Summer is the perfect time to be lean and mean, not only with our bodies but in our homes too. It is the best time to free up some space and let your home breathe again.
But before you start clearing your home of all that clutter, it will be wise to create a list of your priority areas. This ensures that you will be efficient with your time. Also, be prepared with bags, bins, or boxes for separating your unwanted stuff. Remember, there are 4 basic categories where your stuff will go, donation, trash or recycling, yard sale or sell, and keep. With this in mind, you’re ready to organize!
Decluttering Your Closet
- First, tidy up your room. Not only will it help you prep your mind for the bigger task ahead, but you need to have a clear space for all your closet stuff.
- Take all the clothes and other items out of your closet. Gather and place them all on your bed or on the floor.
- Next is to sort all your clothing and other items like bags, accessories, and shoes.
- Start with seasonal clothes or items. Seasonal items that you won’t use every day should be stored in a separate closet or storage box. This will free up space in your main closet.
- Now, for clothes and other items that are ripped, faded, or beyond repair, you must decide on how to dispose of them. If the pieces are in the early stages of “one the way out,” donate them. If they’ve been loved for too long, thank them for their use and send them on their way to the trash.
- Next, decide what you want to do with ill-fitting clothes. These are the pieces that just won’t fit anymore because you changed sizes, or they have shrunken or stretched.
- Then put all of these in the appropriate bags, containers, or boxes.
- Lastly, clothes, bags, and accessories that you would like to keep should be nicely folded, hung, and arranged back in your closet.
Decluttering Your Kitchen And Bathroom
- Start with your pantry and fridge. Immediately, trash the stale or old food. Expired canned items should be discarded. And if you thought that can of green beans was a good idea at some point but never had the “inspiration” to use them in a recipe, donate them to a better home.
- Next is your bathroom. Make sure to remove and throw away items and beauty products that you haven’t used for more than six months. The likelihood of you using them is rare and if you need them, it probably makes sense to purchase an items that’s a little newer.
- Dispose of expired prescription medicine, as well. There is no need to have it if you don’t use it anymore.
- Put back and organize the items that you can still use.
Decluttering Your Piles Of Paper And Books
- Sort through books, newspapers, and magazine collections. Remove outdated reference books, old newspapers and magazines, and other reading materials you don’t intend to read anymore.
- If you have very limited space, consider limiting the number of books in your collection.
- Toss old books, magazines, and newspaper in their appropriate boxes (donation, yard sale, recycle, trash).
- Next is to tackle all those piles of papers such as bills, junk mail, bank statements, receipts, and other paperwork.
- Gather them and sort according to those that still need action (e.g. unpaid bills), for the file, for throwing (e.g. junk mail).
- Any papers with sensitive or personal information on them should be shredded before disposal.
- Set-up a filing system for your all your paperwork. Place them in binders or folders and designate a space for them in your filing cabinet or shelf.
- Consider making electronic copies of your vital documents and place the hard copies in a fire-resistant box.
Sometimes, a day or two of cleaning will not be enough. Try to discard one item per day or per week until you get rid of all that unwanted stuff.
The next challenge after decluttering is to maintain that pristine, clutter-free home. Go paperless with digital books, magazines, and e-statements. Also, fight the urge to buy extra or buying stuff “just in case”. And lastly, always clean as you go.
And remember, if you just can't part with stuff, think about putting your things in a climate-controlled storage unit. The Storage Guy has sizes as small as a walk-in closet and as large as a 2-car garage that you can rent for one month or one decade...whatever you need!
Now your clutter free, so go enjoy your summer!