Did you know that people in cluttered homes are more anxious and more stressed than those living without clutter ? When we don’t declutter and our ‘stuff’ is out of control, it not only creates emotional distress, it also costs us money and our precious time!
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Let’s take some small steps to clear the clutter and simplify our homes.
Realistically, some level of clutter is inevitable for most of us–especially if you have kids. But what tends to happen is that the small pile of paperwork I need to tend to suddenly becomes an overwhelming mountain.
And every day that the mountain grows, my stress level rises with it. The paper task that would have taken 5 minutes to complete is suddenly a full blown panic attack and 5 hours of organizing papers!
How does clutter cause emotional distress?
- Stress when not able to find the thermometer when you have a feverish child.
- Embarrassment and shame when unexpected guests show up (one of my biggest pet peeves–always call or text first!!)
- Constant worry that someone may ring the door bell.
- Frustration that it takes 2 weeks of preparation just to have guests in your home!
- Unhappiness to not be able to relax in your home.
- Distress and tension that you can’t have family activities such as a meal at the table together.
- Constant gnawing uneasiness and dread at the thought of tackling the clutter problem.
How does clutter steal our money?
- When having to buy another thermometer and constantly replacing the things that we can’t find.
- Late fees for bills that are forgotten at the bottom of the pile.
- Missed discounts for not signing up by the deadline.
- Expired coupons we forgot to use.
How does clutter take away our time?
What I would give to have back all of the time I’ve wasted looking for keys, shoes, a matching sock, or paperwork. Before I had systems in place, I could never find anything. I would spend an hour looking for something, then another hour to go out and get a replacement.
I’ll bet you know what would happen next. Suddenly, that thing that I wasted hours searching for–it appears!
To make the most of your time, be sure to read my post on Creating a Simple Schedule and download my free workbook that will take you through the steps!
Where do I even start to declutter this mess?
This is my biggest problem–just getting started. There are lots of books that many have found helpful for learning how to declutter your home. One very popular book is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
I’ll tell ya…I have not read the book. Why? Because the effort of getting the book and then taking the time to read it was just another way for me to procrastinate what really needed to happen.
I just had to start. Start anywhere!!
I needed a simplified way to approach the overwhelming house full of clutter .
So let me share my simple decluttering dash that will show you how to quickly clear the clutter from your home!
I want you to start with a room you would like to relax in. A place in your home you want to be able to sit back with a good book and a cup of tea or a glass of wine.
I know you want to start in the kitchen, and I promise, it’s next! But first, I want you to have one place where you can chill after you get your decluttering on!
Let’s be Real for a Second…
If your house is anything like mine, it would take MUCH longer than a few hours to declutter and organize ALL of it.
If you have children, be certain that you keep your expectations realistic. Homes with kids always have more stuff!
Let’s tackle one room at a time (choose your relax spot to declutter first)
Depending on how much time you have, you may want to only declutter one room a day.
- Things to recycle
- Things to donate or give away
- Things that need to be returned to their proper home
- Things to sell (this one is tricky and usually causes more clutter so try to donate, recycle, or trash unless you could realistically make enough money for it to be worth your time)
How do I know what to get rid of?
Get rid of things that don’t fit well, are uncomfortable, you haven’t worn it in a year, things that are worn out, stained, or damaged. Say goodbye to items that are no longer useful or even if they are just ugly and you’re tired of looking at it! If an item needs to go to it’s proper home, take it there. So let go of anything that:
- doesn’t fit
- isn’t comfortable/easy to use
- haven’t worn it/used it in a year
- is stained, damaged, broken
- is not longer useful
- is ugly and you are tired of looking at it
- duplicates (did I really need 7 soup ladles?!)
Decluttering the Bedroom & Closet
- shoes & boots (if you’re hanging on to a pair of jelly shoes, let em go!)
- underwear & bras
- scarves & belts
- broken hangers
- workout clothes
- hats & gloves
- sheets & bedding
- home decor items (frames, candles, lamps, etc)
- any stray items that don’t belong
Decluttering Tips for Kitchen/Dining Room
- coffee cups
- travel bottles/mugs/straws
- pots & pans
- baking dishes & supplies
- dish towels & aprons
- pot holders & trivets
- sponges & scrub brushes
- expired/unwanted pantry food
- expired/unwanted food from the fridge
- fridge magnets
- spatulas & serving spoons
- kitchen gadgets
- choppers & shredders
- mixing bowls
- plastic containers (tupperware)
- vitamins & medications
- paper supplies
- take out sauces
- take out menus
- cutting boards
- lunch boxes
How to Simplify the Bathroom
- feminine products
- shaving stuff
- cotton swabs
- hair products/hair brushes
- skin care products
- manicure/pedicure supplies
- soap & bodywash
- paper products
- perfumes/body sprays
- cleaning products
- bath toys
Clear the Clutter in the Playroom & Kids Rooms
- stuffed animals
- outdoor toys
- excess art work/paper crafts
- art supplies
- coloring books
To completely declutter and organize your playroom, then don’t miss my post here!
Clutter Control for the Family Room/Living Area
- throw pillows
- home decor items (candles, frames, vases etc)
Clear the Office Clutter
- printers & other electronics
- office supplies (staples, paper clips, pens, etc)
- office paper supplies (envelopes, post-its, etc)
- junk mail/unwanted paperwork
- instruction manuals
- coupons & receipt
Declutter the Storage Closets
- wrapping paper/bows
- pet supplies
- craft supplies
- hobby supplies
- home decor items
Cleaning Closet Clean Out
- cleaning products
- rubber gloves
- laundry & ironing supplies
Declutter the Garage
- lawn care supplies
- pest control items
Declutter Other items
- storage containers
- light bulbs
- holiday decorations
- random jars
- shopping bags
Once you get all of the clutter out of your home, do some simple things to make it feel even more relaxing and beautiful!
First, I do a through cleaning!! This post is all about the best way to clean without dangerous chemicals.
If you are decorating for fall, then this post will give you some simple, clutter free ideas for fall decor!
And if you’ve decluttered and organized and your house still looks cluttered, then read:
What are your favorite ways to cut the clutter in your home? Share in the comments below!
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—>Be sure to check out the Handling Home Life Pinterest board below for more ideas to help you handle your home, kids, and busy life!