I actually enjoy de-cluttering my house – going through drawers, cupboards, and closets to get rid of all of those unnecessary and unwanted (forgotten) things that seem to pile up over the course of a year…but I have been slow to start in the new year for a couple reasons 1) I was in the midst of the first trimester of pregnancy and there was no way I was going to muster up the energy or motivation to do much of anything, let alone decluttering my house, 2) we have a potential big move coming up at the end of May and I figured that I’d be de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff anyway when that time came. And so yes, I’ve been dragging my feet to get these larger tasks done. However, I was reluctantly pushed t0 go through the clothing in my closet early due to the changes in my ever-expanding body (which came all too soon this time around might I add).
Now is the perfect time (especially if you live in the cold snowy Upper Peninsula of Michigan) to start cleaning your home, declutter, and bag up your donations to drop off at your local Goodwill store! Why waste a perfectly beautiful spring day sitting inside doing this task when you can do it now, while the snow and cold keep you indoors?
I’ll admit I didn’t get into the Marie Kondo craze, it is not to say I won’t, or can’t…I have both of her books! I just haven’t had the energy to get going with it – again, I think the move will help push me in the right direction. Now, I’m not Marie Kondo, but I have moved a handful of times in my life which meant purge purge purge and thus I’ve created a handful of tips to help you along your merry de-cluttering way.
Here are 8 Steps to helping you declutter your home:
1) Start with one room at a time
The idea that you have to declutter your entire home is so very overwhelming…just looking around my house right now I feel crippled by the thought. But if you tackle one room at a time and focus on the most significant problem areas first you’ll feel accomplished right off the bat…(your makeup drawer(s), closet, kids toys, that junk drawer you’ve been ignoring?)
2) Put the decluttering date and time on your calendar
I find when I schedule a day and time to do the decluttering/cleaning – it will get done. If I just leave it up in the air to happen when it happens…it doesn’t happen. So make sure to schedule a time that works for you, it might be when your husband, babysitter, or a family member can get the kids out from underfoot. Make sure you don’t overdo it, aim to schedule decluttering sessions in 2 to 2.5 hour or fewer increments depending on the space size.
3) Three key items to help you – garbage bag, a box, a clothing basket (and coffee or wine)
When you go to start the decluttering process have a few key items with you! A garbage bag to immediately toss all unnecessary or unusable items, a box to put in items for Goodwill donating/drop off, a clothing basket for clutter or items that you want to keep but aren’t sure where it belongs just yet. And of course, for sanity purposes, a cup or glass of coffee or wine. And I won’t judge if you put your wine in a coffee cup.
4) Start with large spaces and move to small spaces
I always find that when I am going to go through a good decluttering session if I tackle the larger spaces first…it helps motivate me to tackle the smaller items. I think it is because I see the progress of my effort and it encourages me to continue and keep up the hard work. Some “experts” would say start small and work big…but I find I get overwhelmed and frustrated with a small drawer – I close the drawer after successfully cleaning it…I look around…and nothing looks different. I like to see the fruits of my labor early on!
5) Put like items together in one spot
If you’re going through your drawers during the decluttering process and you find batteries, hair ties, a random sock, Ibuprofen, etc…toss those items into your clothing basket and sort them afterward into like piles or smaller containers/drawers. The goal here is to keep like items together so that when it comes time to go and “find” some AA batteries, you aren’t looking all over. I know it feels and seems convenient to have a few in your nightstand for the remote in your room or a few in the kitchen drawer for appliances and some in the living room drawer for kid toys that stop working…but in reality and over time you’ll forget where you’re storing these items and you end up spending more money, losing batteries, and filling more drawers in your house with “junk”. One central spot for all like items is best and ultimately will keep you sane. Trust me!
6) Find handy and functional storage containers to help you out
I love finding unique and creative ways to store things…and while Marie Kondo will tell you a shoe box can work (and it does) I also like cute looking baskets, containers, etc. here are some of my favorite websites to purchase baskets, container store, Amazon, Kohl’s.
7) Stick with it and create a decluttering routine
Once you have a plan in place and you get moving through each room in your home…create a routine to go back through things every few months. This will keep the clutter at bay and keep you feeling sane and eliminate the need to fall back into unfortunate routines. However, if you do, just start back at number 1 on this list and get working again!
8) Pack up your unneeded items and head to your local Goodwill drop off
What I love about our local Goodwill is that they have donation drop off hours and all I have to do is drive up to the door and someone comes out to help me unload the items I am donating. It is such a courteous and thoughtful part of their customer service and I truly enjoy it!
The Goodwill of Marquette, Michigan is Spreading Goodness on March 15th! Bring a donation and get a coupon to shop. Shop and Round Up your purchases and enter to win a gift basket including a coupon to Goodwill. Your Round-Up will support 5 local charities. Smile, donate, shop and spread Goodness all day long. At all of our Goodwill locations!
This blog post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, thank you for supporting the businesses and organizations that I work with, all thoughts and opinions are my own.