How To Get Rid Of Clutter In Your Home
Once upon a time, many years ago and before we had kids I considered myself a very organized person who really enjoyed cleaning. Don’t get me wrong, I was a complete slob growing up and even in college. The second we moved into our very first home though right after we got married I turned into a crazy person.
Every weekend I would deep clean our house, I would buy all the pretty baskets and bins to organize our home. Everything had a place, every drawer was clean and organized. Junk drawer…didn’t have one.
And then we had kids, three to be exact. With each kid we had, I would find myself slacking more and more in my cleaning and organizing. It was becoming so overwhelming. Those weekends of deep cleaning were gone, I have more junk drawers now than I care to admit, the basement storage area looks like a landfill and so do the kids’ bedrooms.
For 10 years now, I blamed it on being just the phase of life we are in, which is partly true. It always felt like a losing battle trying to clean and organize with kids around.
And then one day, as my oldest was running to catch the bus (because I can’t begin to tell how chaotic the mornings are here), I told myself things needed to change.
Not only was our house becoming cluttered but so was my life. I felt like I couldn’t focus and concentrate anymore.
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The KonMari method to de-cluttering
You might have heard of the book The KonMari Method by Marie Kondo. I’m in the middle of reading the book. I wish I would have purchased it sooner. I know I have a long road ahead of me purging and organizing my home and life. I am a few months in and have made a pretty good dent in our home so far. I highly do recommend this book
It’s a pretty aggressive book. It’s not a feel good book about how you should organize just a little bit at once. This is more of a “put your big girl panties on and just throw your stuff away” book. I needed this book. I’m not much of a hoarder but I do find myself holding on to things “just in case”. Those just in case items are either being donated or tossed and it feels so good!
There is so much good info in this book, and like I said, I am not even half way through it.
How to get rid of clutter fast
Marie Kondo recommends you make a day out of it. De-cluttering a little bit at a time is for the birds. While I am trying to implement her suggestion, let’s be honest, I have 3 active kids and a dog. I can’t just spend all day everyday de-cluttering for months.
I try to pick one day a week where I know I might not get bothered and spend that one day a week de-cluttering a whole area in our house. Yesterday, I spent the day in our basement storage area. I listened to one of my favorite podcasts (Young House Love) and didn’t allow myself to leave the basement until I was done purging. My husband and kids knew to leave me alone.
I finished the basement and for the first time in a while the storage area doesn’t look like a landfill.
Update: I’m hopping back onto this post to show you what a good purge and cute baskets can do. Our mudroom was becoming a dumping ground. The 5 humans that live here were just throwing random stuff in this room. I was trying to keep up with the junk and assumed the little mismatched baskets I had would do the job of keeping things organized…
Clearly I was wrong. I have never been so wrong in my life
I took an afternoon recently and just purged and organized our mudroom. I found cute new baskets that seemed to make everything just come together. It was the motivation I needed to get this room put together.
Such a difference one afternoon (and cute baskets) can make. You can see more of my mudroom makeover here
Here’s a link to my exact baskets. Just in case they get sold out I’ll link a few others for you as well:
How to know what to get rid of
Like I said above, put your big girl panties on and just do it. The KonMari Method tells you to ask yourself if it sparks joy, if it doesn’t-get rid of it. Unless it’s something you actually use or someone in your family. Sometimes I wonder if Goodwill takes children….just kidding-seriously.
This “spark joy” phrase has really helped me. Those “just in case” items are gone because of this.
I try to NOT put a money value on something either. I have home decor and clothing that I know I spent too much money on back in the day. I was holding on to them because they were expensive. But now I have to keep telling myself they served their purpose many years ago when I actually used them and it’s time to let go…and so I do
I’m deciding what I want to keep in my life and home, not what I want to get rid of. This theory alone is what is keeping me from getting overwhelmed with this whole process. Most of my home decor are items I want to keep not ones that I am holding onto “just because”
How to get rid of kid’s clutter
Oh, this is a tricky one for sure. I gave birth to three hoarders. I can’t even begin to tell you what their rooms look like. For years, I told myself it is their room, let it be. One day they’ll grow up and the clutter will eventually work itself out of their room.
Nope, it’s getting worse actually. My 11 year old’s closet was one empty tissue box short of an episode or Hoarders.
