5.19.2011

Tips to Declutter Your Home

I am excited to post on the topic of de-cluttering and organizing your home!
I have always liked to organize, put things in order, and get rid of things!
[And make lots of lists and checking things off. Good feelings there. :)]

I have started reading An Easy Plan For Living A Richer Life With Less Stuff : It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh.
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Funny story, I acquired this book by trading old books for this one at a local secondhand book store in Fort Collins, Colorado. It's a good way to get rid of the old books you don't need for different functional ones!

Unfortunately my stuff got donated before I could get a picture for this post! I had bags of clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. in my parent's garage (where we are currently living) ready to be taken to Goodwill. Then I decided to write a post about this topic, made my bed, and ran to the garage to grab the stuff to lay out on my bed, but it was already dropped off and donated. Ha. Better gone than in the garage though!

{Insert picture here of my old clothes, jewelry, shoes, stuff, etc. I donated}

I just wanted to share a few tips to help YOU go through your stuff and clear up your home! You will feel more comfortable, relaxed, and at peace with less clutter!

I, myself, am NO expert in this topic which is why I am going to take some key points from the previously mentioned book to get you started! [PS. This post is totally not sponsored. I just like this stuff.] You can buy the book here for only $4 (or you can use my tips for freee!).

There are many phases of the de-cluttering process and this one is more of a surface one. It is one that is not meant to deal with your sports trophies or your artwork from kindergarten or brilliant A papers from college that you put SO much time and effort into...so this is the easier stuff.

Fast will become your new mantra as you start to tackle your stuff in your spaces!

Fix a time
Pick an hour in the week, 10 minutes a day, or a whole day to get yourself going! Peter recommends just picking a day to get a ton of stuff done at once.

Then concentrate on three types of clutter in your living spaces...


Anything not used for twelve months
Remember the goal is to get the stuff out of your house and to not move it around into different rooms. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I use this?
2. How long has it been since I've used it?
3. Will I use it again?
4. Is it worth the space it takes up in my house?
These questions are great...need to remind myself of these!

Someone else's stuff
Is your apartment a storage unit? Nope. Get it out. Return it to its owners. If they are not wanting to take it back, give it away, sell it, throw it in the trash, get it out! It is depriving you of using your space in the most efficient way!


Trash
Feed the trashcan! It is your friend! Make it a game with your roommates or your husband to see who can get rid of the most stuff!

Now you have the plan, now do it!
Game Rules:
  • Start on time.
  • Don't argue.  If you think something your spouse wants to keep is trash, deal with it later. You are on the same team! You both want a clutter free home! And remember, this is a rough de-cluttering session.
  • Don't waste time. [This is the hardest for me! I get organizing and then start looking at old letters from Kevin when we were dating or organizing papers and then all of a sudden an hour has passed by. This is something I can definitely work on! It's like when I go to organize, I want to do it thorough and once, but there are many phases and you can knock out a good amount of stuff if you fly through it! Be speedy!]
  • Make your piles. There are 3 piles: 
    • Keep: You use it in your home. It is critical and you use it all of the time! This also includes stuff that you cannot bear to get rid of at this moment.
    • Trash: This is a victory!
    • Out the door: If you struggle with getting rid of something you have but don't use and is valuable, sell it (eBay, Plato's Closets, yard sale) or donate it! This is also stuff that is not yours but maybe a family members or a neighbor.  Return it to them or tell them they have a week to pick it up! Put these three piles outside on the patio, in the car, anywhere to get them out of the house until they are gone! [This is where I get stuck with clutter. I gather old clothes that I feel like can be sold and then run them by Plato's Closets a few times and then decide to eBay the rejects (which can be very successful) but then I keep the rejects and don't get rid of them! This is exactly what I finally donated!]
  • Don't stop until you are done. Don't end up with a bigger mess than you began with! Put things away as best as you can. Drop off the donations at Goodwill. Contact people whose stuff you have borrowed.
  • Evaluate and congratulate. Now don't go celebrate by buying a cool piece of artwork or a random knickknack for the shelf or especially more organization pieces. [I love buying shelving and containers!] Celebrate by eating a nice dinner out on the town or catching a movie! Don't buy anything in this process! Do not let any INFLOW enter the home during this stage!
Inspiration: Perfectly organized closet.
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Photo source

Let me know how it goes! 
And of course if you can donate your stuff to a charity, an individual in need, a women's shelter or any other good cause other than DI or Goodwill, the better! Then the people who are in need don't have to pay for it! I wanted to find an individual who could use my clothes but it didn't happen this time but I can always get rid of more, so next time! If anyone reading this is from Colorado and interested, let me know! You can also take this challenge from The Shine Project; Ashley challenges you to donate your unworn or extra clothes to an individual or a charity!


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8 comments:

  1. wow thanks i try it out!! thanks for the comment, i followed you :)

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  2. oh I saw this book being promoted on Oprah when she had him on the show! This guy is brilliant. I love to see organizing transitions and seeing things all neat and tidy after he helps them :)
    thanks for your comment!


    House of Shoes

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  3. oh geez, i so need to take some of this advice. Sounds like an interesting book:)
    i'm now a follower!

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  4. love this ashley! i'm totally the worst and this helped me a lot.

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  5. I loved him on clean sweep! I am definitely guilty of all of this and will totally be taking these tips to heart! Newest follower - I just adore your blog :) x

    myheartstumbles.blogspot.com

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  6. Love it! :) I am someone who has no trouble getting Rid of things. I do however need to show this to my mother. She could use it w her craft stuff! Haha! Actually now that I'm done with the craft room it doesn't seem too bad! It's amazing what some organizing can do. :) great tips and thanks for reminding me about this post!

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  7. oh... thanks for directing me to this post love!!! you saved my life! (ya i have a tendandy to be over dramatic sometimes...)

    Jello

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  8. This is awesome. I can't wait to declutter my home now!

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