Declutter – Sorting It All Out
Feeling overwhelmed by the clutter in your home? Cluttered, chaotic surroundings are just one obstacle to living a simplified, healthy lifestyle. It’s harder to find the items you need, get out the door in the morning on time, and it’s easy to overspend on items that you think you need, but really just can’t locate in your home. So take back your surroundings, one room at a time. Here are some tips to decluttering and maintaining a healthy home.
Same Stuff, Same Place
This is one of the tips from Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” While the book espouses some extreme ideas and mindsets, this particular piece of advice does help maintain organized cabinets and closets throughout your house. Is gift wrap spread out between hall cabinets and the spare bedroom closet? Condense the supplies into one area. Do you store toilet paper and cotton balls in multiple areas throughout the house? Do spare batteries lurk in numerous drawers? Group like items into one area, and you’ve got a much better chance of keeping track of what you have, and avoid overbuying.
Say “No” to Duplicates
Take a look at your kitchen cabinets and pantry. How many plastic cups do you realistically need? Sixteen? Probably not. Eight? That’s more like it. Do you really need three mixing bowl sets? Pair down multiples of plastic cups, copies of books, or mixing bowl sets and donate them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or even put them in your next garage sale. Recycle the growing mound of Walmart bags. You use less than you think, and clearing away excess allows you to put your essentials to good use, and better maintain them.
Portable Cleaning Bucket
As you work to keep similar items in the same place, it is still nice to maintain a portable cleaning bucket. Keep room-specific items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, but fill a bucket that you can move from room to room and clean everything from the carpet to bookshelves in one handy container. Throw in glass cleaner, dusting cloths and anti-bacterial wipes. This saves time when you don’t have to continually gather items to clean a room and keeps stress down.
Turn Mementos into Decoration, Ditch the Rest
Chances are you have a box (or two or three) stashed somewhere full of greeting cards, ticket stubs, dried flowers, and other mementos that you feel can’t possibly be thrown away. While those memories are special, there are other ways to hold on to those memories other than limiting them to a stuffy existence in cardboard boxes. Still have wedding, birthday, or sympathy cards you’d like to keep? Punch a hole in the corner of similar-sized cards, and thread them with a fancy ribbon to display in the living room. Tickets from events and movies can go in a glass jar for the office. Petals from a special bouquet of years past look great displayed in clear glass ornaments. Sand and shells from beach vacations add life to a shadow box. Pick a few ways to display similar mementos, then ditch the excess. Your memories are preserved, and so is your extra space.
Certain Chores, Certain Days
Whether you work outside of the home or not, a tidy house may seem nearly impossible to maintain. If you have kids, it definitely feels impossible. One way to organize essential chores like dishes, laundry and bathroom cleaning is to assign one to two chores for each day of the week. It’s easier to stay on top of the housework, and focus on priorities. At the end of the day, you still feel accomplished instead of overwhelmed.
This week, choose at least one of these tips as you take control of your surroundings. One healthy decision leads to even more healthy decisions, so take a chance and clear out the clutter. And take back your peace of mind.