I would consider my home pretty simple and not overflowing with objects, but I still feel like I have too much stuff. For me the less stuff I have, the less I have to clean. A clean and clutter free home makes me much less stressed, and allows me to relax and enjoy my home more. It’s harder to declutter when you have kids, but here are 5 simple steps to get you started!
1. Start a donate bag:
Make it a BIG bag! Have it in a place you can reach easily but it’s still tucked away out of site. For me it’s in my hall closet. I usually have it full in a few weeks, so I make a monthly Goodwill drop off run. Y’all it’s the best feeling. I always think, “How did I accumulate this much stuff that I can empty a few large bags every month?!” The answer is, crap comes in from lots of places, events, school, family, etc.
2. Start Gathering:
Go room-by-room and start gathering items you don’t need or haven’t used in the past year. This is the first round of decluttering. These items won’t have sentimental value, and won’t be hard for you to get rid of. An example of these items would be; expired makeup/hair care products, old papers/magazines, mismatched Tupperware, duplicate kitchen items, books you don’t want to read again, clothes that don’t fit right, items that are broken and you can’t fix.
3. Remove the kids/Explain the purpose:
If your kids are young like mine (4 and 1) declutter their rooms when they aren’t around. I’ve donated SO many toys over the years, and my son has never noticed. I understand this only gets harder as your kids age, but I recommend giving them a bag and asking them to go through their stuff (toys and clothes) to get rid of anything they don’t want or use anymore. Use it as a learning lesson, and let them know you will be donating the items to kids that are less fortunate.
4. Cherish memories not stuff:
I have thousands of photos on my computer, and you better believe they are all backed up. When it comes to actual objects, it’s pretty easy for me to part with most. Many people hold on to an item because it’s tied to a memory. Those memories live in our mind and hearts. You don’t have to keep every adorable outfit your child wore, or every piece of art they’ve ever made. Take a photo of them, and when you look back on the photo, the memory was be just as vivid as if you had the item.
5. Restrict What You Bring In:
When you are trying to declutter, you’ve got to stop the flow of items coming in to your home. Don’t take free items (no, you don’t need ANOTHER koozie), ask for clutter free gifts like a gift card to a restaurant or play-park. You want the amount of items going out of your home to be more than the items coming in!
I hope these tips help jump start your Spring cleaning and make your life a little less stressful!