Hello January! It’s a brand New Year which means we leave behind what ever happened (or didn’t) in the past year and start fresh. The holiday decorations are packed away and it’s time to (figuratively) start over, set new goals, new ambitions and explore new paths in life. What better way to start enjoying this new path and practice simple living than to declutter and organize our most cherished place on earth –home.
If you are anything like me, an annual decluttering feels “cleansing”. I feel less burdened by “things” and I’m no longer worrying about “stuff”. Come January 1st my mindset turns to doing an entire whole house decluttering and getting organized in the process. This year, to help me capture everything I wanted to remember to do, I created this January Declutter Checklist by zone as a free planner printable.
Once you go through this process, the key to staying on top of clutter is to make sure you clean, declutter and organize at least on a monthly basis. If you are not able to do this monthly, don’t despair. The beginning of a new year is a great time to start this process. Remember, having less stuff means there is less to put away, less to manage. It makes cleaning so much easier and your home looks fresh, more spacious and clutter free to visitors.
One thing my mother always said about me in how I managed my bedroom was that I had a place for everything and everything had its’ place. The truth is that I practiced this from a very young age because having a tidy room gave me a sense of order and control. To this day, I still practice this mantra in my own home.
7 Benefits of Decluttering
There are many physical and mental health benefits of decluttering and living a simple life. If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of decluttering, check out just some of the benefits below and you’ll quickly see how much better life will be after you’ve cleared the clutter.
- Less to clean. Let’s face it, chores are no fun and having to clean all that “stuff” just makes it worse. Clear the clutter and you can get through your chores quicker (leaving more time for say, #5 below).
- Less stress and anxiety. The best example of this is when you go into your closet. Choice are great but there is such a thing as having too many choices. That leads to overwhelm, stress and anxiety.
- Less debt. When you declutter you see all that stuff that used to be money and it’s kind of a wake up call. You are forced to acknowledge your past spending habits and make a change for the better. It also causes you to be more alert to asking yourself if you “need” or “want” to buy that item in your hand.
- A boost in productivity and creativity. Clutter causes concentration problems. With all that stuff competing for your attention you can’t focus on any one thing.
- Rids the home of allergens. Less clutter means less areas for allergens to accumulate which means better breathing, no skin irritations, etc.
- Helps others in need. By donating things that no longer serve you, you are helping someone who needs or could use that item.
- Makes you money. Maybe instead of donating you wish to make some money from what you no longer need. Hey, that’s okay too! The best way to make money is hold a yard sale. Check out How to Host a Successful Garage Sale with Pricing Guide Printable.
These are just some of the benefits of decluttering your home. The point is -there are more pros than cons when deciding to declutter.
Decide What Goes, What Stays
A decluttering project has many facets. While you are deciding what will go and what will stay, also consider what you will be doing with the stuff that you are not keeping. Always, always, always donate whenever you can. Below is a short list of suggestions for some of the items you may be clearing out.
- Clothes: Donate any clothes that you haven’t worn in the last year. Most churches or shelters would gladly accept clean clothes that are in good condition.
- Containers: Recycle any glass or plastic containers or bowls that have lost their lids (you’d be surprised just how many go missing!). Where do the lids go, is my question!
- Kids Toys: Donate any toys that are in good, working condition. One technique I’ve used with my daughter is to enroll her to help me decide which toys she is going to keep and which she will donate (because Santa will be bringing her more toys). We taught her early on about donating things in good condition, so that others who may not have them will benefit.
- Towels: If you have towels with holes in them, keep them in the garage to use as a rag.
- Blankets: Many animal organizations could use blankets (or even towels) for the influx of incoming animals. They are used for bedding or to dry after a bath.
- Expired Medicines: DO NOT throw away expired medicines. Contact your local town or municipality to find out when the next medicine drop-off event will take place.
- Books: Many library will accept old books in good condition.
You don’t need fancy tools to declutter your home -other than some cardboard boxes?! Another method you could try as you clear the clutter is the four-box method. It’s pretty self-explanatory. You basically set up four boxes and label each box:
- Throw away and/or Recycle
Looking for this printable without color? Check out our minimalistic printable!
Learn to Make Intentional Choices
Before you purchase anything, hold it in your hand and ask yourself if you “need” it or “want” it. Also consider, does it have a place in your home. If you don’t know where you’d put it (even though you really love it), then don’t buy it. It’s that simple.
Tips for Taming the Clutter
Now that you’ve decluttered, the challenge is keeping it under control. The best way to do this is to shift your mindset to a healthier practice of keeping what you have organized. One tip I employ frequently is to group like or similar things together. This became quite helpful in my craft room. If you have all items that are the same or very similar organized together, it is much easier to see what you have, how you can or will use it and whether or not you even want to keep it.
Adopt a habit of putting things back in their place after you use it. I have a terrible habit of stacking things up on the corner of the table. I think it comes from my childhood. But I also think (subconsciously) that if it’s out in the open, I’ll take care of it. But, as you can guess, that rarely works. So this is something I am still working on.
Ways to Stay Organized
When I declutter, I also like to organize things. My opinion is that you can’t really declutter without organizing. But, if doing both of these things together is too much then worry about organizing later. It’s more important to declutter first. Below you will just some of my favorite clear acrylic storage and organizers.
- ClearSpace Plastic Storage Bins -Perfect for the kitchen or pantry
- Sorbus Big Storage Case Display -Perfect for makeup and jewelry
- Sorbus 4-Drawer Acrylic Storage Case -Perfect for makeup, jewelry and craft room items
- STORI Clear Plastic Hanging File Organizer with Handles
- iDesign Storage Organization Drawers -Perfect for pens, markers, eyeglasses, jewelry, paperclips and washi tape
- Expandable Drawer Desk Organizer Acrylic Tray
Are you ready to declutter your home and Create A Beautiful Life?
Get the January Declutter Checklist
This easy to use printable offers an organized decluttering checklist for each zone in your home. Start fresh in January or truly, this checklist can be used any time during the year!
Do you make decluttering an annual routine? What are some of your own decluttering tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. Do you know someone who could benefit from decluttering but feels overwhelmed at the idea? Feel free to share this decluttering checklist with them!
If you are inspired to finally get that clutter under control don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see how well you did (and I just might repost your photo)!
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