BY SYDNI ELLIS
Is your home messy, or do you just have too much stuff? Many people tend to hold onto things they no longer want or need — like old concert t-shirts, extra coffee mugs, and anything else that we convince ourselves may be important someday. But the problem is, hanging onto this stuff turns our home into one big storage closet instead of a space you can use efficiently and enjoy. (And how often does the ambiguous “someday” really come around, anyway?) This month, go a step further in your spring cleaning and declutter your house!
Getting organized will feel good, improve the look of your home, and make it easier to truly value the things you decide to keep. Before getting started, read this quick guide on Decluttering Dos and Don’ts. Then turn on some upbeat music, grab a friend to help, and dive in!
Do Start with Trash
Bring a trash bag with you into each room and start your decluttering process by throwing away or recycling as many items as you can. Look for expired medications, old makeup and skincare products, receipts you no longer need, and more. You’d be surprised how big of a difference this can make!
Don’t Worry About Organization — Yet
While it may be tempting to go on a shopping spree with new baskets and organizers, hold off on this for now. It’s easier to decide what you’re going to keep first, and then you can buy new storage containers to your heart’s content. While you’re decluttering, you can use empty cardboard boxes to store different things in for now.
Do Pull Everything Out Before You Start Sorting
You’ve heard this advice for a reason: it really works. Seeing all your travel mugs on the
counter or all your clothes piled on your bed puts into perspective how much stuff you actually own. And it’s easier to get rid of the things you never use when you compare them to the things you like. Just be sure to set aside a few hours to get this done — you don’t want to be stuck with a huge mess if you have to stop halfway through.
Don’t Keep Things You Aren’t Using
If it’s not a seasonal item and you aren’t using it now, get rid of it! Life is too short to hang onto things just in case. Consider this permission to finally get rid of those jeans that are too small and that extra coffee maker your aunt gave you for Christmas three years ago that you never opened. It’ll feel so good!
Do Give Everything a Spot
Junk drawers don’t count — if an item in your house doesn’t have a spot, either make one or get rid of it. Not knowing where something goes is a big reason your space will look cluttered.
Don’t Display All Your Décor at Once
To keep from over-cluttering your home and from getting bored of your décor, don’t display all your decorations at once. If you don’t want to get rid of anything, just rotate things in and out of display and keep the rest in a storage container in the garage. This way, you can maintain a clean, simple look and still keep everything you love.
Do Remember to Keep What You Love
Decluttering can be cathartic, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to get rid of things you love just for the sake of decluttering. It’s more about appreciating what you have and cherishing the things you love by getting rid of the things that you don’t. Because when our house is cluttered, our brains can be cluttered, too.
Don’t Worry About How Long it Takes
Spring cleaning is meant to be done over an entire season, so don’t stress if it’s taking you a while to declutter your home. Once it’s finally done, maintaining the level of cleanliness and organization will be so much easier!