Are you sick and tired of seeing your home being messy? Now is the time to take up that long pending declutter project.
I won’t claim to be a super-organized person, but I’m not messy either. I want the bed to be made first thing in the morning. Clothes should be folded as soon as they are dried.
Yet, you will find a book, iPad, kindle, pen holder and water bottle on my bedside table.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, I never knew a Netflix show would influence me so much. I’m talking about “Tidying up with Marie Kondo“.
This show got me into the cleaning area by area at home and helped me take baby steps towards minimalism.
To help you all with decluttering and organizing your home, I have listed few decluttering strategies to follow.
Things to note before starting declutter:
1. Start with right mindset:
Let’s accept it decluttering or tidying up is not a cake walk. Its gonna take a lot of effort. And, it won’t be easy unless you have made up your mind to declutter.
Start with a mindset of “Let go”. Unless you are not letting go of items, you will not be able to reduce your pile.
Keep yourself motivated by setting some rewards for yourself at the end of the process.
Eg: You can buy that handbag you have been eyeing for months, IF you give away 15 items that you don’t need.
Do you see where I’m heading?
2. Plan well in advance:
Since you will need a lot of time and energy to declutter, it is better to start it with a good plan in place.
Decide well in advance, how much time you have on that particular day for cleaning?
When is your energy all high to get it going?
Get those trash bags and carton boxes ready. You will need a lot of them.
What do you plan to do with unwanted stuff?
3. Do not over do and burn out:
Many people suggest decluttering all at once. I’m just not for this method.
I would suggest starting with small and achievable goals. You will be motivated to clean more once you see the results for yourself.
Also, you won’t be overwhelmed with quantity when its one drawer that you intend to tidying up right?
After all, doing something is any day better than doing nothing.
4. What is the end result that you desire?
Just try and visualize what is that final out come that you want from this entire process of decluttering?
When you have clear vision in mind, it’s much easier to work toward it.
You can refer to pinterest for some amazing organizing tips.
How to declutter each area?
When we have so much to organize, I’m sure we all will get overwhelmed and will not know where to start decluttering.
Let’s convert that question into positive way and ask ourselves “how to start decluttering when overwhelmed?”
To answer that question, let us take baby steps and tackle area by area.
Very first thing anyone notices when they enter the home is your foyer. You definitely want it not to be messy and unwelcoming, isn’t it?
Let’s see what are the things you need to declutter here.
1. Shoe Rack:
– Pull out all those pairs of footwear.
-Group them into usable, worn out and usable but won’t fit you anymore (be it in size or in your taste)
-Put your worn out footwear into a trash bag.
-Won’t fit but usable to give away carton.
-Re-group the usable into frequently used and occasionally used.
-Organized the frequently used footwear in the most accessible shelves of the shoe rack.
-You might want to put some protective layer or box for the occasionally used ones to protect them from fine dust.
You can also use this footwear organizer to get more space in your show rack.
2. Key or utility drawer:
-Get a drawer organizer or small bowl for keys.
– Discard all the unnecessary items from this drawer.
-Maybe you can keep your shopping bags, socks, and gloves.
-And nothing else.
-Place a small planter, potpourri, or candles on the shoe rack to make it attractive.
2. Living room:
How to declutter living room:
1. TV Unit:
-Do not over stuff your TV unit with artifacts and photo frames.
-Replace your physical photo frames with a digital photo frame.
-Classify the artifacts into groups like a collection from travel, DIY project your kid did, or things of the same color or size.
-Discard all those DVD or cd tapes which you have not used in the last 6 months. (I wonder if anyone still uses them) (I have a few DVD’s as collection still :P)
-If you have multiple remote controls, make an exclusive place for it in the drawer, or you can even get a remote control organizer. Amazon has a very good one.
If you have a dream of having a beautiful TV unit like this, click here to hire me as your design consultant 🙂
2. Center table or side table:
-Let’s get this right, the center table should not have anything on it other than 1 vase of an artifact.
-Don’t make this your dumping place.
-side table can have a telephone in addition.
The most important area of the house as well as the most time-consuming area to declutter.
-Start with your most frequently used drawers. For Example Cutlery drawer.
-This is just to get the hang of decluttering.
-Once done with one drawer, just like how you did with shoe rack, take out everything in the kitchen.
