5 Ways To Start Decluttering Your Life & Home.

Although I wrote part of this post over 2 years ago, the techniques still stand for how to get started in cleaning up and eliminating clutter in your home. I am a big believer that decluttering can make you feel better and ease a lot of stress in your life, but that might be because I am slightly OCD about it. But if you are looking for a way to get started in your house, try some of these tips on for size…

1. Be a thrower-awayer. (Is that a word? I think not) If you have not used something in a few months, you probably do not need it. I am not talking about your pizza cutter because you have not had pizza in two months, but rather I am talking about clothes, old sporting equipment, back massagers, whatever. Having used and tired candles is of no use to anyone, clear them out and keep only the good ones. Year old rice in the back of the cabinet is probably bad, and a new bag runs about $1.50. Throw it away or recycle it.

2. Do the above on a constant basis. Stick to a schedule, even if it is only once every two months. Put it on your calendar if you need to, but it is important to always go back and look again once in a while.

3. Have a system. For your keys, designate a place you put them every day. We have a little guy screwed to the wall (that sounds funny, no?) that holds our keys, including our car, house, the storage room, the laundry room, etc. No one ever has to go looking for a key, because they are all right there. For your financial and life documents, invest in a file cabinet and file paperwork the minute you are done with it. A lot of people are using the Getting Things Done program, and although I find it overkill for my needs, you might get a lot out of it and should check it out. Until you deal with said paperwork, have an inbox on your desk that can hold everything you need to deal with in the immediate future, that way you will not forget to do it.

4. Sell or give away your movies and CDs that you do not watch or listen to anymore. I have touched on this before, but how many people are still seeing their old VHS copy of Point Break? You planning on watching it again? Did not think so. Utilize sites like Freecycle to give things away or Craigslist and Half.com to sell the stuff that has some value left in it.

5. File File File. No I am not talking about your paperwork, I am talking about articles from newspapers and magazines you want to save and even the rest of your CD collection. When we see something in a magazine we want to save, such as a recipe or information on a vacation spot, we cut it out and put it in the blue binder in the kitchen cabinet. Each page has its own clear file folder, and things are categorized in the book so we can find them later. A few years ago I took all the CDs and DVDs we wanted to keep, recycled the plastic jewel cases, and put them all in black binders that sit in our bookcase. It takes up much less room that way and makes your space feel bigger. Go ahead, try it, I am sure you will be happy with the change.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Clare says:

    All good ideas, with the possible exception of #5: if you have large CD or DVD collections, I’d be concerned that downsizing everything into one or two binders would make it much easier for burglers to haul away if they happened to make a lucky find on your bookshelf. True, an unmarked binder on a shelf would not immediately raise interest, and it’s certainly less obvious than displaying your entire collection, but I’m just presenting a possible downside.

    Whats does everyone else think?

  2. David says:

    For me, if a burglar steals my music, it would be the least of my concerns. I would hope they would take that instead of something much more valuable!

  3. Pamela says:

    I don’t agree with your first suggestion. In fact I cringe whenever I see someone suggest throwing away items. What about donating them or asking around to see if someone you know might need it? I’m not talking about junk or broken items, but not everything you want to get rid of should be thrown away!

  4. david says:

    I am not sure if you know this or not, but my entire life is consumed with environmental issues – it’s what I do for a living and where I spend my energies. I guess I assumed that people would not throw away working or reusable items, but I was wrong. Have added a few words to the post, thanks Pamela.

  5. Amanda says:

    I’m actually doing an electronic version of #5 at the moment. I just bought a 1TB hard drive, and I’m burning all my DVDs and CDs onto it and then selling the hard copies. I’ll probably end up doing the same for all my correspondence/bills as well – scanning copies onto a hard drive then shredding the original paper copies.

    I think digital media is the way of the future – having everything available in a hard drive rather than hard copies cluttering up a living area.

  6. david says:

    Absolutely Amanda, I am trying to get all mine done too!