Is decluttering top on your list of things to do?
Here are some ideas for getting rid of unneeded or unwanted stuff in your house, thus creating a clutter-free environment:
- If there's a space you are really not happy with, like your garage - start there. As part of the job, you probably need to recover that cracked, dirty floor and build new shelves and cabinets. You guessed it! That means literally everything has to come out. You might have to rent a pod to sit on your driveway to hold the things you want to keep.
- Don't use cardboard boxes to store things inside your house. It looks ugly and you can quickly forget what's in the box. Those boxes can also attract termites when they sit on the floor in the closet a long time.
- Don't buy tons of new storage units and plastic container boxes until you clean out the old stuff and know exactly what new storage you need.
- When cleaning drawers, pull out everything; then sort it into piles of stuff to put back in the drawer, stuff to put somewhere else, and stuff to throw out.
- In the kitchen, clean the refrigerator by tossing all food with expiration dates that are long past. Clean out the unidentified frozen objects in the freezer. Get rid of really old spices that don't have any flavor any more.
- In the closet and bedroom, toss old shoes that don't fit well, clothing you never wore, and single socks without a mate.
- In the bathroom, trash expired medicines and really old toothbrushes, combs and hairbrushes.
- Get a large plastic garbage bag and fill it with things to donate. Put one discard into the bag every day for a month. It can be books, clothing, old toys, knickknacks, whatever.
- Try to sell a few discards. If your HOA has banned garage sales, take that lightly used sofa or dining table to a consignment store. Getting a few dollars back will make you feel better. Consignment stores will sometimes pick up furniture at low prices.
The idea is to keep moving with the project. Sometimes organizing and making the decision to keep or get rid of items can be overwhelming, but it doesn't all need to be in one day. As suggested above, go about your regular day to day and as you run into items you know you haven't touched in a while and know you won't gravitate towards in the future - toss it in the discard or giveaway bag one day at a time.