Monday, August 26, 2013

Tips to Declutter

As we come to a close for the "Project Declutter" series, I wanted to share some decluttering and organization tips. This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop by Eileen Roth, the author of Organizing for Dummies.  She had some good pointers to help everyone get started on the road to a clutter-free home.  We discussed that the causes of clutter can be receiving items, buying more stuff, and saving items for later use.  I have learned that anytime you get your mail, dump the junk mail right away.  Then the remaining items that are bills or things you want to keep you can put in a file.  When it comes to saving items, ask yourself, "Have I used this in the last year?  If not, then I need to sell it or donate the item."  If you would like to declutter your closet, here is an awesome idea:  Turn all the hangers in your closet backwards.  Whenever you wear something, turn the hanger the right way.  At the end of the year, all the hangers turning the wrong way should be donated.  I love this idea to simplify your closet in a fun way, and to take tabs on items you wear or don't wear.

Do you make multiple trips to different rooms throughout each day?  Have a distributing box where you put items, and then when you pass a room you can easily put those items away.  You can also save it for the end of the evening and put everything away at once.   It saves the frustration and time you are going back and forth throughout the day just picking up and distributing stuff. 

Time Management Tips:

1. Chunk

Give yourself a reasonable space to work with.  If cleaning and organizing is not your forte and you get easily overwhelmed just pick one area.  For example, if looking at the entire dresser that has hoards of piles overwhelms you, then pick a 12x12 section to work on.

2.  Time Limit

Use a timer to limit your cleaning. If you only want to take 5 minutes to clean then use that time wisely!  You will probably get more stuff down in that 5 minutes than an hour of unplanned time.

3.  Pretend Move

Why is it that when you are paying a mover that we are gunho about packing up the boxes in a timely manner?  Pretend you are moving and need to declutter in preparation of the move.  This does not have to be a one week challenge. Even doing one room per a month is a good goal!

4.  Delegate

Have the family involved with the cleaning process.  They contribute to the mess too, so they can also help with getting the house looking presentable.  If the entire family gets involved, the sense of accomplishment can be felt by everyone. Plus, it takes all of the responsibility off yourself.

5.  Accountability

Have a friend or someone you trust to help keep you accountable.  Have them email or call you and ask, "How's the decluttering coming?"  It is not recommended to have your spouse or parent be your accountability person because it's easier to cave in and get away with it.  Choose someone you know that will encourage, and that you want to impress (you'll most likely want to clean so you can give them a good report).

If you missed the other posts in the "Project Declutter" series, here they are:
Project Declutter Intro

Declutter Your Mind

Have you found some useful tips to help with organizing or keeping the house clutter-free? Feel free to share below.


  1. These are all great tips! I never let mail sit...I get it, open it, shred, and file. This makes your desk uncluttered and also takes the stress off of having a HUGE pile of mail to go through!

  2. The little things you do have a big result in keeping clutter-free spaces. Likewise, clutter-free spaces make it so fast and easy to have a clean house.

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