Declutter Your Home

Declutter Your Home
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DeclutterSpring is a natural season for cleaning inside and out, preparing your home and garden for warmer weather and…doing some decluttering. When I think of old fashioned living, my mind wanders to thoughts of a simpler time, a simpler way of living, a simpler method of doing. The daily tools and techniques my grandmother and great-grandmother used 50+ years ago are much different than mine today. They made do with so much less than I do, yet their homes and gardens seemed richer somehow. 

I am on a quest for a richer life and a simpler way of living, like my grandparents experienced. But where do I start and how do I get there? For me it begins with less. Less stuff, more space. Less clutter, more depth. I looked around my home the other day and realized why I felt like our house keeps getting smaller, closing in on us like a claustrophobic cottage. We keep adding stuff. (Granted, we did add two small boys to our little home. But still.) 

I knew what I had to do. Declutter! So what’s this got to do with you? If you are like me - passionate about living a meaningful life filled with less quantity and more quality – then it’s time we tackle the clutter in our lives! 

Declutter – a definition

Simply put, to “declutter” is to methodically clear out any and all items from your home or living space that you don’t: love, use regularly, or need. I will add a small side note here: other areas in your life can become cluttered too; such as relationships, online social media, task lists and even your daily thought life. But I’ll save those topics for another time and focus on the physical world to give us an easy starting point. I have found that as I declutter my physical life, often my thought life and emotional life becomes less cluttered too. (Don’t ask me how. It just works.) 

I adopted most of my decluttering skills and tools from Flylady.net. But there are many great online resources available that will give you a solid foundation and methods for how to declutter and clean your home. Flylady.net just happens to be a fun and lighthearted site that gets to the root of clutter and cleaning chaos fast, and gives you creative ways to tackle your mess wherever it may be. 

Clutter

The key word to decluttering is - simplify. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your clutter. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by what you see. Otherwise you may never start. Start small and celebrate small successes. Don’t get discouraged by the big picture. With all that in mind: here are some tips for where and how to start.

 

Kitchen

Choose one counter in your kitchen each day and clear it off. Put everything away that is non-essential. If the counter is home to your toaster or coffee pot and you use it every day – it can stay. But everything else needs a home. Your goal is to have as many clean flat surfaces as possible. When I say “choose one each day” I mean JUST ONE. Otherwise you might get over tired or overwhelmed. Avoid both. 

Living Room or Family Room

Set a timer for 10 minutes and gather up as much stuff as you can. Anything that doesn’t truly belong in the living room needs a home/shelf/cupboard. If it doesn’t have a home, you don’t love it or don’t use it often – donate it or chuck it. You could also use the timer method for the kids’ rooms or a play room. 

Closets and Pantry

Following along the same lines as the counter method for the kitchen, choose one shelf in your closet or pantry and pull out anything and everything that doesn’t belong. Pull out every non-essential item and leave the shelf looking neat and tidy. (This is an area I have to work on. I’m a pilot…I like to pile-it on random shelves and shut the door.) 

Bathroom

In the bathroom – tackle the medicine cabinet or the under-sink cabinet, but not both at once. Just do one at a time, one day at a time. Remove every prescription, container, make-up bottle or mascara tube that is either expired or crusty! Truly – it’s a safety issue.

 

Now that you have a couple of ideas of where to begin and how to declutter, there is no reason not to start working your way to a simpler, more meaningful life in a clutter free home! Remember to take it slow and enjoy the experience. Simplifying life is a constant journey for me, one that I may never achieve but I enjoy pursuing. 

Images: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Online Resources You Might Enjoy:

http://www.flylady.net/

http://zenhabits.net/

http://www.realsimple.com/

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/creative-ways-to-declutter/

 

About The Author

Tia Davis is a writer, wife and mother, living happily ever after with her handsome prince and two charming boys in Western Idaho.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Creative Writing and works from home as a content manager.  When she isn’t chasing little boys she is blogging about them at Mistress of Madness and Mayhem.
 
 

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