Thursday, February 1, 2024 / by Bell Home Team
Embarking on the journey to declutter your space can be daunting, but it doesn't have to consume a huge chunk of your time. By breaking down the process into manageable tasks, you can achieve a serene and clutter-free environment without overwhelming yourself. Here are 10 quick and effective ways to kickstart your decluttering journey, whether you're a homeowner seeking a more organized space or a potential seller preparing your home for listing.
- Clear the Kitchen Counter
Oh, those kitchen counters. Generally, this ends up being the dumping ground for all sorts of odds and ends, from junk mail to rubber bands, shopping bags and whatever else you had to set down as you were going through the house. Tackle this common collection site by rolling up your sleeves and getting to it. Start by recycling unneeded papers and organizing items. Establish a defined drop-spot for frequent items to prevent future clutter. For example, try a mason jar for pocket change, a cute tray for mail and papers, or a basket (or two) for re-usable shopping bags. Another idea if you’re crammed for space is to install shelves on the wall to gain more storage from unused wall areas. Decorate shelves with baskets, trays, and jars (or other containers) to give yourself new homes for all the odds and ends that wind up landing on your counters. Don’t forget to add a pretty succulent for a trendy touch.
- Make Space Under the Kitchen Sink:
Have you taken a close look under your kitchen sink lately? Often, this space turns into a repository for assorted cleaning products, plastic bags, and a mishmash of tools. Start by emptying the entire space and giving the cabinet a thorough cleaning. Then, selectively reintroduce only the items you genuinely use and that are in good condition. Dispose of empty containers, recycle those old, dirty plastic bags (available at many markets), and relocate tools used less frequently to a more suitable storage area. To take it a step further, check out the variety of cabinet storage options to keep this area manageable and function friendly. From shelves, sliding tiered baskets, mini storage bins, to installed mini shelves inside cabinet doors, there are so many options to keep this space clean and easy to find what you need.
- Organize One Bookcase:
Keeping a lifetime worth of books can be a lot to store, and the space needed for that can end up being an entire library in your home. If you’re the type of person with a large book collection spread throughout the house, a manageable way to begin organizing these is by decluttering just one bookcase. With an empty shopping bag or box at the ready, start to fill it with books you no longer want or read. As you go through your books, focus on keeping only those that bring joy or serve a purpose. When this is done, IMMEDIATELY take the bag(s) to your car and set a plan to donate or sell them. Clearing out some unneeded books can gain you additional space for better storing practices in the future. If you have a new gap in the bookcase, put a trendy basket there to hold electronics.
- Transform Your Bedside Table with a Tranquil Essence:
Why end your day and start the morning with a cluttered nightstand? Clear the stacks of books, scattered notes, and old water glasses, wiping away coffee rings for a fresh beginning. Keep only your current reading, a phone charger, and maybe add a candle or a small house plant to reveal a calming vibe.
- Apparel Appraisal, One Drawer at a Time:
The daunting task of going through your wardrobe stops a lot of people in their tracks. A better way to go about this is by setting out to organize your clothes systematically by focusing on one drawer at a time. You can even set a timer to give yourself a designated 30-min slot to work at this. Using a few shopping bags, separate items to be rid of by quality clothes for selling or donation from worn-out items destined for textile recycling. After a few sessions of appraisal, you’ll be grateful for the spare space and knowing where everything is again!
- Simplify the Linen Closet:
Do you wince at the thought of your linen closet? If you’ve been accumulating linens for years without purging the old ones, chances are your closet is full – or overstuffed. Just a quick 30-minute session to sort out your household linens, towels, and anything else that might’ve ended up there will set your mind at ease. Get rid of any old sheets that you don’t like or use anymore and purge any frayed towels. Consider donating to textile recycling bins or charitable donation centers.
- Bring Order to Craft & Hobby Stations:
Whether you're a parent with kids at home or a DIY enthusiast, the art supply cupboard or your hobby area is prone to becoming disorganized. Getting things sorted out not only makes it more enjoyable to start up your next project but will also help you pair up common items and find that specific brush you were looking for. Discard or recycle empty containers and dried-up markers. Organize what remains, and if the cupboard or area still seems overloaded, think about donating a bag full of art supplies to a local school or family shelter.
- Sort Out the Toy Chest:
While dedicating just half an hour may not suffice to tackle an entire child's room, it proves ample time to declutter one notably messy toy chest or bin. Start by relocating all the toys to an area with sufficient space. Return toys that clearly belong elsewhere to their designated spots (e.g., return stray puzzle pieces to the puzzle box) and set aside any broken items for repair. Fill a bag with unwanted toys and promptly place it in the car, preventing the toys from finding their way back into the toy chest.
- Remove Worn and Outgrown Children’s Clothes:
Delve into the process by addressing one drawer, shelf, or hanging rack at a time, extracting any of your child's garments that are either too small or too damaged to be worn. For items intended to be saved for a younger child, meticulously fold them and deposit them into a labeled bin specifying the size (e.g., 2T) in a storage closet. Place any clothing that is excessively worn or damaged into a bag designated for your nearest textile recycling bin.
- Clear Your Desktop:
Rather than doom scrolling when you procrastinate work, set a timer for a desk-centered clutter-blasting session. Sort, file, and organize papers, shred unneeded documents, and declutter drawers for a more organized workspace.
Tackling clutter doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. By dedicating small chunks of time to specific tasks, you can make significant strides in creating a more organized and serene living space. Whether you're a homeowner looking to enhance your living environment or a potential seller preparing your home for the market, these quick decluttering tips can make a substantial difference in achieving your goals.