Wednesday

It's time to De-Clutter !

I am sure everyone (OK most) people share my idea that your home needs to be de-cluttered and organized for your home to "feel" nice.

Typical scenario : Your living room has toys , remote controls, magazines etc strewn all over the place! The closets are filled with lots of stuff...stuff you need but can't get to, stuff you don't need but are right in the front, stuff that you didn't know you had, stuff that you haven't used in a long time etc etc. Now that doesn't make you "feel" nice about your home, does it !

You need to solve that problem. You need to make your home "feel" nice too. And two of the most important, inexpensive and easiest things to do that are: To De-Clutter & To Organize the space. It amazing how just these 2 things...will change your home and your lifestyle too..for the better !

Let's talk about De-Cluttering now.
De-Cluttering means To get rid of mess, disorder, complications etc. You can do this on your own or if you don't have the time, you can call a professional to help with the task ! If you have the time and are thinking about it, the most popular questions that usually come up are:
  1. Where and how do I start ? 
  2. How do I do this ?  
Here are a few basic tips to help:
The Problem Room !
  • Start with "You": Change begins with 'you'. Start with doing lil' things. Keep all mail in one spot, stack all books/magazines in a dedicated closet, clear the desk every nite ! It'll not only help in building good habits to attain your goal, but you may also serve as inspiration to your family members to follow suit.
  • Tackle one thing at a time: Start with a particular dresser or closet . Complete the process there and then...ONLY THEN go to the next one.That way it keeps things simple, easy and manageable . Also seeing one finished "de-cluttered" room will inspire you and motivate you to keep going !

    Start with a 'section' of the room !
  • Categorize: 3 Easy ones : To Keep, To Donate, To Throw. You can add 'To Sell' too ! Keep these in mind when you go through your stuff and sort them accordingly. Remember once your stuff is sorted, make sure you immediately "follow up". Take the trash out to throw, keep the box/bag with stuff to donate inside the car etc. Do not procrastinate !
  • Set the Rules: Decide what criteria works best for you (according to your and your family's lifestyle) to sort the stuff. For clothes and footwear, my rule is that if I haven't used it in a year (max.) ...time to take it off the shelf. Set rules for other stuff too... kid's toys, games, puzzles, books, magazines etc.
    Section after donating & throwing out stuff!
  • Throw Away or Recycle : Clothes, Furniture , Appliances etc if  old / broken, recycle it properly...at stores, recycling bins. If it cannot be recycled, throw them away !
  • Donate or Sell : Clothes ,footwear , toys, books, appliances, furniture and other stuff that you and your family have outgrown, if in good condition...donate it to shelters, libraries, goodwill stores etc or even sell them and make some moolah.
  • Re-Use minimal stuff: You don't want to keep all the stuff back in a different place and box just because you want to re-use it. Keep 1 thing to re-use for every 10 things you give away or throw ! You can use old t-shirts to wash cars, bikes.
Alright! Following these tips and some of your own, You are done De-Cluttering your home. Now what ? It's all done. Yipeee! I don't have to worry about de-cluttering my house anymore! Right ? No...Wrong !! After all this hard-work,  you want to keep it that way ! You will have to maintain it. Else it'll soon go back to being cluttered. Here are a few tips that will help you maintain a clutter-free space :
  • Identify the Main Culprits & Set a Dedicated Spot for them: You probably already know the main culprits in your home - mostly they are kids games & toys, the newspapers & magazines , mail , regular stationery ( scissors, tape, glue , paper clips). Set aside a dedicated drawer, box or shelf for each of these things and make sure your family knows the locations too.
  • Set a Daily & Monthly De-Cluttering Session : Set-aside 15 minutes daily ( preferably at the end of the day ) to go around the house and de-clutter. During this time, remove the superficial clutter you find around the house. Put things where they belong like toys, magazines. With your  bi-weekly magazines , make sure your family has read it and no one needs anything else from it, then you could either scan the page with your fav recipe or even tear it out and put the rest of the magazine into the recycle bin. Your kid's shirt (that you found this morning to be too snug for her), put it away in a dedicated spot to deal with it during your weekly / monthly more elaborate de-cluttering sessions. 
  • Cultivate good habits to keep your home de-cluttered: Adopt new and easy habits to maintain a clutter-free home. Once you practice them for sometime, it'll become a part of your lifestyle. For example:
  1. Enforce rules like things once used should be returned to their dedicated spot / drawer / closet !  ( My 5 yr old hangs her jacket and keeps her outside shoes in place as soon as she enters home . It's been her habit since she was almost 4. I admit I had to tell her a few times ,but now she always...always hangs her jacket in the coat closet and keeps her shoes in place. One less thing for me to do during my 10 minute daily de-cluttering session. )
  2. Don't buy stuff on  impulse. Buy things when absolutely necessary. Just because you find a good deal on a set of tupperware, don't buy it. OK.. even if you give in and end up buying it, make sure you recycle or  give the old set away ! Basically don't pile stuff up !
I hope that the simple guidelines and tips discussed here will help  you in keeping your home clutter-free.
Once your home is de-cluttered, the next step to truly making your home "feel" nice is to keep it organized. Organizing your stuff and your home...Well..that's a topic for another day !

Happy De-Cluttering !






2 comments:

  1. Your first point (Enforce rules like things once used should be returned to their dedicated spot / drawer / closet !) is truly a time-management tactic. It sure does save you a lot of time if you seriously make it a habit!(ie you don't have to search for it later, you know where it was kept)....Gr8 collection of points.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minol ( Studio M Designs )November 5, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      Thank you for the comments Secret !

      Delete

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