• Amanda Honeywell

Declutter For The New Year!

If your New Year’s Resolution is to declutter your home, AIC has you covered!

Our homes become a catch all for everything in our lives that find themselves on the bottom of the “To Do List” such as cleaning out our closets, the junk drawers, cabinets, not to mention places like laundry rooms, children’s toy chests, and so on.

Before you know it, you realize you’ve obtained so much stuff and your home is chalked full of so many things, you don’t even know where to begin.

Yes, we know… Decluttering can be our worse enemy. So where do you begin, how do you hold to your resolution without being overwhelmed? Well let’s break it down…

Here is our list of 5 Simple Steps to help you declutter for 2016!
  1. Understanding what clutter is.

  2. Getting in the mood.

  3. Setting a schedule.

  4. Gathering supplies.

  5. Getting it done.

So what is clutter anyway?

We find this article from AboutHomes very helpful in understanding more about clutter and how it impacts your daily energy if you are interested in learning more!

Clutter (as defined by AboutHomes) is “…Anything that you do not use, do not like, or do not have a place for in your home…” You need to “…Either use it, like it, find a place for it, or let it go.” We agree.

AboutHomes asks a good question: “Even if your place looks seemingly Ok on the surface and is not overrun by clutter, can you honestly say the same about your closets, your garage or your laundry room? How about the places that are mostly hidden, such as your kitchen cupboards, for example?”

Let’s get in the mood.

AboutHomes also make a very helpful suggestion and say to “…first [bring] beautiful, light, vibrant energy with you…anything that makes you feel good: from taking a shower and applying some make-up [if you are into that] before your clutter clearing session… listening to your favorite music or placing a vase of fresh fragrant flowers close to you.”

They say some other interesting things such as using essential oils to fragrance the room and some weird things too, LOL… we aren’t into “powerful crystals” or “smudging the area” but you get the point… make it your own, whatever that may be, to get yourself in the mood.

Set a schedule.

Before you get in the mood, however, plan it out. Make a designated time and day that you will declutter. You might need to plan a few days and break your home into sections though. We suggest, whatever your plan may be (1 day, 2 days, or more) to stay focused and get it done, you know, keep doing it till it’s done! Don’t tell yourself you’ll spend one day this weekend and underestimate your time because next thing you know, you’ve got the laundry room finished but forgot about the closets or toy chest. If you only have one free day a week, let's say Saturday; clear out the month of January so you have 4 Saturdays to spend. Whatever your schedule is, be sure to give yourself ample amount of time.

What you will need to declutter.

  • 4+ LARGE Boxes (you might need 12, who knows?) Mark them as “Keep/Different Area”, “Donate”, “I Don’t Know”, “Recycle”

  • Trash Bags To be used for items you want to throw away

Getting it done.

OK so it’s “Decluttering Day.” You’ve got your entire mood enhancing techniques at work, you’re ready with your boxes, and it’s time to get started!

Start in one area such as the laundry room or at the front or back of the house like the kitchen or entryway closet and don’t move from that spot till that particular section is free of clutter and organized. DON’T worry about cleaning it right now, we’ll talk about that at a later post, just declutter – organize – and move on. You can do it, try not to stress about other areas of your home and remain focused. Take small breaks if needed and if you run out of time that particular day, stop and continue the next day in the same spot. This is the best way to ensure all areas of your home are properly decluttered.

AboutHomes suggests to “Pick up an item…and QUICKLY place it in one of the [4] boxes.” That “if you are taking more than 30 sec to 1 minute to decide about an item, you are not doing it right (remember you have the “I Don’t Know box”, use it!)”

If you fill a box, grab another, if you fill a trash bag, brag another – trust us, you’ll LOVE a clutter free home!


The “Keep/Different Area” box

The “Keep/Different Area” box should have all the items you want to keep but don’t belong in that particular area. If you have space for each item, relocate them to their proper place. If you do not have space, consider letting it go. We suggest emptying out this box after each decluttering session otherwise it could become another clutter box, yikes!

The “Donate” box

The “Donate” box can be shut if full or set aside for your next session. Once a box is full, take it immediately to your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army store, etc. but DO NOT hold on to it for a free day as it too might become another clutter box!

The “I Don’t Know” box

****There are some tips AboutHome suggests about the “I Don’t Know” box we do not agree with. They say to close the box tightly and store it, to mark your calendars for 6 months from now and reevaluate these items at this time. Their logic is that you will have a better understanding at that point whether you want to keep it or not. While this might be helpful (and if you like this suggestion, try it of course) it might also set you up for failure… chances are, in 6 months you might not have the time to go thru it and before you know it, it’s been 6 years. Face this challenge today, not tomorrow!

What we do agree with though, is “…even if the only box that got filled during your first [declutter] clearing session is the I Don’t Know Box, you still have done some really good work…”

They also give some AMAZING helpful tips below because after all, this is a good read if you need more information.

“It is best to have a designated area for clearing clutter (if possible). So, instead of having piles and piles of clutter in many areas of your home, bring them all to a “clutter central” (in stages, of course!) and work from there.

There will definitely be items with strong emotional attachment (often entangled with confusion and guilt) that you will find difficult to deal with. No worries, just keep placing them in your I Don’t Know Box” till the end of that day or till the end of your decluttering process when you can clearly organize those items. AboutHomes suggests that, “You might ask a friend for help with a particularly challenging I Don’t Know Box).”

The Trash Bags: Throw them in the outdoor bin immediately!

And there you have it, your home is decluttered and you can start the New Year fresh!

Good luck!


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