Decluttering is a fantastic idea! Everyone that we know wants – no, craves – a clean, organized living space. Just one question: where do you begin this often overwhelming task?
To find out, we interviewed Carole Norton, Designer at Laurysen Kitchens, with 16 years in closet and kitchen design. Carole explains, “There’s no magic formula when creating more storage space, we’re all different”. Whatever you do, most people will need to declutter. We’ve included a decluttering smorgasbord to choose from: free, fast and easy tactics to get you started, plus closet and storage design solutions that will keep your home neat and organized over the long haul.
10 Decluttering Tips
1. Envision How You Want Your Space To Look
Don’t start decluttering by dwelling on all the things you have to get rid of. That turns it into drudgework. Instead, envision your ideal cozy, uncluttered living space.
2. Gather Boxes & Trash Bags
Assemble your tools – cardboard boxes and a trash bag or two. Label the boxes “Keep,” “Store,” “Donate,” and “Recycle.” You already know what the trash bags are for!
3. Be Honest With Your Clutter
Ask yourself tough questions like: “When did I last use this item/when will I use it next?” “Does it fill a need in my life or bring me joy – or does it stress me out?” Answer truthfully!
4. Plan On Removing Clutter
Make a concrete plan to move those boxes full of unwanted stuff smoothly out of your home and your life. Find out when and where to drop off donations or recycling.
5. Focus On One Room At A Time
Trying to tackle the whole house at once is a recipe for failure. Instead, focus on one room in your house. Why not declutter your kitchen for starters? After you clear the counters and stow small appliances neatly behind cabinet doors, you’ll feel an immediate sense of accomplishment.
6. Set A Time Limit
Set your phone or a kitchen timer for 20 minutes. Ready! Set! Declutter! You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve in such a short time.
7. Create Designated Storage Areas For Household Belongings
Before you put away the contents of your “Keep” box, assign each item a dedicated spot. In Carole’s words, “If something has a place to belong, it stays there. If something doesn’t have a place to belong, it goes everywhere!”
8. Maximize Your Current Closet Space
Work with a closet designer or on your own to maximize your closet space. “Locate the unused pockets of space in a closet. Closet space is very valuable: it helps you realize what you actually have in your home. When you see everything, you use it and ultimately you save money on unnecessary purchases (like that extra black sweater we all own!)” Carole advises.
9. Schedule Future Declutter Days
Make taming the clutter monster a regular part of your life. Before you know it, your whole house will be organized … and you’ll have more room to breathe.
10. Teach Your Family Ways To Stay Clutter-Free
Even small children can join in the decluttering if you make it a fun family project (by snapping Before and After photos, perhaps?). “Teaching kids at a young age to be organized is a lifelong skill,” encourages Carole. “Kids closets are a great way to do that.”
Consider Adding Closets And Storage
If you’ve followed all (or even some) of the tips, congratulations on completing Decluttering 101! You have made tremendous progress in decluttering your home.
By now, you’ve also gained a clearer sense of what you own and the best way to organize it. Time to move on to Stage Two: consider professional design solutions for custom closets and storage that will work best in your home.
Carole points out, “A big misconception people have with closet design is that it’s too expensive and isn’t worth the time. In actuality, it can be budget-friendly and above all, changes the way people live.”
Ready to change the way you live?