De-clutter in 5 Steps!

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Keeping a totally organized home is nearly impossible with small children running about.  You can still help yourself out though, by taming the mess so to speak. Simply getting rid of the excess stuff has really helped me a lot.

I have been finding myself completely overwhelmed with the mess around our house lately, and I just have not been able to keep up with it. So I decided to purge some things.

1. The kids toys

This is really better to do when they are not around or at least occupied with something else.  I went through the entire house with two trash bags (one for the dumpster and one for donation). Anything my kids never really showed interest in anymore and every single broken/puppy chewed up mangled toy got the axe. There is absolutely zero room for emotion during this purge. It doesn’t matter who gave it to them or anything like that-if the kids don’t play with it anymore or its just a broken/messed up piece of junk anyway it needs to go.  All it is doing  is contributing to the mess in your home-which only creates stress for you.

2. Papers (loose papers/mail/magazines/newspapers/etc.)

This one requires a small box and a trash bag-and possibly a shredder.  First, go through your entire home and scoop up all of the paper lying about including magazines and newspapers.  If it’s something you know you aren’t going to read or something unimportant than put it in the trashbag.  If it may be something important put it in the box to look at after you are finished with this purge.  Any papers with sensitive information on them that you decide can be tossed, I recommend shredding instead of just putting them in the garbage.

3. Clothing and other linens.

Most of us have a never ending pile of laundry, whether it’s waiting to be washed, dried, folded, or dried again.;) Take everyone’s clothes and dump them in separate piles on the floor/bed-whatever. Grab a few boxes or space saver bags, and of course a trash bag or two. Start working your way through it all.  All winter clothes put in storage, check.  Anything with rips, tears, holes, or permanent stains, must go. Don’t get sentimental about it. They’ve had a good run after all. Now, anything that no longer fits or you know you (or they) will never wear, donate-unless you’re planning on more kids, then put it in storage. Now, for those of you who are big on DIY and repurposing materials then by all means craft away. But put those things in a designated box that you can easily put away but get to when need be.  I cannot stress the importance of being real with yourself about holding on to certain items for crafts-if you know you’re never going to follow through with it, do yourself a favor and chunk it or give it to someone who can really use it.  I have been guilty of hoarding in the past, but all it really does is add to the clutter and make it harder to organize.

4. The kitchen.

The kitchen can get pretty overwhelming to. First things first, grab that trash bag! Start with the food-check expiration dates on everything from cans, boxes, jars, and bags. Expired? Chunk it. Go through your cookware-anything that has the nonstick coating peeling or rusting needs to go-it can be hazardous. Put things away in a manner that makes sense to you, that’ll make it easier to get to when you need it. For me-snack foods go in the cupboard on the other side of the kitchen whereas the cooking utensils and supplies are housed in the cabinets around the stove, and the dinnerware stays in the cabinets around the sink. Easy peasy!

5. Make a home for every item.

Basically after you rid yourself of the excess, try to keep in mind a specific place for certain items to belong. Try to make it a habit to put it right back where you found it. Not always easy when you are busy with kids or work but if you make the effort it can really cut out some stress.

I hope these simple steps can help some of you-they’ve really helped me so far. I’m not saying my house is always spotless or anything-in fact it usually looks like a tornado went through at least at certain times of the day but just getting rid of the excess junk has helped soooo much! The kids have gotten to an age where they are capable of putting their toys away so that too has become part of the evening routine, and has definitely helped a lot. I have to say limiting the clutter has made me so much calmer and I don’t feel as stressed during the day trying to figure out how I’m going to get this and that done.

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