Decluttering 101

I love that this time of year everyone wants a fresh start in so many areas of their lives. Getting your house in order is a great way to start the year. It not only clears your physical space but it can also help you clear your mind. Decluttering 101 is the first post in my Jump Start Organizing Series. Please join me the rest of the week for more easy organizing ideas.

Decluttering 101 Jump Start Organizing Series

Let’s start by defining clutter– Clutter doesn’t have to mean you have a messy or dirty house, it could mean you have too much stuff or you have it in the wrong place. Think of decluttering as a positive experience and not a negative one.

Clutter is:
* anything on the floor – mail, paper, magazines, toys, or piles of clothes
* anything in a room or area that doesn’t belong there
* anything that has not been used in over a year
* anything that belongs to someone else
* anything that you have too much of

Decluttering basics for beginners

Decluttering is not a one time thing. It’s ongoing, so you need to decide what fits your lifestyle best. Here are some ideas:
* a continuous donation box in the closet
* purging twice a year
* combination of both
Whatever you decide you need to set aside time to do it. Schedule it in your calendar so it happens. Right now is a great time to take out your planner and decide how you will declutter and how often.

How do you decide what to Keep or Toss? Ask yourself these questions:
* have I used this item in the past year?
* will I need it on a definite date in the future?
* do I need to keep it for legal purposes?
* would it be difficult to get another if I need it again someday?
* can I just borrow it from someone else?
* what’s the worst thing that could happen if I decide to toss it?

Stop clutter before it enters your home. Ask yourself these questions:
* do I have a specific place for this?
* am I willing to toss something to make room for this?
* will I really use this item?
* do I really love it?
* am I only interested because it’s on sale?

What to declutter

First things first: You need to clear the clutter before you can start organizing. Once you get rid of the clutter it makes organizing much quicker and easier. You also have space available for things that are really important to you.

Things you can toss right now. Here are some things that are quick and easy to get rid of. They should give you a good start to your decluttering and the motivation to continue once you see the results and how easy it is.
* dry cleaner and store hangers
* old magazine and catalogs
* containers with lost lids
* old product boxes
* socks with holes or no mate
* expired food
* cords you don’t use
* duplicate kitchen utensils
* instruction manuals
* expired medications
* old make-up
* broken items
* non working writing tools
* old linens
* old papers and files
* duplicate craft supplies
* worn hair accessories
* excessive hardware
* stained dishware
* old clothing and shoes
* take out menus
* combination locks
* old electronics
* old party supplies
* ticket stubs
* hotel toiletry supplies
* free promotional items
* old store reward cards and gift cards
* wrapping paper scraps
* broken Christmas lights
* grocery bags
* old business cards
* broken jewelry
* greeting cards
* puzzles, games, and playing cards with missing pieces
* flat pillows
* old textbooks
* phone books
* excessive stuffed animals
* dead plants
* old sports equipment
* rusty tools
* small bike helmets
* broken umbrellas
* extra canvas bags
* damaged suitcases
* unfinished projects
* old knick knacks
* high school formal gowns
* expired sunscreen
* deflated balls
* leaky water bottles
* old invitations
* too many vases
* old toothbrushes
* dried up nail polish
* old perfume
* out grown kiddie furniture
* not wanted holiday decor
* damaged furniture

If that list feels too overwhelming to you, start with only 2-5 things at a time and work from there. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time once you are motivated.

Good luck and enjoy the process. Your reward is a clutter free home with space for what you really love. I would love to see what you’re working on so tag me on Instagram at @odeleanne if you want to share. I’ll post some of my decluttering photos over there too.

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Decluttering Jump Start Organizing

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Holly January 8, 2018, 12:54 pm

    I loved your definition of clutter! It’s true – doesn’t have to mean you are a messy person – just that your stuff is either in excess or in the wrong place! Great tips!

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