I enjoy decluttering my home and giving tips to others on how they can clear up some space.
Where Do We Begin
It's a new year and let's face it, we all have those closets, drawers, do dads (dusty knick knacks) that lurk around our homes and that no one will ever see. How many times have you opened a closet door and everything in the closet started attacking you? Even the most OCD person has a clutter spot. It may be a pile of magazines or ten remotes to all of your electronics bunched in a pile.
My biggest horror is clothes. I have went up and down so many times in sizes, but I think that if I keep the smaller sizes I will get in them again one day. Wishful thinking on my part.
Some closets are no where near "Hoarders Buried Alive" but you look at it and it could be. I am a closet hoarder. Admission will set you free. If I can't use it, or wear it, it goes in a closet somewhere until I want or need it, but I will never need it.
One of the best places to start is your bedside table. Get rid of everything in there that is just hanging around. You may feel your closets are too far gone to start with and that is okay. It can be something small like your bed side table or medicine cabinet. Get rid of expired medications. I put my nail polish in my bedside table and some I had for years so they went in the trash. The problem you may find is because you are throwing things away, you want to replace them. DON"T! Replacing them is just putting the clutter back into a space. Learn to only buy what you need at that time.
I used to buy 20 bottles of shampoo because I needed them all because they were on sale only to stay in a closet until I needed to use one and once one was gone then I replaced them with 20 more. So now I had 39 bottles. You can see how this ends up being a clutter issue.
A Picture Perfect Bedside Table
How to Clean Up Your Bedside Table
Things You Don't Need
The only way to unclutter is being willing to get rid of what you don't need. My favorite go to is eBay for my clothing. Although you may feel like you have lost your best friend by parting with your 15-year-old shirt, there is money to be made on eBay.
The hardest part of eBay is taking pictures of all your junk (because another mans junk is another mans treasure) and adding a price. If you download the app on your phone it is easy. If you have a lot to place on eBay it will take you some time and if you are a first time seller on eBay they will only allow you 10 items to sell at once with no insertion fee. This is because they have to see how your product sells and the amount of good reviews you get on products someone has bought from you. It really can be a pain in the beginning but once you have it set up, its easy. Of course you can always put more on there but you will pay an insertion fee.
Another website that you can sell your clothes on is Posh. This is not a bidding website like eBay. I have bought a lot from Posh but I have not ever sold anything on there. With all websites like this, you have to pay a fee. Postage is usually bought at a discount and with eBay you can print the postage right from your computer.
There is no point in uncluttering clutter, if you are just going to replace it. Use everything that is left until it is completely gone, then buy new. Only buy what you will need or use.
A Closet of Cheer
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Not everyone is a closet hoarder because some of you keep your closet so clean that dust can't live in there. Imagine everything so neatly folded and placed in it's own place.
When I do clean out my closet, all my clothes are arranged in color order. It makes it easier to find what you are looking for when you are getting ready for work.
Closets are one of the biggest hoarding areas in your home next to your garage.
How to Unclutter Your Closet
The Man Cave
We all know that our men have to have a man cave and that most of the time that is the garage. Ours went from being a garage to a family room that is the throw all because we don't have a shed yet. Once we get a shed then all of the clutter in the family room will be clutter in the shed.
Organizing a garage is probably going to take you a few days. Plan out your attack on the garage as if you were moving. Box up stuff such as cleaners, paint and other lose things until you can find the right place to put them. Boxes are much easier to look at then a pile of junk in the corner.
Buy some plastic totes. These can weather many storms and they hold a great deal. You can then neatly place them on top of each other for the time being instead of looking at everything thrown around.
We had container after container of nails, screws, bolts and gadgets. I bought plastic cases that had compartments in them sort of like a sewing box. I took everything and separated it piece by piece and then placed them nicely on a shelf on top of one another. That in it's self was worth the money I spent on the containers. I could throw away all the tins we had and that cut down on space.
If you have a garage full of yard tools, hang them on the wall. Bicycles can also be hung on the wall. A good Saturday cleaning spree for a garage may end up in getting rid of your 30 year old tools that are rusting and falling apart.
I know it's your man's space, but sometimes you have to take control. I guarantee by the time they are missing it, a year or two has gone past and then you just say I haven't seen it.
Making Your Tools an Easy Reach
Tools Are a Mystery
How many times have you looked for a hammer or screw driver and you know you have 20 but none to be found? No one knows where they are and no one claims to be the last to use it. I finally got tired of it and made my own tool box and dared anyone to touch even a piece of it.
Men and tools are probably one of the hardest things to deal with. They need a million tools but because they couldn't find the one screw driver, they have to go buy another.
There was a tool belt hanging in the garage and it was empty. There was also a tool box that was filled with everything but tools, so I decided enough was enough and dumped everything out and as I found tools I either put them in the tool belt or in the tool box. You would be surprised when you are going through your garage, just how many tools you have and some I didn't even know what they were used for.
The most used tools went in the tool belt such as screw drivers, hammers, and an electric drill. The rest I put in a tool box labeled. It is a constant battle of put it back where you got it from but it has kept the clutter to a minimum.
Perfection of Your Pantry
Cleaning Your Kitchen and Pantry
My real pet peeve is the kitchen drawers because the silverware is just thrown in there any kind of way and pot lids can never be found.
I finally found a way to make everyone put things where they belong starting with the silverware. All the silverware that goes in the dishwasher must be placed in there respective places. Forks with forks and spoons with spoons. It's the only way I can assure things to be put in the silverware drawer correctly.
Pot lids are placed in the drawer in the stove and pots and pans are placed by biggest to the smallest on top of each other.
My pantry was a night mare. There were 50 cans of beans but nothing else (of course this is an exaggeration). Every time I went grocery shopping I would add to the already existing cans.
There is nothing wrong with stocking your pantry, but when you have more then ten cans of the same vegetable or any other thing, its time to use what you have and restock as it is gone. When replacing things in your pantry, remember to rotate your stock with the newest being in the back. It is the same method as done in the stores.
If you keep up with your kitchen as needed, you won't have to worry about it constantly.
Keep your refrigerator cleaned out. Throw out any leftovers that are more then three days old. Yes I know you are going to eat it but a month later it will be growing with mold.
Uncluttering Your Kitchen
The Dreaded Filing Cabinet
The End of The End
I always leave the filing cabinet for last because this is the biggest horror in my house. Papers upon papers and some that are 20 years old. So which ones can you get rid of that you will never need.
Any papers that are over 7 years old can go. Tax returns that are 7 years older or more can go. The IRS only audits back 7 years. Receipts, books for electronics and other instructions that are over 7 years old can go because the manufacturers warranty has expired. You will spend less money replacing the item then having it fixed.
Receipts no more then a year if even that long. Most places have a 60-day money back guarantee and that is it. If any papers are years old, GET RID OF IT.
My filing cabinet is the equivalent of a mass murder of paper. When I go through it, I find things not even in the correct file. This is probably more stressful to me then my closet.
Get in there and clean it out. Find space for this years hoarding of paper. If you really feel you can't depart with it, then find a box to put it in and place it in your nice clean closet on the shelf.
When It's Done It Is Done
Yes, uncluttering your house takes everyone's part to make sure it stays that way. Like every other new year resolution one of them is to get your house organized. The only way you can accomplish this and keep it that way is to do it continuously. If you just let it go again, it was pointless.