Thursday, January 5, 2012

42 IHeart: Clutter Busting Tips & Tricks!

Today I am kicking off a new feature here at IHeart Organizing that I am very excited about!  Organizing works wonders in different ways for different people, and the number of amazing organizing DIY projects that are out there are far more than I could ever personally tackle and write about.  It is my personal goal to ensure that this blog to be FULL of information, ideas and inspiration, which is why I am hoping to have occasional "guests" here to share their organizational awesomeness with us!


Now that the holidays are over, you may be realizing that you have accumulated more than your home can handle.  And many of you are excited to start purging and organizing with the start of a new year.  That is why today I asked Cristin from Simplified Bee, to stop by with some great clutter conquering tips and tricks!


"We all have sentimental items that we cherish and want to store away, but when is it too much?  And when is it clutter?  Clutter is basically anything that takes up space and isn't improving or making your life better.  If you have clothing in your closet that you haven't worn in years, piles of mail on the counter, toys in every corner or trouble finding important documents, it is time for you to think about purging and decluttering your home.  For many of my clients, letting go of items is the biggest hurdle when organizing their home.


Here are some guidelines and questions you should ask when determining whether to toss/recycle, donate to charity or keep:

Take one item at a time when determining to keep it or not.  While sorting, keep in mind that the goal is to purge and reduce the amount of stuff in your home.  The best decisions are the ones that are made quickly.



If you get stuck and can't decide what to do with a particular item, ask yourself clarifying questions including:
  • When is the last time you used this item and was it in the last year?
  • Is it broken, damaged or the wrong size?
  • Does it make you happy or have sentimental value?
  • Do you really need this item?


For many of us, holding onto the clutter is emotional.  Our possessions reflect who we are, who we are not and who we wish to be.  Emotional attachment to items is something most of us do and the primary reason people hold onto clutter.  Pretty Neat suggests that if you can't make a decision on whether or not to get rid of an item, put it in a review box for a specified period of time.  When the time is up, it should be easier to make the decision.  I would recommend having a limit to how many items can go into the "review box".  It should only be used on very select items and as sparingly as possible.  Again, the goal is to reduce the clutter in your home and make it more functional and beautiful.


Much of the clutter in your home could actually be trash.  Here are some items that are the most obvious to throw away and recycle whenever possible:
  • Junk mail, old magazines and newspapers
  • Expired food, make-up and medicine.  Check with your local recycling center on how and where to dispose of medications safely.
  • Clothing that is damaged, stained or ripped beyond repair.
  • Boxes that are damaged or no longer useful
  • Broken toys, games and electronic equipment




An easy way to declutter your home is to donate items you don't use, but are still in good condition.  Donating to a family, friends or a local charity is a great place for used clothing, furniture, CD's/DVD's, toys, tools and so much more!

 Once you have decluttered your home, the best way to keep it that way is to set up daily and weekly maintenance sessions.  Taking fifteen minutes everyday to tackle that mail, put toys away and organize the entry or mudroom.  At least one a month file away papers in your in box, organize the pantry and review your closet for pieces that could be donated.

Are you ready to conquer the clutter in your home?  There is no better time than today.

Happy New Year!"



Endless thanks to Cristin for sharing her expertise and offering some decluttering guidance!  Who's ready to get started?  What other tips and tricks do you have for pairing down and simplifying?




* all photos courtesy of LONNY Magazine

42 comments:

  1. The timing of this is perfect. I've been working with teachers on decluttering their classrooms. It's so challenging because it is hard not to get attached to the "stuff." I'm always happy when the recycling truck or the donation van comes and whisks it away though.


    ❤Jodi from...
    ★★The Clutter-Free Classroom★★
    Helping Teachers Get Organized

    ReplyDelete
  2. My best tip is to get rid of one thing when you bring something new in. Works like a charm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been doing that too! Or at least I'm trying my best to implement it. So far it's worked for my clothes. Now to push for applying it to other areas of the house!

      Delete
  3. What great timing! My hubby and I purged all January 2nd. We have a little more to go. We already donated a ton to the Goodwill and will be donating some more after we go through our kitchen. Our apartment space is very limiting when it comes to storage, so we have a lot in our storage room. However, I hate seeing all that stuff in the storage room, so we went thorough and got rid of as much as possible. It's much neater in there now. I'm writing a post on it for next week.

