11 Jul Decluttering Tips
Clutter is any item that you hold on to but do not use, need, or want. Not only do these superfluous objects make it difficult to clean and organize your home, but they can also create stress – unless you have smart decluttering tips to follow.
According to a study done in 2016 by Cornell University, the stress caused by clutter may trigger coping and avoidance strategies such as oversleeping, eating junk food, and binge-watching media. But getting rid of clutter and the stress it causes does not have to be difficult. As organizational expert Barbara Hemphill points out, “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.” If you have decided it is time to clear out the clutter in your home, here are some decluttering tips to help you begin the process.
Decluttering Tips – Focus on One Area at a Time
The thought of decluttering and organizing an entire home can feel overwhelming. That is why our top decluttering tip starts in one area, even if it is just a junk drawer in the kitchen. After you have thrown away all the used twist ties and rubber bands, the broken can opener, and the pens with no ink, then you can start clearing out the kitchen in earnest. Old sponges and scratched or broken plastic containers harbor bacteria, so toss them out. Gather up all the plastic grocery bags that are lurking in cabinets and take them back to the store for recycling. If you have appliances, gadgets, or dishes that you no longer use, give them to a local thrift store or your favorite charity. Get rid of old condiments in the refrigerator and expired food in the pantry. Once you have cleaned out the things you no longer need or use, it is time to reorganize and find a place for everything that is left. To keep clutter under control for the long run, onsider adding a custom pantry system. Closets by Design can help you create the perfect pantry for your space, incorporating shelves, drawers, baskets, and other design elements that will make organizing your kitchen easy.
Use the OHIO Rule
OHIO stands for “only handle it once.” Once you pick up an item, decide what to do with it right then, rather than shuffling it from one pile to another. This decluttering tip works particularly well where mail and paperwork are concerned. Toss junk mail and promotional items into the recycling bin or trash can as soon as you receive them. When possible, pay bills as soon as they arrive, rather than leaving them piled on a desk or countertop until the due date. If you are unable to pay them right away, have a system to put your bills in order by the due date so you know where they all are, and they are easy to find. For paperwork that you need to keep (such as receipts for work or taxes), create file folders, and use them. If you don’t already have a home office or if your current one isn’t working well, it may be time for an upgrade. Closets by Design offers custom desks designed with efficiency and taste in mind, and the desks can be combined with wall shelving and cabinets to create the ultimate home office. Once you have a place to organize all the paperwork that flows into your home, it is much simpler to follow the OHIO Rule.
Decluttering Tips – Out With the Old
While this decluttering tip can be applied to everything from outdated electronics to toys, it is especially applicable to shoes and clothing. Most of us have clothes in our closets that we never wear because they don’t fit, they’re damaged, or we simply don’t like or need them. If you have items in your wardrobe that you have not worn in the last year, it is time to get rid of them. You will be amazed at the space you free up, and you can then begin to organize the clothes you regularly wear. Not ready to donate these items? Put them in a box with the date on it. If, after six months, you have not been tempted to get something out of the box, you can feel confident you will not miss it when it is permanently gone. Another great way to manage the clutter in your closet is to have a dedicated space for everything in it. Closets by Design can customize your walk-in closet with adjustable shelves, cubbies, tie or jewelry drawers, and more. If you don’t have a walk-in, don’t worry — even a small closet can be carefully organized and customized with hanging bars, shoe racks, and adjustable shelving.
Utilize Your Garage
Once you have gotten rid of things that you no longer need or want, move on to the next decluttering tips: designate places for frequently used items (such as your yoga mat or chargers for electronic devices). Store any overflow items (like camping gear or beach toys) in see-through bins in your garage. To make the most of the storage space in your garage, let Closets by Design create a unique garage organizer to meet your specific needs. It is much easier to store your belongings with our combination of cabinets, shelving, countertops, and more.
Contact Closets by Design for a Free In-Home Consultation
Since 1982, Closets by Design has been helping people organize their homes. We offer the highest quality, value, and service in the industry. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home consultation. It’s the best decluttering tip of all!