5.23.2011

Decluttering Tips~

It's crunch time.  T minus 5 weeks until our move.  Now that we're starting to pack, it's the perfect time to declutter.  Moving is a great time for a fresh start,  a great time to get yourself clutter-free.  But you don't have to be moving to get that clutter out of your house.  In fact, it's much easier if you declutter a little bit at a time instead of having to do it all at once like me.   If you want to get rid of some of that clutter (and who doesn't, really?)  here are a few of my go-to tips for decluttering your house.



A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

1. Declutter for a few minutes at a time.  Let's face it, the prospect of spending hours going through your closets and cupboards is enough to keep you from decluttering all together.  So make it easy on yourself and declutter for 10- 15 minutes at a time instead.  Take time and clear off one shelf, or clear out one drawer at a time.  This makes the process less daunting and more doable.

2. Finish decluttering one room at a time.  Continue working in one room at a time until that room is clutter free.  The next time you take your 15 minutes to declutter, move on to the next drawer or the next shelf from the one you worked on last time.  This way you won't have random clean drawers or shelves strewn throughout the house.

3. Set aside a weekly time.  Or if this works better for you, try scheduling a time weekly to declutter.  It could even be part of your weekly cleaning routine. 

4. Multi-task.   Rather than sitting while you chat on the phone, try cleaning out the junk drawer.

5. The clothing rule.  If you haven't worn it in the last year, get rid of it.  I finally convinced the hubby to do this.  He holds on to his clothes for.ev.ah.  But last week, he finally did it.  Went through his clothes and got rid of tons of old (and unworn for years) clothes.  He was actually smiling...and couldn't believe how good it felt.  Really.  Mission accomplished.

6. Deal with paper immediately.  Now, I must admit, I am a bit of a paper hoarder.  I have a hard time parting with paper.  But nothing builds up clutter quite as quickly.  So even I, who looooves my paper, have had to implement a system.  I have three boxes:  a bills box, a to-do box, and a file box (you can see them on the shelf in the photo above).  When my mail comes in, I deal with it immediately I put bills to be paid in their box, other papers that need dealing with in their box.  Then once I either pay the bills or deal with the paper it goes in the file box...and gets filed weekly.  (And for those bills that can be taken care of online - I do that.)   The rest gets shredded or goes in recycling. 

Except magazines and catalogs.  This is my real weakness.  But I am trying to be better.  I have been going through my old magazines and tearing out the pages that inspire me.  It was a bit challenging for me at first, but it feels good to get rid of them.  I will admit, that I do keep some of my favorites in tact, but I try to limit myself.

7. Donate and Recycle.  This brings me to my last tip.  Donate or recycle.  It's much easier to get rid of things when you don't just trash them.  Take your clothing, old toys, books etc. to your local goodwill.  And recycle all that paper!  Knowing that you are doing your part to be green is always a good thing.

Are you feeling inspired to organize?  Try these websites for some great decluttering and organizing ideas:

FlyLady.net

Organized Home

Get Organized Now

Okay, now that I've preached my little sermon on decluttering...I'm off to do as I say. 

Have a great day~

11 comments:

Love the Decor! said...

Good plan! i need to do some of that myself!!
Have a great day

Ange said...

Wendy
We are also moving in a little less than 5 weeks and I've already started packing. This post was just the motivation I needed. :) Although hubby hates when I declutter. Good luck with your move!!!

Katie said...

Great mail system! I have been trying to organise areas little bits at a time and it does help to do it that way. Especially as I struggle to part with clothes because I can keep them and on the next clearout think 'I still haven't worn this, it really should go'. Giving them to others, to charity shops, or using the fabric for crafts helps too.

I'm in love with your decorating on that picture.

Katie
www.katiescreative.blogspot.com

Shelly said...

How did you know I have de-cluttering on my mind? Love TheFlylady! Thanks for the other sources too!

Christina Klas said...

I love this post. SOOOOO necessary in my life right now!

The mum of all trades said...

great tips! many thanks

Lee Anne said...

admission...I have the same weakness for magazines. Tips are great! Thanks :-)

Lee Anne
contentinsenoia.blogspot.com

MelanyTN said...

Oh goodness. We are also moving in about 6 weeks... your post both motivated me and panicked me as I think of everything we have to do! LOL! Thanks for the tips - I will be checking back in to see if you have more. ;)

Modern Mom Redefined ((Kelsi)) said...

This is great!!! I'm moving in about 5 weeks, too! I can't decide what's worse... decluttering or packing, lol. Good luck!
Your new follower,
Kelsi @ ModernMomRedefined.blogspot.com

babylawley said...

The only rule I'm not entirely sticking to as I declutter is throwing out clothes I've not worn for a while as I've just had a baby & been in maternity wear for last 6 months & now going back to non maternity. otherwise trying to be good

Dianne Grover said...

With our old paper documents and newspapers, we can reuse, shred (take Dallas shredding for instance) or recycle them instead of throwing them immediately in the bin. Plastic items, metal objects as well as electronic gadgets can be turned over to facilities which specialize in re-purposing them. With our sincere efforts, having zero-waste household or workplace is possible.