These ideas are sure to make decluttering your home more manageable

These ideas are sure to make decluttering your home more manageable

The idea is daunting but there are ways to make decluttering feel less overwhelming and more rewarding.


With the holidays approaching – and all the visitors and parties that come with the festive season – this is the perfect time of year to tackle any clutter around the house. But we know how the impending avalanche of that piled-too-high closet can make it easy to put decluttering off. We’ve rounded up a few clever ways to make the task feel easier – and you don’t have to spend a fortune on supplies, either.

 

Try the three-pile strategy

The saying may be ‘Out with the old and in with the new’, but let’s just focus on the out part for now. A great method is to create three piles, grouping your items into containers to keep, purge/donate or sell. This streamlines the process and gets the excess clutter out of the way quickly. This strategy can be applied to any type of mess, whether it’s in the entryway or the back garden.

 

Manage the mail

You’re not alone if it seems like every flat surface in your home has become a landing strip for mail. Keep on top of it by making sure bills have a designated place where you can pop them as soon as they land in the mailbox. This is handy as it helps you remember to pay them! As for all that junk mail? Shred or recycle it as soon as it arrives. When you receive a new magazine, discard another to keep the stack to a minimum, and set up a festive display for holiday cards – a long piece of twine and some clothes pins should do the trick.

 

Enhance the entryway

Ah, the entryway – where everyone wants to drop their things and dash off. Backpacks, lunchboxes, work bags, gym kits, keys and, of course, shoes – so many shoes! The key for this space is order. Try low shelves with cubbies where everyone can store their shoes and hang pegs for coat and bag storage to keep the floor clutter-free.

 

Streamline the bathroom

Given the amount of family foot traffic, the bathroom’s organization can fall apart pretty quickly. Be ruthless about expired cosmetics, medications and almost-empty bottles of shampoo – trash them as soon as they’re out of date or used up (or in the case of medications, give them to your pharmacist to dispose of correctly). Next, stack small storage boxes under the sink or in the linen closet to store hair elastics, bobby pins, brushes and anything else that clutters up the counters. Giving everyone a personal shower caddy will help to minimize mess – and it’ll settle any squabbles over whose products are whose!

 

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Free up the family room

It’s tough to relax in the family room when it’s littered with clutter, so have a ‘clear coffee table’ policy, and keep on top of loose homework, mail and magazines by creating a filing system – simply assign each person in the family his or her own folder. You can establish a designated spot – baskets work well – for electronics such as phone chargers and the TV remote. And a small sofa-side tray works wonders for keeping coasters and spectacles out of the way but easily reachable.

 

Refresh the refrigerator

How does the fridge get packed so quickly? A weekly clean out will help you stay on top of old leftovers and jars that are almost empty or haven’t been used in six months, which is a good rule of thumb for ditching old food, whether it’s been opened or not. And don’t forget about the freezer. Anything hanging around in there for nine months or more should be tossed.

 

Prioritize what's in the pantry

Keep order in your cupboards by separating long-term dry goods (flour, rice, pasta) from short-term items such as cereal, oatmeal, cookies and crackers. Keep the most-used items at eye level and store specialty items or appliances that you only use once in a while (like that waffle maker) on the top shelf.

 

And finally…

Once all the clutter is under control, give your rooms an extra sparkle by tackling the floors with a Swiffer Sweeper. The dry cloth will trap and lock dirt, dust and hair, while the wet cloth dissolves dirt and grime. Simple!

 

Do you have ideas about how to purge the junk and get more organized? Share them below!

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