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Decluttering the Closet

Decluttering the Closet

Organizing the closet can be a pretty big job. Closets are for storage. You probably put things in your closet without worrying much about where each item goes. Why worry? You merely shut the door, and the stuff you put in the closet seemingly disappears. Unfortunately, when you need that stuff later, you might not remember where you put it. Or your closet may be such a mess that you can’t find anything much in it at all. So now is the time to declutter that closet. Try to think of decluttering the closet as a treasure hunt. It’s amazing how many great things you can find in a closet that you thought were lost forever. So jump in and clean that closet. You never know what you will find.

Empty the closet

First, take everything out of the closet. If you are cleaning out a bedroom closet, put the closet contents on the bed. That way, you’ll have to finish the closet cleaning project before you go to bed. You will need a box for donations and trash bags. If you are not as strong as Wonder Woman or Superman, use a small to medium sized bag, and fill it full. You don’t want to get hurt lifting a heavy bag full of decluttered items. Some people also have a box for items they want to put in a garage sale or sell at a used clothing consignment store.

Clean the closet

While your closet is empty, wash it down and clean the shelves and floors. Since decluttering any closet is a huge job, you won’t be in a hurry to do it again. So you might as well do a good job and clean the closet while you have it empty.

Reduce your closet clutter by half

While the closet walls are drying, start to sort the clothing in the closet. That way you’ll have a major part of the job done first. Start at the top of the pile and work your way down. Try to get rid of at least 1 or 2 items for everything you keep. Try clothing on, especially if you haven’t worn that item for a while. If it doesn’t fit, it goes into the donation box. Be honest about this. You may keep one item that doesn’t fit to inspire you to lose weight, but no more than one. If you do actually lose that weight, you deserve new clothes anyway.

Out of style clothes

Out of style clothes go in the donation box. If they are seriously out of style and in less than excellent shape, consider throwing the clothing out. Clothes that are pilled, stained even just a bit, and threadbare need to be put in the garbage. If you wouldn’t wear the outfit, neither would thrift store shopper.

If you have a potentially vintage piece of clothing, you may be able to sell it at a consignment store or to a specialty store that features vintage clothing. To be eligible for resale at either of these stores, the article of clothing has to be in excellent condition, and usually need to be a brand name or made by a designer. Both clothing consignment stores and vintage clothing stores are notorious for being very picky about the clothing items they will take for resale. So if your clothing is not in like-new condition, it will probably not be eligible for resale. Remember- your goal is to clean out that closet. So if you have any doubt about the re-sale value of that article of clothing, donate it or toss it.

Comfort is the Key

Do you enjoy wearing that article of clothing? Is it comfortable? How long has it been since you last wore that outfit, toss it or donate it. If you don’t remember why you haven’t worn that outfit, try it on to refresh your memory.

Putting it Back

Only put clothing back in the closet that is appropriate for the season. If you decide to keep clothing that is not in season right now, store it in a plastic container either under the bed or in the basement or attic. Plastic containers will keep bugs and rodents from ruining your clothing.

Next put your clothes back in the closet in a specific order. Put the pants first, then skirts. Next goes short sleeved shirts, then long sleeved shirts. Jackets followed by dresses are next. If you have formal dresses or gowns, they go in last. If you keep your clothes sorted by length, you will be able to find each article of clothing more easily. You could even sort each category of clothing by color, but that is not really necessary unless you the time.

Shoes

Shoes go back in the closet next. Sorting shoes takes the same types of rules that sorting clothing does. If the shoes are uncomfortable or don’t fit, toss them or donate them. Only donate shoes in excellent condition, however. And only donate shoes if you know you don’t have foot fungus or other types of foot problems. Spray the shoes down with disinfecting spray before you donate, as well. You may save one pair of fishing or gardening shoes, but the rest of the worn out shoes need to go.

The Rest of the Closet

Because closet become a catch-all for many different items, now is the time to sort these items back to the place where they belong. If you no longer want or need that shoe box or worn out pair of gloves, out they go. Before you know it, your closet will be clean and organized. You will feel good about the way your closet looks and be able to find clothes and other items more quickly, which will save you time and energy in the long run.

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Bathroom Decluttering

Bathroom Decluttering

What do you have stored in your bathroom? Many bathrooms don’t have a lot of storage area. Let’s take an inventory, look behind closed cabinets and drawers, and check out our clutter situation in the bathroom.

First, clear off surfaces. You will put stuff right back on those surfaces, but only temporarily. One main thing to keep in mind is that only bathroom items should be in the bathroom. Any item that wasn’t specifically intended to be in the bathroom should be elsewhere.

Medicine should go in the medicine cabinet. It is important that you keep your meds together.  That way, if you take medications daily, you will be able to find them. The more convenient your medication is, and the better organized it is, the more likely you are to take it. You will also be less likely to forget to take a medication, as well.  You will also know when you are coming close to being out of a medication. Also, you will be better able to tell whether anyone else in the household is taking your medications. Unfortunately, many young people get their recreation drugs from leftovers stored in Moms and Dad’s medicine cabinet. If you think that this might be an issue for you, lock your prescription medications op and keep control of the key.

Medicine cabinets can also store over the counter medications. Keeping these medications in a centrally located place is important as well Keep similar items together, so you can find them easily. For instance, keep all the pain medications together. Keep all the cold remedies together, and so on. You can keep a better inventory of you over the counter medications if you keep them sorted in this way. And you’ll know if someone in your household is misusing on of these types of medications, as well. Over the counter medications can be abused just as prescription meds can be.

