Clutter, organizing you hear about it all the time. It seems so overwhelming doesn’t it? Where to start? Each month, I post five items for you to work on. Some of them may seem obvious, others obscure. The end result is to get it done and not be overwhelmed. Here they are:
1. Start with your mail. What can you do electronically? Can you cancel anything? Can you get off catalog mailing lists? Try to reduce what you are getting.
2. School papers. Do you really need your eight grade book report? Some term papers you may want to keep if they were really amazing, or you plan on continuing your education.
3. Family knickknacks. Your mother really wanted you to have your grandmother’s ceramic duck collection. Now you stuck with thirty ceramic ducks that clash with your Victorian decor. First know that it’s okay to get rid of them. If you associate the ducks so strongly with your grandmother keep under five favorites and either sell or donate the rest. No one wants you to display things you don’t like.
4. Email lists and applications you no longer use.
5. Souvenirs from vacations past. Do you really want that broken conch shell? Are you ever going to display that British flag? If not let it go. If you got a souvenir that is really amazing and you like it, keep it. Just try to display it. My husband and I for awhile got glass paperweights from different areas. Once we got enough we switched to something else. We still display those beautiful paperweights.
How was that? Not too painful I hope. Remember just do little bits at a time. You can do it.
I’m not a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination. I like stuff. I don’t like a ton of stuff, but just enough. This is why I love to declutter and organize. I do it year round. There is something relaxing about seeing a clean and organized pantry. That’s why I do monthly lists in both cleaning and decluttering. It’s 5 quick things you can do over the month to keep tabs and value your possessions. Here is this months 5 for you.
1. Clean your hall or front door closet. The one with all the shoes and coats. Donate, toss or move stuff from this high traffic area.
2. Check all your condiments in the fridge. Make sure nothing is past use by date!
3. Do the same with your freezer.
4. Do under the kitchen sink.
5. Clear off your dining room table.
Happy organizing and decluttering.
One of my monthly features is about the concept of decluttering. I usually give 10 things to look at. You don’t have to do all of the 10, but they are things to think about. Life for me gets overwhelming. These give me a reminder that I should check certain things. I am trying to live a more minimal lifestyle. However, I am not a minimalist. Far from it. It’s a daily struggle. While I’m not a pack rat, I do keep things. I constantly am refining what I keep and what I donate or trash. Here is my list for this month:
- Back to school clothes. Try them on, donate what is too small or used.
- Summer clothes. Get rid or donate what is worn out. Don’t store stuff that is not going to be used.
- Summer toys or items. Those empty bottle of sunblock can go. Is your plastic pail missing it’s handle? Recycle it.
- DVR. Clean out your DVR shows. Too many Law and Order reruns? Can you get rid of them? What are you going to watch? Clean up your shows.
- School Supplies. Most of us have gone shopping for supplies already. Check to see if your home or school needs a little extra. Nothing is worse than trying to find a certain type of marker in the middle of winter because yours dried out.
- Fall Decor. Getting out your Autumn decor in preparation for the leaves changing? What can you toss. What do you need? Get rid of those old, dirty gel clings. Have your kids outgrown the Snoopy Halloween decorations?
- Chips/Pantry Items. School is starting or has started for some of us. Now is a great time to toss all your expired food, or unused and stale food. Many stores will have sales to get rid of their excess back to school food packs. Look for those deals.
- Plastic Bags. I keep my plastic bags. I use them when I scoop out the litter box. Do you have a stash of these bags? Do you use them? If not, you may have to do a little clearing of this stash. Many big box retailers now allow you to bring in your unused plastic bags to get them recycled. Call your local Target or Walmart to see if they have these recycle bins in their store.
- Paper Bags. This could have gone in number 8. I keep it separate because I think of my paper bag stash as separate from the plastic one. I keep those paper bags to use for garbage. I keep the ones with the good handles for carrying things. Sometimes you just have too many. Let them go, or at least cull the herd.
