Here are some decluttering ideas and tips to help you get motivated to start decluttering. Don’t make it so complicated and get organized today!
Decluttering Ideas And Tips
I was thinking about writing something new this year about decluttering, so I started researching the topic. To my disappointment, I found there is almost nothing new under the sun and what I wrote 10 years ago still seems to be the best way to do things. Instead of repeating what I have already written and what is still being repeated out there, I thought I would share some thoughts for you to think about and to help you get motivated to start decluttering and getting organized.
I’ll start with a couple quotes I found so funny:
I found this quote on Pinterest but I took some liberties and changed a few words. It shows a woman with her head down sobbing and saying:
“Are you telling me pinning decluttering ideas is not enough? I actually have to do them?” : )
I love it. Most of us really know the basics of decluttering but we keep researching and looking for “new” ideas because researching is another way of procrastinating and putting off actually doing the work.
I was watching my 4 year old grandson clean his room one day. He said, “Nan, I don’t need this anymore” and he tossed the item out of his bedroom door. “This doesn’t fit me anymore” and, once again, out it went. “This is broken.” Again, into the trash it went. You see, he knew the basics at four years old. We just need to get up and do it.
“I don’t clean clutter for security reasons… If someone breaks in, I will hear them coming.” : )
I had to laugh at this one because I always said exactly that and it turned out to be true for me. My husband was a pack rat and, after he left, I still had piles of his things in our basement, which only had an outside entrance. One night, I heard someone crashing around down there, followed by police running down my driveway with rifles. Someone had robbed the convenience store behind my home.
I told them I heard something in my basement. They checked it out but, since the light wasn’t on and there were many places to hide, they couldn’t see anything. After they left, I heard more crashing in the basement again.
There are two things you need to know to really appreciate the story. The basement was full of clutter, hardware and heavy machinery and there was no light down there at all unless you knew where the hidden light switch was. All night long I heard crashing and banging. The poor guy (I was actually feeling sorry for him at this point) could not find his way out and was really hurting himself.
The next morning I heard the basement door slam. I guess there was enough sunlight filtering in that he could finally see enough to make his way out. So this quote is not too far from the truth even though it was meant as a joke. ;-)
We can take the simple and make it so complicated.
While researching decluttering, I found 101 ways to clean your bedroom. Seriously? Do we really need to be told that those dirty undies need to go into a hamper and how to put them in there or how to put your shoes away in your closet? I’m not talking about those of you who truly don’t know how to do these things because you have never been taught and really want to learn. That is why our website is here.
Still, it baffles me that so many of us spend so much time studying the pros and cons of the best cleaning product to use in our bathroom instead of taking 5 minutes to wipe it down each day. We spend hundreds of dollars on fancy closet systems, bigger closets and fancy storage containers instead of purging our closets of those clothes that are too small or outdated or scaling down our kids’ toys from 50 cars to 5 cars.
Practical Ideas To Help Get Organized
1. Get help.
Many of us hire people to do our yards, wash our cars, fix our cars and handle many other tasks but most of us can’t bring ourselves to hire a professional to organize or clean our homes. We act like we are failures if we have to hire someone to help get our home back in order. Even though it may cost money up front, it is one of those things that can save you money in the long run.
2. Change your habits.
The average person I have observed with a cluttered house usually just has bad habits that caused the mess.
They do things like sit and take off their shoes in the living room instead going straight to their bedroom to slip off their shoes or leaving them by the door.
They place dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink instead of rinsing it and slipping it in the dishwasher or stacking it neatly in the sink.
They may toss the mail on the counter instead of going through it or neatly placing it on the desk or in a basket for later.
Even things like washing your face or brushing your teeth and splattering water everywhere are bad habits that need to be changed.
Watch yourself. You will be shocked at how many bad habits you have gotten into and how your children are following suit. Exchange one bad habit at a time for a good one. Once you have a new habit in place, move on to the next.
3. Use each room for the purpose for which it was intended.
Eat in the kitchen or family room, not the bedroom.
Get dressed in the bedroom, not the bathroom.
Keep papers and office work in the office.
4. Get rid of as many horizontal surfaces as you can.
Horizontal surfaces are clutter catchers. Get rid of things like coffee tables, benches at the end of the bed, long TV tables and large desks if they are getting piled with things all the time instead of being used for the purposes for which they were intended.
Wisdom is knowing what to do next.
Skill is knowing how to do it.
Virtue is doing it.
The How To Organize And Clean Your Home ebook set includes 3 ebooks to make it easy to organize your home, eliminate clutter, conquer the laundry pile and reduce your stress with better organization. Learn more here!
I love your humor and I agree that just get up and do it is great advice. Doing a little and being neat in your daily habits can add up to a cleaner home. In the past year I have purged my closet of clothes (your list of necessary clothes helped) and thinned my book collection. I like having nothing or only one thing on flat surfaces and some walls that are bare. My weakness is stocking up on too much food. I do not feel comfortable only having enough for a week even though I live very near a grocery. I am striving to find the amount that seems about right for my family.
Sounds like you are on the right track Patricia. I am like you food is one thing I like to stock up on. I had another reader recently ask me how much emergency food do I keep on hand. I may have to write a post on that soon. One small thing I do is to calculate (I usually just kind of guess in my head)how much food I would need for 3-4 weeks and that is what I keep. I That also includes what I keep in my regular stock in the kitchen. Then I add a small amount on top of that in case I need to help others who might need some too. I do have more then a months supply of things like rice that will keep forever.
Think small too. For example if it is a true emergency then you only need enough to take care of hunger pangs and to fill up tummies. We eat way more food then we need on a daily basis so it won’t hurt anyone to only eat what we absolutely need for a couple of weeks. For example one can of chicken can be stretched to feed a family of 4 for a meal when added to a small amount of rice. Add to that a large can of fruit, a can of veggies and you have a full meal. So all you need for a meal is 3 can goods and a small bag of rice.
i have to ask: when you heard the man in your basement banging around all night, how did you not call the police back? Weren’t you afraid?
No I wasn’t afraid. I don’t scare to easily I guess. I did keep my doors and windows well locked and he couldn’t get in really because the basement had a separate outside entrance. I guess in my mind I knew the guy had just robbed the convenience store so he probably wasn’t a murderer just someone who was trying to get away from the police and I figured all he wanted to do at that point was to get out of my basement. I thought to as soon as it was morning he could probably see enough to get himself out and as much trouble he was having I knew he would be glad to get away. Kind of like one of those Home Alone type of movies. Plus I had already had the police out once and they couldn’t see him and I thought the minute he would hear the door open he would stay hidden again until they left. They acted like I was just someone who didn’t know what I was talking about the first time – like they didn’t believe me so figured it wouldn’t do me any good to call them.
Thanks for the decluttering tips I have used some and am still decluttering it is a work in progress for me.Thanks again.
You are completely right by changing your habits!! I feel like being mindful of what’s coming in and seeing if it will actually serve our purpose will help to understand if it should stay or go!
Mary Ellen Grenier
Hello all, hope you are well. I just wanted to give a tip for the egg roll recipe you gave. If people don’t want to chop up cabbage and carrots they can buy a bag of coleslaw mix at the grocery store. They usually go on special for 1$ here in Canada. I’ve tried this before and it works just as well. Just a little tip. Thank you for all your videos, I really enjoy them and I agree with you when you tell people to get it together! ha ha
Thanks for the tip Mary Ellen that is a good idea.