-This way you will see all that you have and you can group them once and for all.
-If you have not used anything in the last 6 months, discard it.
-Group the remaining items based on usability, quantity, purpose, etc.
-These grouping categories can differ from person to person.
-I have my spice container next to my hob.
-The larger container at the bottom shelf of the pantry.
-Baking items on the top shelf of the pantry as it’s not used on a daily basis.
-Separate drawer for empty containers.
-Pro tip: Always store the containers with the lid closed. Or else you will waste a lot of time only looking for lids 😛
-Try and unpack the supplies as soon as getting them home, instead of keeping them in packets.
-I would recommend having transparent containers (Mason jars) as much as possible.
-If needed label them to avoid confusion.
-Keep a disposable paper below before chopping the veggies, it saves a lot of effort and time later while cleaning.
-Clean your kitchen counter at the end of the day. It’s a very nice feeling to wake up to a clean the counter.
-The same applies to your dishes as well, come what may have your sink empty and cleaned at night.
-Have a small notepad handy, if you are old school like me, to write down your groceries list as soon as they get over.
-Update this list once before heading out for shopping.
-Give away the items that you have more than one. For instance, you don’t need two toasters, right?
-Keep soon to be expired stuff separately and finish them before it expires.
-Carry your own shopping bags. This will avoid the consumption of a lot of plastic bags.
“Smart tips for kitchen organization”
4. Dining area
-Your dining table should be always empty. As in if you have sudden guests, it should be good enough to serve them lunch.
-Suggest having a glass top to make the cleaning easy.
-Make sure to have rounded edges to avoid any casualties.
-Your crockery unit is not just for displaying your glassware but also to use them 😛
-So have only the relevant cups, mugs, glasses, and discard the unused ones.
Yet another important and challenging area of the house.
Lets sub divide this into smaller sections:
- Pullout all those items in the closet and pile them up.
- Did you know you had so many clothes? Well, don’t worry we shall sort it together.
- Start grouping them, usable, give away, discard.
- You already know what to do with discard and giveaway.
- Group them, usable clothes into Tops, pants, skirts, jackets, winter wear, innerwear, party wear, bags, belts, clutches, shirts, t-shirts, blazers, etc.
- Get drawer organizers for inner wears, belts, watches, and any other smaller items.
- Decide what you want to hang and what you want to fold.
- Always fold clothes into rectangles and fold them vertically. Only then you will be able to see what you have.
- Store handbags in transparent protectors.
- Store winter wears in vacuum seal covers. This will save you a lot of space in your closet.
- Store your travel bags one inside the other, this again will save space.
You can learn about organizing your kids room in my other blog.
“Most practical ways to organize your kids’ bedroom”
- Build the habit of folding clothes as soon as you remove them from drying.
- Make your bed as soon as you wake up.
- Do not put any clothes on your bed.
2. Study unit
- See if you can replace your books with kindle.
- Use one notebook until it is fully used.
- Throw away that pen which does not write anymore.
- Go digital and avoid getting hard copies of the bills.
- Have a defined folder for important documents. And store them vertically with the appropriate labeling method.
- Have an in-tray for the paper or bills that need your attention. Discard those papers once you have taken action against them.
- Have a wire manager to hide all those wires on your desk.
- Don’t buy a new shampoo or conditioner unless it is fully empty.
- Get organizer for your wash basin area to keep brush, paste, face wash etc.
- Keep the cleaning supplies in a separate are, maybe below your wash basin.
- Roll the fresh towels and store them on the towel rack.
- Have a wet and dry area defined.
- Wipe away the water in the wet area after a shower.
- Have a used clothes basket.
Ask yourself these questions while decluttering
- Is it something that you have used in the last 6 months?
- Does it spark Joy? (Marie Kondo way :P)
- Do I have more than one of these?
Ask yourself these questions while shopping
- Is it a want or a need?
- Can I borrow it?
- Is the cost justified?
- Can I wait 15 days to buy this?
How to make sure the clutter does not come back in 3 months time?
- Have a defined place for everything at home.
- Discard the unwanted stuff ASAP.
- No shopping unless necessary.
- Revisit the process of decluttering every 3 months once.
If you are looking to do a digital declutter, read this article.