It is so easy to collect things you don’t need in your home. Less clutter-easier to clean also! There is probably excess mail, books, magazines, clothing, and even furniture you don’t and haven’t used in a period of time. Even food in your pantry thatyou won’t use! So let’s start by going room to room to declutter by categorizing:
- Give away to charity
- Garage sales/online selling
That’s all there is to it! The main areas to look for clutter will be the kitchen, closets, and bedrooms.
Food and Kitchen Area
Check out your pantry. Canned food has sell dates or “best if used by” dates on it. Add 2 years to the date unless it infant formula. Perishable food must be cooked or frozen by date stamped on product. When in doubt check the USDA recommendations. Canned food can be given to local pantries or the local food bank. Food banks allocate their food to the pantries throughout the communities. If it is damaged and you wouldn’t eat it-throw it out! Needed items are soups, ramen noodles, canned meat products-(tuna, Chef Boyardee, Vienna sausage), juices, diapers, macaroni/cheese, and peanut butter.
By removing older food from your refrigerator you will begin to see what you really need to eat nutritionally and safely. Any crystallized product should be thrown away immediately. Eggs are only good 3-5 weeks. When in doubt-throw it out!
What is on your kitchen counter? Appliances, canisters, food, mail, and what else? What do you really need on there? How often do you use the mixer or blender? If you use it more than 2 times a week, then keep it on the counter. Otherwise store it away to give you room and peace of mind. Same thing for canisters of flour, sugar, coffee, and other items. If you don’t use them-move them. Mail should be sorted daily into bills, announcements, and other family member mail. Old events, announcements, and coupons should be thrown away if not useful. Keep refrigerator decluttered of old flyers too. Keep the current pictures and children artwork up and frame the older items. Get a colored bin for each member of household. As you declutter take their personal items and put in appropriate bin for pick up that day.
Bedrooms and Closets
Can you easily open the closet doors? If not, start with the items on the floor. Get a large plastic bag for the trash, and 2 storage bins to use for Charity or Garage Sale (if you intend to have one!). If you haven’t used it and don’t intend to use it- move to a bin. Look at jackets that haven’t been worn, sports equipment, boxes, and toys. Shoes can be divided into boots or winter shoes, sandals or summer shoes, dressy, and casual. Use rubber baskets or totes for each shoe category in the closet. Keep the current season shoes in view, and others in baskets. Scarves, belts, and other accessories can be grouped together
Dresser drawers should be gone through every 6 months. Are there dated sweaters that have not been worn in over a year in your closet or drawer? What about bathing suits that are worn out or you know don’t fit? We tend to hang on to clothing that bring back memories but we don’t wear. Get out the sorting bins for Charity, Trash, or Garage Sale. Holey socks-thrown them out! Suddenly, there is room everywhere!
Consider giving away or boxing old books and magazines also. Dust mites thrive in books and paper goods. De-cluttering will help to de-stress and relax your whole cleaning experience.