Spring Cleaning Series: Declutter
There is no better feeling than getting rid of clutter. We all have it and we all hate it. It’s in our family rooms, our bathrooms and definitely in our garages. But what if that extra closet space or shelf could be freed up to serve a different purpose in your home? As the spring sun peeps through the clouds it’s the perfect time to come out of that winter hibernation, open your windows, and get to cleaning!
There’s more to Spring cleaning than simply wiping down the counters and vacuuming hard-to-reach places in your home. We’re breaking the process down in our April blog series: Spring Cleaning. This week’s post is all about things. It’s about getting rid of those things you haven’t touched in years that you constantly make excuses to keep. It’s time to declutter your most cluttered shelves, closets and rooms so you can come home from work with less than an overwhelming feeling. As a general rule of thumb, you should always ask yourself:
Do I use this? Is it worn or torn? Would I buy this today? Do I already have something similar? Am I saving this just in case?
The key to a successful decluttering is being honest with yourself in answering those questions.
Here is all the motivation you need to get the garbage bags out and throw away unnecessary things in four of the main clutter spots in your home.
First things first, all expired food has to go. Check the hard to reach places you rarely get into like the annual holiday cookie shelves that are filled with unopened buttercream frosting and candied sprinkles. Spices are also an overlooked item in the kitchen and while expired spices will not make you sick, they do lose their potency over a long period of time.
The key to kitchen decluttering is to open every drawer or cabinet regardless of if you spend a lot of time reaching for that space in your kitchen. Take all items out of every drawer or cabinet and you’ll be surprised what you can find hiding in the very back.
The items people tend to keep cluttered in hidden spaces within their kitchens are cookbooks, pans, dish towels, mismatched tupperware and the infamous junk drawer. Let’s be real… we all have one. There is no purpose to having multiple of these kitchen essentials. Getting rid of the older items in your kitchen will refine your things to what you really need in this space.
And remember, when it comes to countertops think minimal. Barely any objects need to stay permanently on your countertop because each day they will be joined by the mail, keys, wallets and everything else that gets dumped or misplaced.
The closet is the holy grail of spring cleaning. It’s not often that we spend time negotiating every piece of clothing we have, but it’s necessary at least twice a year. Spring is the perfect time to sort through summer clothes to sell at garage sales or on apps like Poshmark.
The most important piece of advice when decluttering your closet is to take every single piece of clothing out of the closet. This will help you visualize what you have a lot better than sifting through your clothes on hangers or buried in your drawers. Each clothing item goes in one of three piles: Yes, No and Donate.
Pro Tip: If you're unsure about throwing away a piece of clothing, turn all your hangers around. Every time you wear a garment, put it back in your closet with the hanger facing the correct way. By tracking this over a month you can monitor which clothes you didn't wear that you thought you would.
After your clothes are sorted into piles don’t look back! Second guessing is the evil of all closet decluttering. Items you know you don’t wear turn into items you wish you wore and somehow they may make their way back into your closet. Decluttering your closet is a mental battle between your wants and the actuality of your current clothing situation.
Clothes are not the only stubborn item in your closets. Closets are often hidden spots within the house to keep the most unnecessary items you might own. They hold all of the boxes of sentimental items you absolutely cannot get rid of. In our next Spring Cleaning series post we will cover how to organize these sentimental items so they aren’t such a burden in your closets.
Between shoes, basketballs, bikes, all your children’s toys and the lawn mower, the garage has little room for clutter. It goes without mentioning that pulling the cars out of the garage is essential to visualizing what you have in that space.
It’s easiest to start big and go small when it comes to moving objects out of the garage. Take out the lawn mower, bikes and other yard tools so you can dig behind every nook and cranny to clear out any miscellaneous items. Tool benches and cabinets are the closet of every garage. Don’t forget to sort through each drawer of your tool box and get rid of any multiples you find.
Don’t be afraid to move items inside especially if your garage is not able to fit your car. Any outdoor appliances like an extra refrigerator should be negotiable.
Office clutter is the epitome of unused technology. In this day and age we go through phones and other electronics as often as we do clothes. Get rid of any desk drawers that are designated to old phones, tablets or laptops. Holding onto these objects only lessens the value of the electronic.
Another cluttered item in the office is stacks of papers. Take this time to sort through important papers that need to be filed and nonessential papers that can be shredded or thrown in the garbage.
Just as you have done for every other cluttered space mentioned above, take everything out of your desk supply (junk) drawer. Multiple staplers or hole punchers may not be as necessary as you imagined them to be when you threw them into the drawer.
Decluttering is all about getting MOTIVATED! Start in one area for a few minutes and you will feel inspired to keep going. Make sure you allot an entire day to clean multiple parts of your home or spread the work out into a practical time frame around your busy schedule.
Grab your garbage bags... ready, set, GO!