Declutter your home, simplify your life

Every year at this time, Recycla craves simplicity and order in her home.  After the excesses of the holidays (food, decorations, parties, etc.), she’s ready to have LESS in her life, so she’s been organizing closets and drawers and generally bringing more order into her life.

Based on the articles that Recycla is seeing online, a lot of people are in the mood to simplify and organize.  So with this in mind, she has come up with a list of ideas to help you:

First of all, pick up all the stuff that’s lying around:  Recycle your old magazines and newspapers.  Clear the mess off your kitchen counters.  Pick up whatever is lying on the floor.  Clean out your closets.  Check Earth 911 to see what you can recycle.

This might seem like a lot to do all at once, so don’t give up and say the job is too big, just break up the project into smaller bits.  Start by clearing off your coffee table and deal with all those old issues of the New Yorker.  There, doesn’t your living room look nicer already?  Next, put away all the shoes littering the front hall.  After that, put away 3-5 items every time you’re in the kitchen.  When you feel ready for a larger project, completely empty a drawer full of junk, wipe it clean, and start sorting the contents.  After that, tackle a closet.  Eventually, you’ll get it all done.  It might take weeks, but that’s okay.

Think about your possessions.  Do you really need all that stuff? Do you have anything you can sell on Craigslist or eBay?  Alternately, give your excess stuff to someone else, donate it to a nonprofit, or Freecycle it.

Once your house is cleaned and de-cluttered, don’t bring more stuff in.  Seriously, do you need more knick-knacks or throw pillows?  No, you do not.  Buy only what you need.  Think long and hard about what comes into your home.  You’ll keep your house clutter-free AND save money.

Tell the Eco Women:  Are you trying to de-clutter your home?  What steps are you taking to make it happen?

Photo credits:  Yahoo Images.


6 thoughts on “Declutter your home, simplify your life

  1. Before Christmas, I kept hinting that one “gift” I would like would be help in cleaning up our basement — and I got it!! We were also having a bunch of teenage boys over for my son’s birthday, so that helped motivate us, too. I find that sorting through stuff is so much easier with company. When I’m on the fence about tossing or keeping, it helps to have another opinion. Now if it would warm up enough to tackle the garage…

  2. I’m “shopping my closet” to really par down my clothes since I have way too many and only wear a very small percentage.

    Basically you grab three boxes or bags: one marked Donate, one marked Storage, and one marked Alterations; then you try on everything you own. Yes, every single thing. Wear a neutral shirt (ex. white fitted tee) and try on every bottom, then do the reverse, try tops with a neutral bottom (khakis or jeans) and the proper undergarments. You are checking that things actually fit well, are comfortable and look flattering. Be honest and only keep things that really fit, and that you really wear. After that, its shoes!

    Once all is said and done, put what really fits into your closet or drawers, what will probably fit again in the near future (say, when I’m done breastfeeding) into the into the storage box, what fits minus a quick alteration (a hem, a missing button, etc) into the alteration box (with a deadline!), and what you are getting rid of into stuff you can donate (we donate to Purple Heart).

    Once that is done I’ll use the extra room in my closet as storage, and therefore a starting point to cleaning up other areas of the house!

  3. I’ve been paring down the big piles over the last few years–we have a “One in, one out” rule, so before the holidays we purge to make room for any new things. Now that the big stuff is under control, I’ve begun fleecing out those dark corners. One pile at a time, a couple a month. It does feel so good.

  4. When you’re sorting and donating, please remember your local schools! Before you recycle those magazines, see if they’re appropriate for kids. You’d be amazed what a creative child can do with a cut-out collage assignment.

  5. I’ve been in a major decluttering phase myself lately, and while I’ve been decluttering a bit here and there for the past few years, reading *Clearing Your Clutter with Feng Shui* really gave me a huge push and put this whole process in a new light. I would recommend this book to anyone who is serious about looking at all of their “stuff” in a whole new way.

    The one biggest thing that has helped me to kick my decluttering into overdrive is to lose the guilt about things people gave you, things that you think you might need some day, etc. Just get rid of it, and I promise you that you’ll feel better.

    Happy decluttering!

  6. Oh yeah, one more thing: donate household items to your local women’s shelter. These organizations put together care packages for the women who are leaving to start a new life. Clothes are welcome, too, because a lot of the time, these women left their homes with next to nothing. Children’s clothes and toys are also very useful, since many women come to shelters with their little ones in tow.

    Instead of buying new things, see if you can repurpose anything you’re getting rid of. I just turned an unusual planter into a pen cup for my home office. There are lots of things in your home that can get a new life and keep you out of the store.

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