    By the way, if you are interested, I'm hosting a giveaway to win a Shabby Apple dress. If you are interested, you should stop by and enter!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so great. Thanks for the guest post. These photo's are super inspiring. Can't wait to begin tackling the closet and bathroom!

    ReplyDelete
  5. THANK YOU!!! I have been wanting to tackle de-cluttering my apartment for some time now, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it because the task seems too daunting and overwhelming. By breaking it down into sections, I think I may finally be able to tackle my clutter once and for all! So THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks again for having me! Happy organizing!!!

    xo,
    cristin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing these tips! It's always a huge challenge for me to de-clutter--I'm such a pack rat! But getting married has inspired me to really push myself to get organised.

      Delete
  7. One of my goals for this year is to declutter and get organized. I've noticed that I have a really hard time giving up things that people have giving us {what if we hurt someone's feelings?} and things that we no longer need, but are still in good condition {we might be able to use that someday!}. It is getting a little easier...after our youngest received a toy phone for Christmas the two that he already had went into our ever-growing yard sale pile. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for all of your organizing tips! You helped inspire me to FINALLY organize my laundry room cabinets!

    http://domesticfordummies.com/2012/01/cabinet-primping.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jen, thanks for providing inspiration to keep us on our toes:). On my post tomorrow I'll be sending people your way!
    Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and stopping by by the other day. I truly appreciated it!!!
    Kim www.plumberrypie.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love these tips! I never have much trouble getting rid of things, but it never occurs to my husband that he should throw things out. He only does well when he has specific "rules" to follow. These will definitely be a big help!

    ~Stop Me if You've Heard This One

    ReplyDelete
  11. love this post! What a dreamy closet/area!...I'm especially liking the jars...that she stores her jewelry in. I just pinned this....what a great way to store all your bracelets- by color!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've been tossing like a mad woman! 4 bags to GoodWill, 2 bags of Garbage and that is just my stuff...Onward to hit Hubs side of the room.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amazing tips & tricks! Thanks for sharing.

    ~Mrs. Delightful
    ourdelighftulhome.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. This was a great guest post! I think "the clutter in your home might be trash" was written about my house! It is funny how broken items would seem like trash in someone else's house but I wouldn't think of MY broken things that way. So silly! Out they go!

    ReplyDelete
  15. lol I've been de-cluttering ALL DAY LONG today! I just nixed about 1/2 of it and finally get to read my fav blogs and relax before tackling the rest tonight =)

    LOVE this guest post!!!! Bookmarked! <3

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh this is perfect timing! Ive been purging all day, and I decided to take a bit of a break while my boys are down for a nap.

    Great tips!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. All really good and helpful advice. When I purge I have an, "I don't know box"I use it for things I am just not sure about.I use it so I won't be held up in the purging process,trying to figure out why I should keep it or not. I revisit that box at the end of my purging. After purging it feels so good and freeing that the, "I don't box," is easy to purge at that point. I am going to use your idea of a review box for the items in the, "I don't know box," that I decide to keep for whatever the reason. I think this will help me with the sentimental things or the pretty things that have some value that I no longer use. Happy New Year, Kathysue

    ReplyDelete
  18. i agree, this is perfect timing. i've gotten through about three boxes of i-have-no-clue-whats-in-here stuff this week. i'm on a de-cluttering high...hopefully it will last!

    i just started reading the blog recently and love it! thanks, jen, for writing such a helpful and inspiring blog, and this was a great guest post as well!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post! It is a great time of year to cut the clutter! I recently posted a few detailed tips on what to do with all the clutter you've decided to purge:

    http://blog.customexcelspreadsheets.com/2011/11/clutter-to-good-homes.html

    :) Julie

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've become ruthless with decluttering lately. It's so liberating getting rid of things and I even have a few empty drawers now.

    The thing I used to have trouble with was getting rid of things that people gave me. As long as you're grateful for it and pass it on to someone who will use it I think it's fine. It would be much worse to keep something and never use it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post, Cristin. Love the review box idea. I do that out of laziness. I toss it all in a box and deal with it later. Now I will call it a review box and feel much better about it:) Such great tips.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is so great, and true. I wrote a post for Laura at Organizational Junkie about purging and saving school papers, and used a lot of these same ideas. I'm also starting a series next week on organizing the small spaces in our home. I started with the pantry, and am moving on to the linen and coat closets, and small cupboards. Doesn't it seem like the small spaces always get the most cluttered?!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Cristin, I just jotted down your name yesterday when I came across it in a home mag -- serendipity to find you here today!

