We have all been there
As organized as I can be with some things in my life, other areas I am simply a wreck. Anyone else feel that way? Usually my day ends with me feeling like one big hot mess. A never ending list of things that I didn’t get to and feeling like my home is a complete disaster like a bomb went off. The last thing (yet the thing I want to do the most) is declutter. I am embarrassingly going to show a couple of pictures during this post to show how things clutter up for me and to show I am just like you.
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It’s not that bad right? A lot of paper. That’s my worst enemy. My home is nowhere near Pinterest perfect and I would hardly call anything in my house #instaperfect. But as you can see, there is a lot of clutter. Papers piled, random toys and pieces everywhere, scattered pens and pencils, clothes sprinkled in random places, boxes from various packages, etc. If your home is also looking like this, let me be the first to say that there is nothing to be ashamed of and we have ALL been there.
There are endless reasons that decluttering can be beneficial! From releasing the physical burden of organizing and cleaning up all the time, to the mental stress of not seeing as much work around the house and having systems to help you remember things.
Decluttering can help your entire family without even knowing it! When you come up with solutions that meet their needs (not just aesthetics), they are less likely to clutter and more likely to put things where they belong. This can leave you more relieved that you aren’t picking up after them, and create a better home life among the entire family.
Mess Versus Clutter
Now even though my home is clearly cluttered, it is not messy. What’s the difference? To me, clutter is described above. Things everywhere in an unorganized state. Nothing has a “home” or you just don’t put it where it belongs. Items just end up everywhere.
On the other hand, mess is gross. It’s the dishes that are piling up for a week that are beginning to smell. The mold growing in the bathtub from not being cleaned frequently. It’s a worse state than just being cluttered. I’m going to admit right now that if this is how your home is, this post is not designed for you. Again, I think some of us have been there even if we don’t want to admit it (at least with one thing or another).
How to Use This Guide
This is exactly what it says. A guide. This is simply 30 things that I have personally done to declutter my home that worked for me. My biggest problem is finding a home for things, making sure things get put back in their home, and getting rid of older items that are taking up much needed space. You’ll need to find your biggest pain points for your family and create solutions to help you be successful.
There could always be more to do, am I right? But this is a good start to take action! Who said you have to stop at 30 days? Declutter a little everyday to keep your home and mind clear. The more you keep up with it everyday, the less you will have to do at one time. Who wants to take an entire day to clean and declutter? We have better and more pressing things to do with our time. But sometimes, that method works because you are extremely motivated. In that case, knock the whole list out in a day!
While I once admired the minimalist lifestyle (and still do); realistically, that is just not how my family is. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t strive for less possessions and clear out old things to lower the amount of unnecessary items in the home. Less items in the home gives you a greater chance of being successful in your mission to a clutter free life.
This can be done out of order, but I have it organized from common areas, to private areas, then areas that families may or may not have. I always feel more stressed when my living/kitchen areas are cluttered because if I have visitors, that’s what they see. So I like to tackle that section first.
Things You May Need
Some of the items of this list are simply clearing out junk; while others are organizing and creating solutions for your home. I show some examples, but they are more broad. Always think about you and what will work for your family. Here is a list with links available to look at recommended items mentioned in the checklist:
- If you haven’t already, download the checklist here! This will be your guide over the next 30 days. You can print it and put it somewhere you will see it everyday to manually check off (who doesn’t love the satisfaction of crossing off a to-do list). Or (speaking of clutter), you can screenshot it on your phone and simply look at the photo everyday!
- Oversized trash bags – You know the ones I mean. The big, black, 30 gallon trash bags. They sell them at hardware stores because of their size. This is more cost efficient and holds more for things on the list like donation items. Any larger (like 50 gallons) and you won’t be able to carry them.
- Paper Shredder – Lets face it. Hand shredding private and personal documents is a pain. Especially when it comes to items like thick loan documents or insurance policies. Save yourself the trouble and get a shredder. We have had this one from Amazon for 5 years now and it still runs like a charm. It’s also a little smaller in size, so it hides nicely at our command center entry table. We don’t shred thick stacks, so if you frequently do, then you may want to look into one that does more paper at a time.
- Filing cabinet – Whether single or married with children, you need a filing system. We have a good size 2 drawer filing cabinet like this. We keep it in our master closet with our fire-proof safe. But when it was just me, I got away with having one like this. I could store it on my closet floor, making it out of the way but easily accessible. There are plenty of options for everyone’s filing needs.
- Storage solutions – I mention a variety of storage options. Finding the right storage options can be overwhelming. Here is a list of options mentioned in the guide. These are strictly what I have used (meaning it worked for my space), but go with what works for your family! Your home may not be able to utilize the same solutions.
- Shelf liners – I love this plastic shelf liner for the shelf in our laundry room (shown below). If any cleaners or substances leak, I don’t have to worry about cleaning up a bigger mess and that my custom built wood shelf I built is ruined. This is great for under the kitchen sink and even food shelving too (although food storage options like the above may help with this as well).