Own Less. Live More. Breathe Easy.
Ever dreamed of living a simple life with less mess and more breathable areas in all corners of your home? Many of us put off decluttering the most hidden-away spaces of our home and some, less concealed ones too. With all this time on our hands (and all of it spent at home) why not do something to reorganize and reveal a brand-new home (and life). Overwhelmed? Don’t rush and don’t worry, we’ve put together a guide to tackle a different room each day to make the task manageable. If you’re new to decluttering, start with at least 5-15 minutes of one zone (such as kitchen cabinets) each day, and work your way up once you get into the momentum!
First thing’s first! Container up! You’ll be needing containers or baskets to make the whole process easier. This doesn’t mean you need to go on an online shopping spree right away. Use cardboard boxes you might’ve accumulated, bins, or even large plastic bags to sort and dispose.
These containers can consist of the following 5 categories:
- Put away: This box is for things that are out of their designated location, such as a jacket laying around the kitchen counter.
- Recycle: Things that can be put in a recycling bin including paper and glass.
- Trash: You’ll need one bin for things to throw away immediately. This includes old items that cannot be repaired.
- Fix: This is for things that can be mended with a bit of work. For example, an old pair of shoes that needs cleaning.
- Donate: If you have things you can foresee being of use to someone else, it’s a good idea to keep a donation box to give a charitable organization at a later time.
Once you have your boxes, it’s time to set ‘em up and get started on a room!
Those cluttered cabinets? Empty them out and dispose of old medications, expired toiletries makeup and skincare products. Trust us when we say that no good comes out of using outdated products on your skin. When putting back the useful items in a neat, orderly way, make sure to keep the things you grab for the most at eye-level. This will simplify your routine in the morning, evening- and everything in between. Do the same for drawers, and scan through the items rather than spending too long evaluating what to keep and toss. Don’t forget that cluttered place below your sink (we know you’ve been hiding all the mess in there!)
Once these spaces are decluttered, make sure to go through your bath area, and put away all the bottles and items you won’t be using every day. Keep the essentials and organize them in a presentable way. Why not add some candles to the side to really make the space inviting and relaxing?
Let’s start with the center of the room. Make your bed. Then, make it a habit to do this every single morning, if you haven’t already! It’s no myth that this kick-starts your brain into productive-mode each day. Next, let’s get to that night-stand and remove anything that doesn’t belong there…books you’ve read, empty cups, a flashlight…those all belong in your ‘Put Away’ Bin.
It’s now time for the tops of your drawers, dressers and chests. Repeat the same thing, and put any clothes that need folding in the ‘Put Away’ Bin. When going through each drawer, fold or roll neatly, and anything that you haven’t worn in more than six months- don’t lie to yourself. You probably won’t be wearing it again soon, so you may want to consider the donation box.
If you have a vanity table in your room, take charge of that next. Yup, time to toss out that face lotion you haven’t been using in six months. Make sure to recycle bottles! Now, resist the urge to hold on to things and shove them back in those drawers. If that’s not where it belongs, ‘Put Away!’ – you can do this!
Return all things to their designated places. Now what about all the clothes lying around? Good thing we’re doing the closet next!
Ah- the closet! A place where many of us are guilty for storing the most mess and clutter. Deep breath- we’re going to do this! One step at a time. Start removing and sorting items by type, for example, shoes, dresses, denim and so on. It’s much easier to figure out whether a pair of jeans needs to be tossed when you’re staring at them in a whole pile of other jeans! Now go through each type of clothing, and you should come out with four piles:
- A pile of things that need to be put away in a different spot, for example, towels that should go in your dresser.
- A pile of dirty laundry (these can go directly into a hamper ready for the laundry room).
- A pile for things that need tailoring or repair.
- A pile for things you plan to donate later on.
4. Entryways and foyer
Many houses may not have a foyer, but no matter how small your entryway is, the best way to make use of it is to declutter it on a regular basis. This area is one that definitely picks up a lot of clutter from other rooms, so spend a bit of time putting them back in those places. It’s important to note that during this time, sanitizing is so important, especially every time you step out for some groceries and such. Keeping a sanitizer spray bottle in a designated area close to the door to spray your shoes is crucial. Another option is to leave a cupboard or stand for shoes outside the house.
Now, start with any desk side tables or shelving cupboards you have here. Go over each drawer quickly, without hesitation in keeping or tossing items. Go over the tops of each desk and shelves as well. Make sure everything is organized and not too crowded, with designated areas to make things accessible for you.
If you have a closet in the hall, just like your other closet, organize according to type, from shoes to boots to accessories to jackets. The job is done in no time!
5. The Kitchen
Cooking, eating, socializing…it all happens in the kitchen! That’s why keeping this space clutter-free can be a bit of a challenge, but trust us when we say that doing so is all the more rewarding! The kitchen has many different types of items, so your best bet is to focus on one category at a time (for example, bakeware, utensils, glasses and cutting boards).
First, empty each space, assess the items in that place and put them back neatly, if they belong there. Start with bigger storage areas: the pantry and upper cabinets. Move your way down to lower drawers and cabinets.
Once you’ve tackled the storage areas, it’s time for countertops. Keep things you use every single day, and move extra clutter neatly into storage areas. Anything that does not belong in the kitchen goes into the ‘Put Away’ Bin.
6. The Living Room
Like the kitchen, the living room is a challenging one to keep tidy, as the room gets so much use. The added challenge is that it doesn’t have a lot of storage space like the kitchen does. The trick is to come up with permanent storage spaces for things like magazines, TV remotes and books. Also, declutter this room regularly. Don’t worry, it gets easier each time!
You can start by organizing bookcases, consoles and side tables and then work your way towards your coffee table and entertainment area. Clear out the area, assess whether they belong there, then return them to their storage areas.
Onto electronics! Store everything that doesn’t belong to your TV or home theatre system in other areas where you use them. This includes chargers and gadgets. Finally, place everything that belongs in other rooms in your ‘Put Away’ bin.
You’ve finally done it! You’ve made the best use of your time by clearing and maintaining the place you spend the most time in now, your home. Feels like a huge weight lifted off your shoulders, doesn’t it? You can use this guide once a month to continue keeping things orderly, and watch your house shine!