Drawers filled with things you don’t remember buying, storage boxes crammed under your bed and a whole Narnia stuffed at the back of your wardrobe. Sound familiar? If yes then you’re not alone (even Monica had a closet she wasn’t so proud of!). We all hate clutter but somehow find ourselves drowning in it.
Your books shelves can do waaay better than storing old grade school curriculum. So take this month’s 30 Day Challenge and with a little elbow grease, reclaim valuable space in your homes from this clutter monster!
Get The Boxes Ready
First thing you need to do is get three boxes and label them ‘keep’, ‘donate’ and ‘toss’.A turtleneck you haven’t worn for two years; donate. Old magazines; trash. Pretty photo frame; keep.
Divide And Conquer
I doubt whoever came up with this strategy would’ve ever thought of it being used for home cleaning!
Choose a single room and don’t start another until you are done in the first one. Enter the room and simply look around, and note what annoys you the most. Now, divide that room into smaller parts still and start with one (think under the bed, closet, dresser, armoire and side tables in a bedroom).
The 3 Questions
Pick up an object and ask yourself:
- When was the last time I used it?
- Would I buy the same thing again?
- Am I honestly going to use it again anytime soon?
This will help you decide whether you truly need that thing or are holding on to it for no reason.
Set one day aside for each room and don’t overwork yourself. Speeding up might drain your energy faster leaving the task unsatisfactorily done. So, take your time and thoroughly get rid of the junk.
Don’t Hold On
When you decide what you are going to do with a certain object, stick to your decision. Once you trash it, just move on. If you keep thinking about new uses for the stuff, you’d find yourself reaching in that box over and over again and you do knowthat it’s only going to pile up again.
And finally, to help you I’ve made a list of the stuff I could think of that we don’t need but still end up storing. Trash or donate everything in this list.
- Old magazines/newspapers
- Old notebooks
- Books you’d never read again
- Old paid bills
- Old planners
- Expired coupons
- Wedding/birthday invites (Yes, they are pretty. Now toss ‘em!)
- Old calendars
- Ticket stubs
- Damaged organizers/file covers
- Sticky notes
- Business cards
- Vases you don’t ever use
- Broken decoration accessories
- Mismatched socks
- Shoes you haven’t worn in a year
- Clothes you haven’t worn last season
- Old bed linens
- Frayed towels
- Old bathmats
- Hangers from the drycleaner (you have gathered enough, come on!)
- Cushions with stains that won’t go
- Broken umbrellas
- Leftover crafts supplies
- Expired cosmetics
- Dried nailpolish
- Makeup brushes with bristles you don’t like
- Hair accessories you don’t use
- Broken/mismatched jewelry
- Cotton balls that are too old
- Old bags/wallets
- Frayed belts
- Expired spices
- Expired foodstuff
- Rusty cookware
- Shopping bags
- Disposable cups
- Plastic cutlery
- Broken/ outdated electronics
- Useless electrical components (think plugs and pieces of wire)
- Broken cellphone chargers and earphones
- Old manuals
- Scratched CD’s
- Old movies
- Broken flash drives
- Computer cables
- Old mail
- Fused bulbs
- Rusty tools
- Expired toiletries
- Sample size toiletries
- Expired medicines
- Medicines with missing labels
- Gifts you never really liked
- Old prescription glasses
- Broken sunglasses
- Damaged candles
- Leftover party decor
- Empty boxes
- Pens that don’t write
- Scraps of paper
- Old toys
- Video games you’ll never play again (so long, my friend!)
- Advertisement brochures