‘Declutter home’ should be on everybody’s house spring cleaning to-do list. Everyone has times when things begin to pile up. It’s never on purpose nor is it planned – one day you just look and there more stuff than you originally planned to have. Organizing and letting go of what isn’t necessary not only will have things look better, it will have you feeling better as well! If you’re ready to cut the clutter and go minimal, read our green guide of tips and hacks on how to embrace your space.
Step One: Choose one space at a time
If you have multiple areas of your house that need to a quick declutter hack, simply choose ONE and focus your efforts there. Attempting to clean and organize multiple spaces at once will not only get annoying, it will dilute your attempts and maybe even leave you with more stuff everywhere. Choose either a room that is a moderate challenge or a spot that can be utilized the most – such as a kitchen or living area.
Step 2: Create piles according to need
The three pile hack works best, but feel free to adjust to fit your lifestyle. I suggest keeping each of them in boxes to make your life a little easier. The first will be to Keep: things that you use regularly and plan to continue using in the future.
Pile two will be items that you can give away or donate – things that are in good condition but have been gathering dust in the back of a closet in your house. The final will be for pieces that need to be thrown away. This will hopefully be the smallest, full of stuff beyond repair or simply no longer serve any type of purpose.
Think before you throw:
Recycle and Upcycle as a declutter rule. Before cleaning house and putting something in the trash, keep in mind the cliché that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Someone somewhere may be able to find a use for what you cannot, it might just take a bit of creativity. If the item is beyond the scope of donating but you believe someone else can use it, try websites, apps or Facebook groups that allow people to pick up stuff for free.
If necessary, you can add a fourth in the three pile hack for things to go into storage for your belongings that are out of season, such as winter coats or snow boots.
Step 3: Be Honest with Yourself
Is that item that has never been opened and you’ve been saving just in case really needed? Like that shirt that is either too small or too big, those old movie tickets that you meant to scrapbook but have been gathering dust, and the freebies you just couldn’t say no to – it’s time to let it all go to declutter your house and life. If you can genuinely see yourself utilizing it within the next few months, by all means, keep it, but if you have to forge a purpose just to keep it around, it’s only adding to your stuff.
Step 4: Figure out the “maybes”
So you’ve used the piece once or twice, yet it hasn’t been utilized regularly. You can see yourself giving it away, but you can also see yourself keeping it around.
The declutter stress hack:
If this bunch isn’t too big, put each item to the test. Keep them to the side and see how often usage happens. If another product in your house can serve it’s purpose, then let it go. If you absolutely cannot decide, store it. If it doesn’t see the light of day after being put in storage, it can be given away. If you find yourself constantly going back to get it, it’s a keeper.
Third-party house intervention:
Another option is to ask a friend or family member what they think. Adding an impartial third party can always tip the scale in the direction it needs to go in.
Step 5: Keeping the clutter out of your life
Now that you’ve gone through everything, assigned it, and moved further into the declutter process, it’s time to maintain the space that you’ve created in your house. Every time you bring something new into the space, look at it with the same critical eye you had when you were cleaning. Can you see yourself truly using this product regularly, or was it simply another freebie you couldn’t say no to? Be open to the idea of letting go of things you just obtained on a whim. It’s okay to donate that gift you don’t want for the sake of keeping the clutter at bay.
Fit for purpose:
Similarly, keep a policy of only keeping one item per purpose in your house. For example, if your hand mixer starts to make a strange noise, there’s no need to keep it when you get a new one. Another instance is winter coats – when you get a new one, donate your old one.
Organizers and labeling:
Another declutter solution for a clean house includes utilizing things like hanging closet organizers, shoe racks, and drawer dividers so that everything has a place. Here’s where you can repurpose those cardboard boxes, cans, mason jars and DIY organize your drawers and closets. If need be, create labels to clearly dictate where stuff belong, at least until you have a clear feeling of where everything belongs. This is an especially helpful hack in areas like the kitchen – putting labels to denote what belongs in what cabinet and what belongs in what drawer can also help you find things quickly and more efficiently.
Countertop clutter hacks:
It doesn’t matter how big or small the kitchen is in your house, it’s probably always going to have a ton of stuff on the worktop. Appliances, fruits, bread boxes, spice jars – everything eats up space and creates clutter. The declutter rule is that anything that is non-essential must find space in a drawer. Invest in some clever cutlery trays and drawer dividers – it’s worth it!
Go digital for your work space:
Bills, receipts, junk mail, visiting cards – all sorts of documents will overtake your work space if you let them. If you need to keep a record, scan it and save it online. Then recycle! And let it stay that way!
And that’s it! You’ve got yourself an organized, decluttered space to call your own.