In this post: Are you looking to get organized? These 5 decluttering tips include strategies you may not have thought of to streamline your home.⇒
What is it about January 1st that makes us completely unwilling to trip over that wayward pile one more time?
This same compulsion is repeated at the beginning of the school year, at the end of the winter in time for spring cleaning, and pretty much at any other transitional time.
Maybe it’s putting away the detritus of the previous season or perhaps it’s that clean slate that new beginnings bring, but every New Year or start of a season I find myself taking the clutter beast by the horns and vowing to tame it once and for all.
Almost all decluttering jobs can be reduced to two things: throwing things out and storing the rest in the right containers.
But there are a few other strategies you can include to make sure the job goes smoothly. Here are 5 decluttering tips you may not have thought of to help you get organized.
1. Size Matters
There’s no point in buying gigantic bottles if you have no place to store them. I have often selected products based on the size of my cabinets and shelves. I don’t want a mega-sized container of moisturizer sitting on the counter when the next size down fits neatly in the medicine cabinet. Measure your storage space and shop accordingly. If you have room in the linen closet, buy the large size and decant it into smaller bottles. If you don’t have the space, don’t buy it in the first place.
2. Keep Realistic Quantities
No one needs 100 plastic bags. Really. Sure, keep ziplocks in large quantities, but those cheap bags from the pharmacy that don’t close, rip easily and don’t carry much? If you haven’t used the last 10, don’t continue adding to the pile. If you must, keep a small quantity for the rare wet bathing suit or whatever can’t be carried in a “real bag”. Tuck them into a tissue box with a pretty cover and just say no to the bag full of other bags in the closet.
3. Toss the Original Packaging
Storing things in the original packaging can take up more than double the space that’s actually necessary. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I love to buy things in multiples to save time and energy, but when it’s a product you know you will keep, take it out of the box when you buy it and store it without the extra cardboard and plastic. When it comes to samples, only keep the ones you might be interested in and pop them into a small container to be easily found.
4. Assess your things honestly
A lot of people have a hard time with this one, but when determining what to keep and what to toss, take a long hard honest look at your things. Maybe you once loved it but if it’s worn out beyond repair, get rid of it. Don’t keep twin sheets if you don’t have twin beds. Toss cosmetics if the date expired 10 years ago.
When I evaluate an item, I take a few things into account. Condition, value, usefulness, sentimentality. And, of course, if I love it. I still haven’t decided whether to keep the dessert set above. I took it from my parents’ house when I cleaned out their place, so it has sentimental value. But it has 5 cups, 8 saucers and 2 dessert plates. All of my tables have seating for 8. I’m not sure I can justify keeping it if I’ll never use it. The jury is still out.
5. Don’t store anything where you can’t see it
If you can’t see it, you may as well toss it. Anything you store in a box at the back of a closet in the boiler room under 3 more boxes may as well be in the land fill. This doesn’t mean keep everything out where you can trip over it, but at least be sure the label is visible and the container accessible. If you have to move 5 things to get to it, you won’t ever use it.
In the pantry, line similar things up in a row so you know what’s behind them. Use clear containers whenever possible and stack like items together so you can see what’s in back.
Ultimately, when organizing, there’s no substitute for sorting through your things and tossing what you don’t need. But these decluttering tips can alter your thinking and help you to get organized once and for all.
Decluttering Tips Source List
You can find below some of my favorite products for organizing and decluttering. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
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