With every January comes resolutions like declutter and organize. Thanks to Marie Kondo, we know only to keep items that bring us joy. You also know that to keep clutter to a minimum, it’s best not to allow it to accumulate.
If you’re just starting, though, chances are pretty high that you have more things than you need. Trust me, it happens to the best of us, so I’m not calling you out. Think of this as a loving reminder that you have too much stuff!
While it may be tempting to offload this task on your housekeeper, it’s best for you to get your hands dusty and declutter for yourself. After all, no one knows what you want to keep because, unfortunately, no one’s perfected mind-reading yet!
Here’s a quick-and-dirty guide to help you cut the clutter and organize your home. After going through this exercise, you’ll finally feel like it’s a place you actually want to be.
Photo: Good Housekeeping
Step 1: Decluttering Plan
While you can declutter your home in a day, you may want to take a few days (or weekends) to dig in. This is especially true if you’ve put off organizing for “someday.” Wouldn’t you know, “someday” never manages to roll around! On the other hand, you may only have a few rooms in your home that need some special attention. Either way, plot out your course of action.
Which room will you begin with?
It’s tempting to go for the biggest mess when you’re fresh in the morning. I’d strongly advise you to rethink that decision! Starting with a small room or even a closet will give you a quick win. Then, as you move along to other rooms in the house, your progress can snowball. You’ll be confident in your decisions and move through that final (messiest) room with ease.
What will you do with your things when you’ve decluttered?
It’s tempting to toss it all on the curb and say good riddance, but some folks have an easier time of purging things from their home when they know someone else will use and love it.
When you can, donate your items or give them to friends and family who will cherish them more than you will. You can also sell items in good (or better) condition on sites like LetGo, Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, Poshmark, eBay, OfferUp, Craigslist…. Oh, what’s that? You get the idea? Moving on.
Step 2: Do The Work
It’s not a very sexy step, but the decluttering fairy is not going to show up and do your work for you. Now’s the time to roll up your sleeves and get to gettin’!
Be sure to have plenty of boxes, trash bags, and other cleaning supplies. And yes, chocolate is a cleaning supply. Snacks are important to help you get the job done!
When you get stuck, remind yourself of why you’re doing this. The reasons are different for everyone. Perhaps you want…
- A peaceful home.
- To be a gracious hostess and not run around tossing old mail and shoes into a laundry basket five minutes before guests arrive.
- Your kids to stop asking you where their shoes are.
- To finally hang that picture…after you find the level. (There’s an app for that, by the way!)
Photo: Life Storage
Need some inspiration of what to declutter and how to organize your rooms after they’ve been successfully purged?
- Bathroom Organizing Ideas
- The Well Organized Linen Closet
- How to Design and Organize a Home Library
- The Kitchen: Organizing for Gracious Living
- How to Declutter Your Home in One Day
As you go through and decide what you want to keep, store, or remove, wipe down each item and any furniture in the room. You don’t want to place books back on a dusty shelf, do you?
What’s the best way to keep things decluttered and organized? Make sure everything has a purpose and a home.
When you’re purging and sorting items, keep only what’s useful. If you have items you need to store seasonally, designate a storage spot.
Photo: The Home Depot
Step 3: Keep It That Way
Clutter bugs know that daily organizing is a tough habit to form. But do you want to do this marathon organizing and decluttering every year? Do a big declutter once, then do one thing every day to ensure your work wasn’t for naught. Then, after 21 days, you’ll have formed a habit of picking up your home and it’ll be a daily routine you do without thinking!
The key to a successful organization and decluttering mission is not to overthink it. Marie Kondo really was onto something. By keeping only items that bring you joy, you’ll have a beautiful home full of items that make you happy. It’ll be a place you want to be and others will want to visit. Be sure to keep some extra chocolate for guests!