    I'm so glad you mentioned "donate." Since it occurred to me to do that, I have never held another yard sale. It's so simple to drop off a few bags or boxes, get my tax receipt, and go my way.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love this post!

    Jenn- have you seen this new magazine? I totally thought of you when I first saw it:) http://www.gettingorganizedmagazine.com/subscriptions/

    ReplyDelete
  25. I absolutely love your blog! Such great ideas and inspiration for my own home. I love the idea of bringing in "guests". I am excited to follow that excitement on your page!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow what an amazing site you have! How am I just now jumping on the bandwagon? I featured your entire blog on my "Show Off Saturday". Hope you'll check it out!
    http://www.mydecoupagedlife.com/2012/01/show-off-saturday-organization.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Jen! I am your newest follower. I love organizing things too! I've been reading your blog for a month now and have written down many a project for me to tackle in my home. So far, I have organized files, created a new filing system (the hubby used to be in charge of it, but he is a mess!), hung a new cabinet like the one you featured from Jenna (I ended up buying a bunch of her prints to beautify my home), created a mini closet office/craft space, organized my attic and crawl space storage areas-still have more to do on that, organized my entryway closet, and decorated and furnished a guest bedroom for my parents who came to visit for the Holidays. Phew! I've done so much thanks to your motivating blog. Still have tons to do, but I can't seem to stop reading your blog to a) get it done and b) go to sleep at night. I read until I can't keep my eyes open and take notes of all the projects I hope to complete this year. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Shannon

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hitting my closet in the morning and am ready to purge but magazines are my weakness. Any suggestions on what to do when it's hard to let go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think about ways to store your magazines digitally. Can you scan in your favorite pages? Or create one binder/book out of all of your favorite pages? You can do it, I am cheering you on from here!

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
  29. Great post Cristin!! I definitely need to do some tossing and donating ~

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for being a super blogger! I've nominated you for a Versatile Blogger. Stop by! Little Priorities

    ReplyDelete
  31. Loved this post! Thanks for always sharing the most useful (and do-able) tips!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love this post and I am totally in love with that closet. A girl can dream!

    www.delightfullycoconuts.blogspot.com

    Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  33. Living near the coast, we have had to pack what's most important to us and leave, knowing that when we return after the hurricane everything else could be gone. One time a lot of it was. After these experiences you really figure out what's ultimately important and what's not. We fit everything that was near and dear to our hearts plus toys, diapers, important documents, etc into one little Honda! Eye opening. Why was it so easy to leave? Because I knew it could really be gone and I knew that my family, pet, and heirlooms were safe. Now, I like to de-clutter with that in mind. What in this space would I scramble to save? What would I buy again with the insurance money if everything were destroyed? What would I be upset about if I came back and it was messed up? Everything else, really, is clutter.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Tabitha- wow, that is a brilliant example. What would I scramble to save? Everything else is clutter.
    I think I will use this as a mantra as I declutter.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi! I love the second picture on this page, the one with the clear self, lamp and jewelry holder. I have been looking everywhere for a clear shelf like this but have had no luck. Can you tell me where you found this and the jewelry holder? Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. @Anonymous - Sorry friend, those images are from Lonny Magazine {sourced at the bottom of the post}. I could only dream of the same setup :) Not sure where it's all sourced from.

    xoxo,
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  37. My husband and I recently downsized from a 1600 square foot home to a 900 square foot condo. (Read about it here: www.marriageisnotforwimps.blogspot.com). Talk about having to declutter! I can definitly say that moving into a smaller space makes this job a lot simpler. And the relief I felt after getting rid of all that stuff cannot be matched. I am now decluttering my husband's office area and I'm going to be using a lot of your tips and ideas. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oops! Here's the link to the actual post:
    http://marriageisnotforwimps.blogspot.com/2012/01/simple-life.html

    ReplyDelete

IHeart you taking a moment to comment! Although I absolutely appreciate, consider and read each and every comment, I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like. This blog is my happy place, let's keep the drama at bay!

Don't see your comment? All comments are moderated and may take a moment to appear.

Thanks again my lovely friends! XO!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...