Ah, decluttering. It’s the first step in achieving a more organized home, but where should you start getting rid of clutter?
The thought of ridding your home of junk can feel both motivating and overwhelming. With the start of a new year (or season), we all have great intentions. But then daily life happens, and suddenly those resolutions are out the window, and we’re all just in survival mode. We get it. But tackling the chore of decluttering doesn’t have to be as consuming as a full-blown weekend of spring cleaning.
Here are a few simple things you can do immediately to set yourself up for a productive day of getting rid of clutter.
Implement a basket system for the miscellaneous.
This is as easy as purchasing a basket (or better yet, using one you already have) and designating it as the spot for miscellaneous items. The new rule is that it has to be emptied every night. Throughout the day, toss your miscellaneous items (think: toys, dog bones, jacket, shoes) in the basket and spend five minutes before bed finding a home for the items. Once you’ve emptied your basket, stick it back in its spot and start fresh the next day.
Don’t be afraid of the junk drawer.
Similarly to the basket method, there is nothing wrong with dedicating one drawer in your house to junk. As long as you know what’s in the drawer, it can be an easy way to start getting rid of clutter. And your junk drawer doesn’t even have to be “junky.” With a few bins and organizational inserts, it can actually be somewhat organized, which only makes it easier to find that random hook you never thought you’d need again.
Designate a donation pile.
The long-term key to getting rid of clutter is regularly throwing out what you don’t need. Whether it’s a spot in your garage, a box in the guest room closet, or shelf in the laundry room, find a place where you can put things you wish to donate. Once a month (or more frequently if needed), load up the items and take them to your local donation center. You’ll be shocked at the difference this simple task makes when it comes to getting rid of clutter.
In most homes, mail causes a shockingly high amount of clutter. Going paperless for as many bills as you can is not only more environmentally-responsible, but it will save you the time and hassle of opening and tossing bills and envelopes.
Create a filing system for mail.
Even if you go paperless, you’ll still receive your fair share of important documents through the mail. This system can be as simple as designating a basket or tray for items that need your attention and a filing bin for items to save. As soon as the mail comes, file what needs to be saved and organize the other pieces in the order that your attention is needed. (Just be aware that out-of-sight can mean out-of-mind.) Setting up calendar alerts or jotting due dates on envelopes can help you remember those important tasks!
Wake up 10 minutes earlier.
It can be as simple as setting your alarm for 10 minutes earlier (or skipping the snooze button) to set yourself up for a successful day. This time can be spent getting rid of clutter — unloading the dishwasher, wiping up yesterday’s crumbs, or spending a little time mentally organizing and preparing for your day. You’ll be surprised what can be accomplished in just 10 minutes.
With these simple tips, why put off decluttering for one more day? You’ve got this!