Start this summer on the right foot by decluttering problem areas in your home. These areas tend to accumulate things all year long. Removing the clutter means a nice, clean look.
Before you begin, get several boxes for sorting things. You’ll want one labeled trash, one for donations, and one for recycling. Have a box for items you are planning on selling if you are going that route.
Winter is over, start pulling out jackets, coats, hats, sweaters, and mittens that you either haven’t worn in a few years or ones you just need to store until next winter. Start sorting them into your boxes. Be ruthless. If you didn’t wear it last year, and you haven’t this year, then get rid of it.
Now is the time to go through your closet. The rule of thumb is for every piece of clothing you bring in, you remove one. Pull out clothing that is worn out, needs repair, or is outdated. If it doesn’t fit, donate it or sell it.
There are tons of environmental benefits associated with recycling your clothing. It can reduce the number of pesticides used in growing cotton or make fabrics from petroleum sources and the water needed to dye fabrics, and cuts down on the pollutants, greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds released into the our water sources and air from the manufacturing processes.
#2 – Bedding & Linens
Did you get a new bed set for Christmas? Then sell or donate the older one to a shelter or family in need. Go through your blankets and keep only what you really need or has special meaning. Take stock of sheets and pillowcases too.
Check your linen closet for towels and wash clothes that need to go. Tear towels into washcloth size rags for in the car or garage. Consider contacting your local animal shelter as they are often in need of towels.
#3 – Holiday Supplies and Decoration
Still, have those holiday decorations laying around in the garage? Take the time to organize and purge. You can buy containers that hold wrapping paper rolls and let your store ornaments safely. If you use red or green totes, you will recognize them easily for next Christmas.
Test your lights before storing them away for the year. Sort through ornaments and toss any that are broken or you are not using anymore. Old garland has a way of accumulating so sort through your garland. Place the garland you’re keeping in large Ziplock bags to prevent tangling. Do the same thing with your lights.
#4 The Kids & Crafts
Spring is actually the perfect time to clean out the kid’s room. They probably got new toys or gadgets from the holidays which will make clearing out the old ones easier. If the toys are broken or have missing pieces, trash them. If your child has outgrown them and they’re still in good shape, donate them. If your area has a yard sale group, sell them if they are in excellent shape.
After taking care of the kid’s room, the craft closet is next. Many families do a lot of crafting over the year, especially during the holidays. Check for things like dried up glue, broken crayons, and markers without lids. Then, while things are on clearance, stock up for a new year of creative fun.
#5 – Books & Papers
Paperwork can pile up over time. Put aside a few hours when you can sort through magazines and mail. Donate magazines to local senior centers. If there is an article you want to save pull it out and put it in a folder. Toss any paper products you don’t want into the recycle or trash box. Stack things that you’re keeping. File immediately.
Bookshelves are the next logical thing to declutter. Dust your shelves thoroughly. Organize any that have gotten out of place. It’s a great time to make a section on books you want to read. Donate books you have read or don’t need anymore.
These high clutter areas can keep you from starting the New Year with a clean house. Don’t try to do it all in one day. Do one area at a time. An organized house is a stress-free house, which is definitely a good thing.