When you look around your home, what do you think? If you’re like a lot of people, you probably think ugh…I have so much stuff that I don’t even know where to start organizing it. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to harness the power of Marie Kondo and start cutting things out of your life. If it doesn’t spark joy, it’s gone. While this might sound extreme, sometimes it’s necessary to get your house in order. Keep reading for our tips on how to get rid of clutter and keep your house clean.
1. Use Five Bins
Get five bins, boxes, or laundry baskets. Anything that is big enough to put things in and label them as follows:
- Put away (for those items that aren’t in their permanent home)
- Throw away
As you declutter each area/room, pull everything out and decide what you are keeping and should go back in that cabinet/drawer/closet, etc. Then, using the bins, organize the rest of your items. As your throw-away bin gets full, empty it into a trash bag.
2. Start Small and Set a Timer
Don’t overwhelm yourself right off the bat. Start off with something small; don’t pick the biggest, messiest room or area in your house. If you start here, you’ll likely get discouraged and quit before you get too far.
If you start small, you can take that small victory and build upon it. Pick an area that will take just a few minutes to clean, like your bathroom vanity, junk drawer, or lingerie drawers. Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and get as much done as you can in that time and then move on.
You’d be surprised at just how much you can get done in a few minutes when you break the job down into smaller and more manageable areas.
Don’t forget about areas like your pantry and your refrigerator.
3. Give Everything a Home
The biggest culprits for clutter are things that do not have a home. Permission slips, school work, mail, your keys, coats, bags, shoes, etc. When there isn’t a designated spot for things, they end up piling up near the door, on your counters, or on the kitchen table.
If everything has a home, you can touch things once: sign the permission slip as soon as you get it and put it in the designated spot for things that need to return to school. Sort your mail and file it immediately upon getting it from the mailbox and coming inside. When you walk in the door, hang your keys on the key rack immediately and you’ll always know where they are.
Once you spend the time and energy to declutter, you want to make sure it doesn’t go back to a cluttered mess, so part of the process is coming up with organization and storage solutions for everything that doesn’t already have a home.
4. Pretend You’re Moving
If you’ve ever moved before, you know what a hassle it is to pack everything up, move it (or pay someone to move it), and then unpack it at your new place. As you are decluttering, pretend you are moving and decide whether you’d want to pack, move, and unpack each item you’re unsure about.
If there’s no way you’d take it with you if you were actually moving, donate it or toss it.
5. Declutter Alone
Do you have a spouse or kids who suddenly have an emotional attachment to the old kitchen tools you want to donate or throw out? If this is the case, try to declutter alone. If someone is going to hinder your progress and refuse to part with anything, save your decluttering for when they’re out of the house.
If you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of anything, though, it might be time to bring in an objective party. Have a friend who doesn’t have an emotional attachment to your belongings come over and help you identify things you should part with. Sometimes we need the push from someone else to finally get rid of something we’ve been holding on to forever.
When it comes to other’s belongings, though, you should get their input before getting rid of things. For kids, this is a great exercise in identifying things they no longer need and play with and can be donated to others who need the items and will use them.
6. Set Limits and Be Realistics
If you never host anyone for dinner parties, have a small family, and don’t typically have many people over for the holidays, do you really need dinner service for 12? You might consider getting rid of some of your dishes to create more space in your cupboards.
Same thing with glasses: think back to the last time you actually used every glass in your cabinet. Have you ever? Chances are, you probably haven’t. If you live alone or with one other person, do you really need 8 water glasses, 8 juice glasses, 8 wine glasses, etc.?
Set limits on how many of each item you need and will keep and be realistic about whether you’ll ever really need those items.
7. Keep a Donate Box in Your Closet
Instead of waiting until things get really bad and you have to declutter the whole area, keep a donate box in your closet or somewhere out of the way. As you find the clothing or other items in your home to get rid of, toss them in the box. When the box is full, donate everything.
This allows you to immediately move items you want to get rid of out of your space and sets them aside for donation, making your spaces less overwhelming.
How to Get Rid of Clutter: Use These Tips Today
Now that you have some tips for how to get rid of clutter, get started right away. You don’t need special equipment or tools to clean, so don’t wait. If you are motivated to start getting rid of things, use that motivation.
Once you get your home decluttered, why not treat yourself to professional cleaning? Contact us for an instant quote either over the phone or online. We can’t wait to make your life easier by handling your cleaning tasks.