De-Cluttering Your Home

Greetings fellow design enthusiasts! I prepared this for a YMCA Mom’s groups and thought I would share with the web. As we get ready for Christmas and pull out the decorations – I had to swift through all the pool supplies and patio cushions to get to mine (I really need to follow my own advice below) we are either forced to organize at that moment or after the excess of Christmas be it gifts or goodies eaten we feel the desire to organize/purge our homes and selves. Maybe this will guide you to a successfully!

1) Go through one room at a time and organize/de clutter completely before going on to the next one.
2) Use the buddy system – challenge a friend to de clutter the same room at their place. Take before and after photos.
3) Set a deadline for yourself to complete it – that includes taking items to the dump, the 2nd hand store etc.
4) Commit that once it is organized and de cluttered to up keep it and maintain the habit it takes to keep it organized and clutter free
5) Go through the room from top to bottom. Have a keep, toss, and donate pile. Only keep what belongs in the room. If you are unsure of an item put it in a box and then label it with the date. If you haven’t used anything in the box in 6 months – you don’t need it! That goes for clothes – if you didn’t wear it all season – get rid of it.
6) Be creative with storage. You don’t have to have all those fancy containers – they can be expensive. Repurpose things like baskets, Rubbermaid containers, pretty environmental bags, gift bags and boxes. Recover ugly boxes with wallpaper or adhesive paper or pretty gift wrap from the dollar store.
7) When organizing think about how your family functions – are you a piler? Do you need files for everything so things are put away out of sight? Do you need it out in plain sight to remind you to do the task? This may mean a conversation with your spouse and children to find out how they function best and creating a system that works for everyone.
8) Gift wrapping, craft items and home office items should all be kept in one place if possible. So if the home office is the spare room – can you have under the bed containers for gift wrap – can the closet be used for files and craft items? Is the kitchen the home office? Can some great looking stackable boxes house files and crafts?
9) Pantry and kitchen: go through and remove all items that are expired. Organize kitchen into zones – baking goods together, cooking goods together, school lunch items together; everyday food items together.
10) Holiday items: Have 1 or 2 storage containers for each. After each holiday – go through it – keep, toss or donate what you don’t want. Make a list of what you want to replace it with and shop right after so you can take advantage of the sales or make a list on the outside of the box so that when the season rolls around next time you will be reminded of what you need to purchase.
11) Make sure everything is labeled or that people know where things are, it is no good to your home or family life if things can’t be found or you have to get them for everyone!
Happy organizing!TSD

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