This past year I’ve been on a spree to declutter.
It all started on an ordinary day last year when my son was a few months old. I was sitting on my living room couch feeling pretty overwhelmed with taking care of a toddler, a new baby, and all of our stuff.
The small living room I was sitting in not only held a couch, two chairs, a piano and bookshelf, but also a standing easel, small kids table and chairs, a toy doll house, a mini trampoline and a large walk-in cardboard house for my daughter to color.
I had met my breaking point. Something had to change.
I took the cardboard house to the recycling. The table and chairs went to our “official” toy room. The easel went to another room. Ahh….I could breathe again….sort of. The rush I had from clearing out this room started a room by room purge throughout the rest of our house.
Let me tell you, I’ve felt so much better since getting rid of so much “stuff.” I recently had a friend ask if I (or my daughter) have missed anything I’ve gotten rid of and I can honestly say “no.” As I’ve gone through our home, it’s amazing how much we have and don’t need. I mean, do I need five 9×13 inch pans?? How many DVD’s sit in our TV stand and never get watched? When I do a load of laundry every day or two, do I really need 10+ pairs of underwear?
If you’re looking to cut down on some “stuff” in your home too, here are a few easy places to start! I promise these are not too overwhelming or take much time. I’m not asking you to go through your family heirlooms and make any big decluttering decisions. I feel like being able to see small, measurable changes, like the ones below, will spur bigger decluttering decisions throughout your space.
So without further adieu, grab some bags for donating, recycling and throwing away and let’s get to it!
If you’re anything like me, you have a million pieces of Tupperware, yet can never find the right lid or have way too many containers and not enough lids or vice versa. Take all of your Tupperware containers, including glass ones along with all of the lids. Lay them out on a table and match them up. Any containers or lids which do not have matches get donated or recycled.
This is also a good time to look at how much Tupperware you have. Do you have more than you need or more than what will fit where you keep it? If so, consider donating any extra pieces you don’t need or use on a regular basis.
Bonus: Kid Cups – Match up all the cups, lids and reusable straws. Any which don’t have matches get donated or recycled!
I know my drawers which housed these items were always overflowing, yet I always gravitated towards the same ones. Take everything out of your drawers and lay them on the bed. Anything that has holes or is damaged in some way goes straight into the trash. Then go through and get rid of anything you no longer wear. Finally, think about how many pieces you actually need and get rid of any excess.
Bonus: Socks – Go through and match them all up. Any which don’t have matches I put in a separate area to see if its match might be elsewhere. If I don’t find it after a week or two, it goes in the trash. Any socks that have holes go into the trash. Any socks I don’t like to wear or have no need for any longer (i.e. long ski socks) get donated. Then decide how many socks you actually need. If you have too many, donate the extras.
When I looked at my medicine cabinet I was shocked how much medicine had actually expired before it was even used. We’re not talking about a few months either. I had medicine which expired years ago – yikes! Go through and properly dispose of anything expired. Do you have any old prescriptions or vitamins you don’t take any longer? Dispose of those as well.
Think about any medicine you might need. Consider purchasing any seasonal needs now before you get sick and have to make a trip to the store when you or your children don’t feel well.
Bonus: Look at other items in your medicine cabinet/area like cotton balls, q-tips, toothbrushes, sunscreen, etc. I had all sorts of items in the area I kept my medicine. Go through to see if everything is still usable. Throw away/recycle/donate anything which is no longer usable or of use to you. Then see if you’re running low on something you might need in the near future and put it on your shopping list so you have it before officially running out.
Horizontal Spaces in Your Bedroom
Your bedroom should be a place of relaxation, not clutter. Start by looking at the top of your dresser, nightstand, ottoman, chair and other pieces of furniture. One by one move any items of clutter to their rightful home. Put any clothes in your dresser, closet or laundry basket. Go through any excess papers, books, pictures, etc. and put them in their correct place, whether that be in your bedroom or elsewhere. I even went so far as to hang up some of the photos that were sitting on my dresser to create a gallery wall. Clear horizontal spaces say “clean” and “neat” even if it technically isn’t “clean.” This task might take the longest out of all of these, but it’ll be worth it!
Bonus: Nightstand – It should only hold about 3 items: a light, alarm clock (if you use one) and maybe a book you’re currently reading or picture. Put the rest away so you don’t wake up in the morning to a mess right beside you.
While this is different than the places above, it was really helpful for me to declutter my social media accounts. Take a look at everyone you follow or are “friends” with. Are you really friends with them? Do you really want to follow them? Do they uplift you and make you feel good about yourself?
At one time I followed a ton of food bloggers. After having my second child I had no time and energy for much cooking. However, I was constantly bombarded by all of these recipes I wanted to make and would save them and then feel bad and disappointed I wasn’t making any of them. I went through and unfollowed/unfriended almost all of them so I was no longer overwhelmed with seeing so many recipes on a daily basis. Go through and clear out your social media, you’ll feel so much better after you do!
Bonus: E-mail – Go through and unsubscribe to all of the “junk” e-mails you receive. It’ll be a relief to see fewer items in your inbox on a daily basis!
Don’t you feel better now? I know that I did. I’m planning to have more posts in the coming months with additional tips to help declutter and clean up your space! Do you have an easy place we can declutter or comments on any decluttering you’ve recently done? I’d love for you to share it with us in the comments below!