Declutter in Six Steps

Ahhh, crates and containers!
I spent the week decluttering, cleaning, organizing, straightening, and moving around a few things, and it feels SO good to know that my closets, drawers, baskets, and shelves are in order. I’m a very practical person, so the things in my house have a high functional value as well as being aesthetically pleasing. But, then, we all have those things that serve no purpose at all, except to remind us of another time in our lives. My Precious Moments Graduation figurine, a special locket, an Army medallion, and the like are examples. It was fun sharing some of these tokens and their stories with my family this week. 
My Treasure Chest

After my house received special attention, I sorted the loot into three different piles: Trash, Give Away, Sell. The trash pile was slim. My Give Away pile consisted of a Goodwill bin and a I Know Someone Who Could Use This bin. That was fun giving away things that other people could use. I decided to see if I could make any money selling some of my items I was going to give away anyway. I’ve taken these types of clothes and accessories to consignment boutiques in the past, but my commission was trivial to none. I used an online bidding site, so we’ll see how that goes. 

I wondered why more people don’t declutter their home. Is it lack of time? Lack of energy? People like to have stuff? There’s no where else to put it? The questions kept mounting, and instead of trying to figure out why people have a hard time keeping their homes organized and clutter free, I decided to share my strategies for keeping an organized and clean house.

1. Decide on your piles. Mine were trash, give away, and sell, so I had three containers in the garage that I put items into. Having the tubs/bags/containers ready before you start will make the process go smoother. 

2. Choose a very specific area. Don’t just say that you’re going to declutter your kitchen. Choose the last two cabinets beside the dishwasher. Or the area under your sink. 

3. Set a timer. Twenty minutes is a good amount of time for me to focus on an area. It really is amazing how much you can get finished in a third of an hour. When your time is up, place the items that you decluttered in the appropriate bins. This is usually when I would grab a drink, check my email, or read a magazine for five minutes. Continue organizing or call it a day and continue tomorrow. 

4. Store things where they will be used. My cleaning supplies are in a basket under my kitchen bar. I used to keep them in the laundry room above the washer, but it was so hard to reach. There are no Home Organization Police, so organize your house a way that best suits you. 

5. Tell your family about your systems and storage places. Do not pick up after your teens, but allow them to put things where they go. 

6. Distribute your piles. Dump your trash, give away used items, or sell certain ones. 

Now, most of my teacher friends are more OCD than me. They can organize a classroom in their sleep. But, what if someone just didn’t know how to declutter and organize their stuff? It could be a possibility. I say that because this past week my younger son attended a Beta Club dance and requested that a bow tie complete his attire. After a LONG time of pushing the pause and play button on a You Tube video, I am now a certified bow tie tie-er. I just had never been taught previously. I wanted to learn, so I watched and practiced and now, I can tie a bow tie. 

Perhaps, you’ve wanted to clean your closets, or you just wanted to put to good use the things that aren’t being used in your house. Whatever your motive, choose a day, an area, and a time to bring beauty to a corner of your home.