How to Declutter Your Home Your Way
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I’m a mom of a large family. We are getting ready to move and I need to get rid of some junk before then. So I decided to start a Spring Cleaning Challenge to help me and you stay motivated and accountable to the process. This blog is going to be all about how to declutter your home your way.
Are you a fan of that Netflix tv series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? It is a series based on the bestselling book she wrote “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. In the tv series, Marie Kondo helps clients to declutter their homes. Here’s the trailer in case you want to check it out.
She has a very unique system that uses your psyche to decide what goes and what stays. I have not personally watched the show. But, I don’t exactly buy into the system either. Let me explain it to you just in case it is the route you want to go.Then, I will share my system to declutter my home in case you decide to go with that.
For my Spring Cleaning Challenge, I’m going to be sharing tips, strategies, support, and accountability. Your call on the “how” you want to declutter your home.
The Marie Kondo Way (Do the Feeling Test)
If you are getting ready to declutter your home, whether this Spring or any time of the year, the first thing you will do is decide what to keep, or what to get rid of. This is often the biggest decision to make because naturally, you have an attachment to most of your belongings in one way or another. Right?
When you have difficulty letting go of items in your home, Marie Kondo suggests trying the feeling test. Here is how it works.
How the Feeling Test Works
What you are going to do is go through your home, pick up an item or touch it, and ask yourself some questions.
- Does the item bring you joy?
- Do you instantly remember a fond memory in your life?
- Or do you feel no attachment to it at all?
She says sometimes it can take a few tries before you really get a sense for how you “feel” about that item. If it doesn’t provide any emotional feelings, bring up happy memories, or bring you joy, it is a sign that it is time to let go of that item.
Do this throughout your home as you declutter, especially with items you can’t decide whether to keep or get rid of. She says not to worry about cost or how long you have had something – rely on your feelings alone.
My Decluttering System
The feeling test doesn’t work for me. Not sure if it is just because I am more analytical when it comes to organization or I just don’t usually “feel” for many of our things laying around the house?
Declutter with GTSM
The first thing I do in each room before the cleaning takes place is go through everything based on my checklist. It is just a piece of paper labeled GTSM. The G stands for Giveaway, the T is for Trash, S is for Storage, and M is for Move. As I am going through cabinets and closets I ask myself these questions for each item I pick up.
- Does this work or is it broke?
- When is the last time I used it? Has it been over a year or more?
- Is it a keepsake?
- Can I fit it?
If an item is broke how long has it been broken? Am I really going to fix it? If not I get rid of it. This can be for items missing its match too. How many socks do you have in the “sock basket”? Or how many lids do you have in the lid drawer that you no longer have the bowl it covered? I know I will definitely have some of both of these things to give away.
Declutter Your Clothes Hack
I don’t know about you but me and my girls tend to collect a lot of clothes! One really neat trick you can do to keep track of how often you wear items is to turn all of the hangers to the opposite direction in your closet. When you wear it turn it the right way. At the end of the year when you go to Spring Clean again get rid of the things hanging the wrong way. You didn’t wear them for a whole year what makes you think you will wear them the next year? You can do the same thing with movies or books.
Are you hanging onto clothes that you wore before you lost weight? Don’t keep them that gives you a backup plan. You don’t want to go “back” to that.
Is it a keepsake?
Maybe you have family keepsakes from your grandmother or momentos you want to pass down to your children when they are old enough that you don’t want to get rid of that is fine keep them that is something you love. You don’t necessarily need them piled on your dresser though? You will want to pack them up into plastic tubs to preserve them.
Do You REALLY Need That?
It can be difficult to go through each item that you are thinking about getting rid of. Whatever system you decide to use to declutter your home comes down to this one question.
Do you really need it?
For example, do you have a bunch of old greeting cards you are saving? Do they serve a purpose? Unless you were planning to do something with them, it might not be worth storing them in your home for the rest of your life.
As you move through your house, think about the purpose of older items that aren’t
practical, but you keep for memories or sentimental value. Some items might be better in a storage unit or moved into an organized space in the garage, while others could probably be thrown out or given away.
Do you think you MIGHT need it in the future?
This thinking is what may be creating your clutter. Chances are you won’t need it – especially if you’ve had it for over a year!
If you stop saving absolutely everything, you won’t keep running into problems with
clutter in your home. Now is the time to look at things you own or keep, big and small,
and make some decisions.
Test Your “Maybe” Pile
In order to move the process along, create a “Maybe” pile for the things you are unsure of whether you want to keep them or give them away.
Stash this maybe pile somewhere hidden and keep it for a month. In the course of 30 days if you do not find yourself needing any of the items in your pile, then you’ll know it is time to get rid of them.
Work with One Room at a Time
One of the major reasons people refuse to start sorting through their belongings is not having enough time. This task can demand a lot of it depending on how big your house is and how much stuff you’ve acquired.
As you begin to declutter your home and choosing what to keep, move, donate, or
throw away, you may become overwhelmed with how much there is to do. But don’t
worry – you don’t need to do the entire house in one day! And no one expects you to get it done in one day either!
It is more realistic to spread it out over days or even weeks. Instead of working an entire weekend, set aside half an hour a day to go through your stuff. Doing tiny bits of organization often is less tiring than having to go through every room in the span of 48 hours.
Also, work with just one space or room at a time. Get that room completely done and decluttered before moving onto the next. That is why my Spring Cleaning Challenge is for a whole 30 days and goes room by room (even space by space)!
The things I Use to Help Me Declutter My Home
- Boxes for Giveaway items that I will be donating to the Salvation Army
- Trash bags for trash (or to carry to the recycling can)
- Plastic tubs for storing items that I want to keep but need to store out of the way.
- Laundry Basket to toss things that belong in another room to put away.
- Labels for the tubs. I like to use those name stickers I find at Dollar Tree. You can also use tape.
I also gather together storage bins, baskets, hangers, and shelves to place and organize the rooms as I go along. Make sure you clear space like a counter or table to sort things on when you start each room too.
Create a System that Works for You
Organizing your things and throwing away those you do not need can be very therapeutic. However, it is very easy to fall into the same hoarding patterns. This needs to be addressed in order for your purge to be sustainable.
Go through your things every month or every week if you can. Develop a system that works for you and commit to it.
In my next blog, I will be going over cleaning supplies including some natural cleaning supply recipes that I use. These will save you some money along with keeping you away from a ton of chemicals. Maybe even save a little money too.
If you have any questions or would like to share your sorting system for Spring Cleaning with me comment below! Feel free to share this with your friends or family that may be looking for tips on getting started with Spring Cleaning.
Remember my Spring Cleaning Challenge starts next week are you registered? I will be sending out a boatload of freebies all month long!