So, I found the weakest of my three children and pounced when he was in a good mood. My son has the least amount of clutter and is pretty laid back so I knew I could get his room in tip top shape without much resistance. Not to mention, I took it one step further and gave his room a little (and much needed) makeover. Stay tuned for the makeover, I’m still working on the blog post.
Guess what then happened? My oldest daughter took a good look at her room and started (ON HER OWN) purging and decluttering. There is still a long ways to go in her room but we are making progress. Once my oldest daughter saw how clean and organized her brother’s room looked she immediately asked me if I could give her room a makeover…after she cleaned it of course.
We spent weeks cleaning out her room. We tackled her drawers and her closet. And holy moly, it was exhausting. Ready for this? This picture wasn’t even the before picture, this was a during picture. She had already went through her closet and “cleaned.” As her mother, I should have been concerned. Without a doubt, E.T. could have lived in this closet and I would have had no idea.
And then after I got to it
There is more to be purged but at the end of the day, I was happy with what we accomplished. I didn’t do this alone. I made her help me. There was some resistance at first. Why she was keeping empty tissue boxes with one rock in them was beyond me and I will never understand. I went Marie Kondo on her though and towards the end of the process she was purging more than I was.
I really think you need to get your kids involved when purging their rooms. Once they see the amount of trash that came out of their rooms, they might think twice before adding in another empty tissue box. And for the record, we took out SIX large bags of trash from her room. It was amazing and concerning.
But she is getting her room makeover like she requested…all that hard work will pay off (you can see it here)
How to stop household clutter
Give yourself less space! In our first house, we had very limited amount of storage. We didn’t even have a true basement. Just a scary crawl space that I would never ever crawl in. Because of that, I was so cautious about what I would purchase and what I would keep.
Now that our current home is bigger with tons of storage, I find myself subconsciously wanting to fill every space with stuff. My older two have walk in closets in their bedrooms. Before we moved into this house, that thought excited me like you wouldn’t believe. What I didn’t realize then was that all that extra space would give my hoarders more opportunity to fill it with junk (and containers of moldy slime and empty Gatorade bottles, you know, the important things). Reference above closet picture.
I now only allow myself (and trying with the kids) to only fill half of our storage areas with stuff. I’m purposely leaving shelves bare…in the basement storage area, in our linen closets, in my closet, in the kitchen pantry, etc.
This is the hardest part because I see those empty shelves just laughing at me.
Another thing that has helped (and without even knowing it was helping me) is the fact that all of my upper cabinets in our kitchen are glass. You can see all my kitchen business when you come over. I’m not too crazy psycho about it but let me tell you, I have really thought long and hard about purchasing anything new for the kitchen. And what goes in those cabinets is very thought out.
So when you are de-cluttering, pretend every room in your house has glass cabinets…
How to stop home decor clutter
If you love home decor as I do, I am sure you are in the same boat as me. I have more pillow covers, blankets, vases, fake flowers, random frames (you get it) than I can care to admit. It’s getting out of control and I know it. This is one of my main goals for 2019.
I need to just stop. Stop buying things because they are on sale (this is my biggest problem), stop buying things because another blogger has it and it’s cute in their home, stop buying things just in case I might need it one day. I need to just stop. There is no magic potion for this, it’s all mental for me.
I’m also finding that my decorating style has been changing. I’ve been reading the book Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith. It’s such a good book. It really struck a cord with me. Less IS more. Instead of buying alot of little knick knacks because they are on sale, I am saving up and investing in bigger pieces that make a bigger impact.
Take my dining room hutch for example. I mentioned this in my dining room makeover post. That hutch was giving me such a hard time. I thought it needed more decor so I kept piling on candlesticks and vases and lamps and all that junk.
What it really needed though was just a few statement pieces…
See what I mean, less IS more. Go big or go home.
I was beginning to realize the more stuff I was bringing into my home, the less I was appreciating what I already had. All this stuff was watering down the things I loved. Make sense? I’m donating those lamps in my before picture and hung the mirror in my daughter’s room where it’ll be more appreciated.
I am only a few months in and I’m only half way done with the book but just with the few rooms I have tackled feels like a giant weight has been lifted!
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