Stacks of papers, piles of clothes, a mountain of toys- they are the things the clutter up our room and that clutter can be affecting your health according to medical experts. It can make you overwhelmed, chronically distracted, stressed-out and even depressed.
In fact, the word clutter actually comes from the Middle English word “clotter” which means stopping the flow of something.
When it’s time to declutter, there are some simple steps to take. The rule of thumb when it comes to decluttering your home comes down to three boxes: keep, donate and throw away. Don’t go around and throw away everything that’s lying around, but don’t be afraid to toss things that aren’t useful. Usually the mess in your home is simply due to extra items that don’t have a proper place.
Here are some decluttering tips for your home.
Decluttering Your Bedroom
The bedroom should be your sanctuary where you can relax and recharge. But clutter in the bedroom can actually have the opposite effect.
- The first step to cleaning your bedroom is simply making your bed. It’s often hard to feel like you’re making any progress with pillows laying around and a comforter that isn’t neat. Once you’ve done this, it’ll be easier to focus on the mess around it.
- Next, examine your nightstands and determine what can go and what can stay. Rooms tend to look messier when flat surfaces have lots of stuff on them- try to limit it to a lamp and a clock or items with purpose.
- Cleaning the floors usually contains the most grunt work, but it’ll make all the difference. Pick up all clothes and organize them in your closet or put them in the laundry. Straggler items should be put in their designated place.
- Vacuuming after you finish the entire room will complete the task and tie it all together.
Cleaning Your Kitchen
Often times the most used room in the house is the kitchen and it can become the dumping ground for clutter! The most important step in organizing your kitchen is attempting to clear off all the flat surfaces. That means taking a hard look at the juicer or crockpot and determining whether it needs to be countertop-ready or if it can be tucked away until it’s needed.
- Try to only display large items that are used every day and keep those items clean and neat. Other smaller items, like cooking utensils and pots and pans, should have a designated drawer or shelf.
- Although it may take a while, it is efficient to go through your kitchen’s storage areas and take everything out, organize it, and put back only the items you use. It is easy for pots and pans to get jumbled and all thrown together, but it is easier to store things if they each have a spot.
- If you’re feeling up to it, take a look in your fridge and pantry. Take everything out and wipe down the shelves, throw away expired things, and put everything back categorically. This can help get rid of that weird smell or unidentified spill in your fridge or pantry you’ve noticed over the past few months.
Organizing Your Closets
Cleaning out your closet may sound like simply getting rid of certain clothes, which is a huge part of it, but the thing that’ll make your closet seem bigger and more organized is cleaning the floor and shelves around it.
- Start by organizing your shoes and whatever mess has made a home on the floor of your closet. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have more free space to work. Get rid of shoes you don’t wear and store out-of-season shoes.
- The tough process of determining which clothes you actually wear and which you can donate is what’ll make a difference in your closet. Really think about if you would miss that item of clothing, or would it be more loved by someone in need. Put your hangers backwards in your closet. If a hanger is still backwards at the end of a season you will know you didn’t wear that item and it’s time to let it go.
- Hang things on sturdy hangers. Clothes that are hung up and visible are more often worn. Use hangers that won’t have clothes sliding and slipping off or that will wrinkle easily.
Cleaning Your Bathroom
When cleaning your bathroom, it’s most efficient to start with your medicine cabinet. This is where most of your unused items hide out, and once you clean this out, you’ll have much more space to store other items that don’t have a proper place.
- Inspect each medicine bottle; Is it empty? Is it expired? Has it been over a year since you’ve used it? If you find one of these questions to be true, it’s probably safe to toss it. We tend to save all of our prescriptions and over the counter medications out of habit when in reality they have no use besides taking up space. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a great time to safely dispose of prescription medications.
- After you’ve thoroughly gone through your medicine cabinet, you should go through the same process with your other drawers and cabinets. The main activity that will make a difference in the look of your room is tossing out items.
- Get rid of old makeup and nail polish.
- If you’ve been sucked into an infomercial and the product doesn’t work like you had hoped, time to throw it away and call it a loss.
- After you’ve organized all physical items, it’ll look more complete once you’ve cleaned the bathroom floor and straightened out bathmats.
Decluttering your home will help you regain the time you now spend searching for misplaced items and the peace of mind of living in a well-organized environment. Take a deep breath and dive right in. Decluttering can be a family affair.
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