- Pet Supplies. We recently got kittens. Yup, they are cute and they know it. They can also be a bit destructive. I get rid of those things that they destroyed. Are there toys that your dog or cat doesn’t like? Maybe a carrier that you no longer use? Many rescue organizations are willing to take gently used or like new donations. Check with your vets office too. Mine always needs towels. If your pet doesn’t like the stuffed alligator you got them let it go. It’s not personal, although it is a cute alligator.
Well that’s it. The ten for this month. What have you decluttered? Let me know in the comments.
Clutter, clutter everywhere. We always read articles about reducing clutter. We watch TV shows and listen to podcasts on it. When it come time for us to do it we are paralyzed with fear. Will we need the item? We paid a lot for that. Where should we start first? All of these things run through our mind before we start. This inner dialogue slows us down and prevents us from moving forward. To help alleviate this backlog of crap I’ve written 10 things you can throw away today.
- Old magnets. Do you really need 30 magnets to commemorate every road trip? Clear that clutter by keeping only the ones you use or really like.
- Cleaning Supplies. How many buy 3 get one free sales have you shopped? Maybe it’s time to pare down and streamline.
- Recipe Books. Recipe books are wonderful. They do take up a lot of room. How many recipes do you use from each book? In each recipe book, I have had maybe three or four recipes that I look up. The rest I never use. I finally got to the point where I photocopied all the recipes out of each book that I used. What I was left with was a small stack of paper that I could store easily.
- Files. Everyone stores paperwork don’t they? How often have you gone through those files? Sort through them now and toss what you are done with. Paperwork piles up.
- Old Spices. This is one area of the house where things pile up for me. I buy Dill for one recipe and never use it again. Spices do have an expiration date. Check them out.
- Mugs. All those novelty mugs need to go. Enough said.
- Condiment Packages. All those extra Chicken McNugget sauce packets or ketchup packages you have are garbage.
- Flat Pillows. Have an old pillow that is flat? One you constantly fold and scrunch to get comfortable. Get rid of them. It’s okay to replace them or just let them go.
- Old Candles. How many half burned candles do you have lying around your house? Unless you burn them on a regular basis get rid of them. All those candle nubs? Let them go.
- Pet Toys. Is your pet fickle? Mine is. I have bought her several different types of dog toys and all she wants to do is play with a stuffed duck. She has gone through 25 stuffed ducks since we have had her. I got rid of the rest of the toys.
One thing I like to do on my blog, make lists. I like my lists short and sweet. Not a lot of words to describe a single action. Just tell me what needs to be done and list it. So here it is. My short list of things to declutter.
1. Outdoor Winter Clothing. Get rid of what didn’t work. Repair and clean anything that needs it for the next winter. Make a list of what you need to replace.
2. Reusable bags. It could be plastic, paper or cloth.
3. Carry-on and Totes.
4. Suitcases and duffle bags. Sometimes you just need a new one.
5. Keys. You have 10 keys on your key ring. Do you know what they go to?
6. Shoes. What do your flip flops and slippers look like?
7. Beach items and Swim stuff. Do the water guns work? Are the beach towels clean? Can you find your 12 year old’s goggles?
8. Holiday Paper and tape. Is it time to recycle the candy cane paper you’ve used for the last 5 Christmases?
9. Address Book. Clean out your contacts. It can be on paper or online.
10. Pantry. Really? Those date bar cookies have been in there long enough.
Here is this month’s list of 10 Things to Clean (but that you almost never do). Let’s get cleaning!
- Door Frames and Door knobs. Get all that finger print dirt off!
- Your toothbrush holder. Clean it, replace it or run through a dishwasher.
- Your electric toothbrush. Replace the head and clean the body and holder.
- Facial scrubber. Replace the pad and clean and disinfect the handle.
- Razor. Replace it!
- Loofah. How old is it really? Yuck, get a new one.
- Corners of the room. Get those cobwebs out of there!
- Stove drip covers/knobs. Get the gunk out.
- Electrnics. When was the last time you cleaned your cell phone, ipod, laptop and more.
- Washer/Dryer. Wipe everything inside and out. Don’t forget the lint trap!