shampoos that are almost finished, but not quite. I know you know what I’m talking about!
Images from GCprojects.
How many towels do you really need?? If you have less then that means you have less laundry to do… think about that… That also forces you to do laundry on a more regular bases.
How about the Family Room/Living Room?
Image from Domino.
Image from http://koganeisubs.blogspot.com/
As I said before, find a place/section in your home where you are going to keep the toys. To help your kids put their toys away after they are done, make sure they have easy spots to store them. Think about containers without lids. Don’t pick up after them! You can show them and do it together with them in the beginning, but mark my words… they need to do it!! If you are constantly picking up after them, how will they ever learn, right? It won’t be perfect every time, but keep teaching them and being patient with them. But it will be much easier for them to keep things clean if each of their toys has a “home.”
Image from Fresh Design Pedia.
Oh yes and last but not least the Entryway/Mud rooms!!!
This can be my least favorite place, at times. My mud room is the size of a small closet. Tiny. So to reduce the crazy clutter I found an old set of gym lockers that fit perfectly in my space! This was super lucky, I know. It was old, super duper dirty and rusty. I got it for under a $100 bucks and made it like bran new again! I’ll show you pics of my mud room in a later post! I went to the container store and purchased clear shelves to store shoes, sporting equipment, laundry supplies, batteries, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, kids backpacks, coats; you know all that STUFF and it works great! If you don’t know how to maintain the clutter in your entry way or mudroom check out some of these links below for ideas. Also remember, teach your kids when they come in to put their stuff away right away. You’ll be reminding them a lot! But over time they will learn as long as you keep reminding them!
Remember! Take it one step at a time. Spend at least 30 minutes a day. If you do simple clean up and pick up each day, you won’t feel as overwhelmed.
So what do ya say? Are you ready to kick off the New Year clutter free? Any decluttering tips to share?