Make up and skin care items can go in the same area. If you have a bathroom vanity with drawers, makeup can go in the drawer with the combs and hairbrushes. Expired makeup is not good for your skin or eyes, so be sure it is discarded. And if you have 5 containers of blue eye shadow, you only need to keep one. Little containers like check book boxes and decorative jars can help you keep your makeup and cotton balls in order. A pretty jar is a great way to store cotton balls or hair ties.  And checkbook boxes and similarly shaped containers make great dividers in a makeup drawer.

Bath- related articles can go in a drawer as close to the bathtub or shower as possible. This makes them easy to use. If you don’t have enough storage for your towels, be creative. If you have decorative boxes or a wine rack, you can roll up the towels and put them in these containers instead of in a drawer or cupboard.

Shaving materials such as razors, electric shavers and aftershave can go on the same shelf of a cabinet or in the same drawer of the vanity, so they can be easily found.

Cleaning products and cleaning tools like toilet brushes can go under the sink in the vanity. While you are looking at the cleaning products, check out their expiration date. Discard any that have expired.

The process for decluttering the bathroom is the same as decluttering any other room. Remove everything from cupboards and drawers. Then clean the drawer or cupboard by wiping it down with a disinfectant.  Look at every item before you put it back on that shelf or in that drawer. If you really don’t like that lotion or have found a better brand, throw that bottle away. Throw that bottle away even if it’s full or nearly full.

Do the same with every other product in your bathroom. And most importantly, look at the expiration dates of everything before you put it back on the shelf or in the drawer. Expired medications have lost their potency, so they are not good for you to use. And some expired medications become poisonous with age. Don’t take a chance. Throw both prescription and over the counter medications that have expired away.

You may very well have some grooming gadgets that you don’t need anymore. These are always welcome at shelters and thrift stores. If you have duplicates of blow driers or curling irons, one can be donated.  Or if you received hot rollers or some unique bathroom items for a gift and never use it, it can be donated, as well.

If you need extra storage, you might want to purchase a shelving unit that fits over the toilet. These units usually fit over the stool and go up to the ceiling, adding some shelving in an area where the wall space doesn’t get used much.

A clean, sanitary, well organized bathroom is a healthy advantage in your home. You and your family will be healthier in a clean bathroom. And if your bathroom is well organized, everyone in your home should have a faster and easier time getting ready for work or school.

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Declutter Inspiration

Declutter Inspiration

If you haven’t moved recently, you have probably stored lots of items somewhere in your house that need looking through. Some people like the “nested” feeling. They like to know that they have their stuff, and lots of it, surrounding them. But think about a nest. What is in it, really? Not much besides the family members. While we are not birds, our homes can become cluttered if we don’t take care to keep them organized. Here are some ideas to get you in the proper frame of mind to declutter and organize your home or office.

Pretend You are Moving

How good is your imagination? One way to inspire yourself to declutter is to pretend you are selling your house and moving. Then take a good look at what you have in your home. Look in your closet. Would you really take that across country with you? If the answer is “no” you probably don’t need that item now, either.

If a realtor or potential buyer would come into your home right now, what would they think? Would they be able to see the great architectural features of your home? Would they be able to tell how large the rooms are just by looking at them? Or would they be confused by all of the stuff on the walls and on the floors? Could they even walk through every room? Would you die of embarrassment if someone popped in for a visit? If you really don’t want anyone looking at your house the way it is right now, you have some work to do.

Downsizing

If you have ever had to help a loved one move from the family home to a smaller place or assisted living, you have an idea of what a huge project decluttering can be. Grandmother may have been an excellent housekeeper, but her home was probably full of stuff that she didn’t use or need. You had to find a way to get rid of these items.

These are the type of items you are going to think about getting rid of in your own home. Do you really want your children to have to go through all of those boxes in the basement, wondering why you kept all of that junk? No! So save everyone some time and get rid of that unused toaster oven from your wedding shower 10 years ago. Someone at the local thrift store would love to have it on their shelves to sell. And though you may not actually be downsizing yourself, you can use the concept to help you get rid of unnecessary items in your home.

Books

Have you picked up a box full of books lately? A box of books can be really heavy. If you are an avid reader, you may very well have quite a collection of books that you have read, been given to read, or are going to read some day.

Imagine having to move those books and store them somewhere else. If you still can’t imagine moving those books elsewhere, pack one box full of books. Then lift it and carry it from one part of the house to another. You will soon be inspired to sort through your home library and get rid of some books.

Go through each book. If you’ve read it and don’t plan on reading it again, it can go. If you haven’t read it and really plan on reading it, it can stay. If you haven’t read the book and are pretty sure you won’t, get rid of it. Would you really move that book to another home if you had to move? Then you don’t need it. Your local school or public library might want it for their collection. So donate those books. You’ll feel better about your home and help out a community group at the same time.

Collections

Some collections are worth a lot of money. Some collections are more about sentimental value. Either way, some people start collecting a couple of items and end up with a houseful.  If you had to move tomorrow, would you really take all of that stuff with you? How long has it been since your entire collection was dusted or cleaned?

If you can’t keep your collections stored properly, organized and clean, some or all of it needs to go. Some people love cleaning with and playing with their collections. They can spend hours dusting and playing with their properly stored die cast cars or dolls.  If those sentences describe you, that’s great.

But if your collection looks dusty and is not properly stored, you may just be using collecting as an excuse to shop and collect clutter. If most of your collection is in the attic or basement in a box, consider sharing these items with someone who will appreciate them more.

And if there is a leak in the roof or the basement floods, your collection won’t be ruined. Consider selling your collection, giving or donating your collection to a museum or for a thrift store to sell. Selling your collection on Ebay is a good way to get some cash out of your collections as well as organize your space. Remember, if you aren’t keeping your collection items clean and in excellent condition, they won’t be worth much.

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