Tag Archive | "Home Declutter"

Decluttering the Entire Family

Decluttering the Entire Family

You will be able to make many changes to your home while decluttering that feel good to you. Some parts of the house are community property. Therefore, it is okay if you move items in those areas, or throw some of the stuff in that area away. But some of the areas that need to be decluttered are a family member’s personal space. You can try to declutter these areas yourself. But woe be unto you if you accidentally throw out a treasure that looked like junk to you. In these cases, you can assign the person to declutter their own space. They may not be as excited about being organized as you are, however. Procrastination and arguments may be the result of you insisting that they clean their room. You can agree to leave the door to that room shut in some cases. Or you can work with that person to get them organized.

You may have some family pack rats. These particular messy person or people can be your significant other, children or other family members. These people will need to help decide which of their belongings should stay, be donated or tossed. You will need to set aside more time for decluttering projects with family members, because you may need to negotiate whether some items go or stay. Most people are agreeable to help cleaning and organizing. They may actually be relieved that they are finally getting their personal space organized. But they want an element of control over their space. They may become upset if they can’t find something they need right away. That is why you should work together with a family member to get their possessions organized. Hopefully the final result will be worth the effort that the two of you put into decluttering that family member’s space.

Happily, family members sometimes follow your positive example. If they see you decluttering, they may decide to get in on the activity themselves. Or sometimes a child might want to help you declutter. This is true especially when they see the positive results of your organizational efforts. But, in many cases, one person is the head organizer of the house.

You may have a person in your family that has some real issues with clutter. Collecting things is fine as long as the collection is stored neatly or displayed appropriately. But when your home becomes a dumping ground, you and those you live with are in trouble. Someone, probably you, will need to take some action. And for those living with people with a hoarding disorder, medication and counseling may well is in order. Compulsive hoarding can be treated. Thankfully, most of us don’t have such a serious issue with our possessions. We just get behind in our cleaning and need to rethink our stuff.

Throughout history, parents have had issues with getting children to clean their rooms. When a child is very small, you will need to help them clean their rooms quite a bit. Eventually, however, you want your child to be able to keep a neatly organized room of his or her own. Many children don’t want to clean their room or deal with the clutter.  One of the ways you get yourself to declutter is by using a timer and a bit of reward or bribery at the end of a cleaning session. This method will probably work well for your child, too. Sit down with your child and decide what reward he or she will get when they have finished a sorting or cleaning project in their room. If their room is really quite messy, you might have to break this room cleaning adventure into several smaller projects, just like you did with some of the large household decluttering projects you may have tackled in other areas of the house. That is fine.  Just be clear about what is expected of the child when they declutter. Also be clear about the reward they will receive. You may need to redirect a child several times, depending on their age. But even a toddler can pick up his or her toys and put them in a toy box.

Be sure to compliment them on their hard work when they are finished. And remember, you may need to help them do the actual deep cleaning portions of cleaning their room, to be sure that they have a healthy environment to sleep and play in. Hopefully the child will grow to appreciate a clean, organized bedroom and play area, and will be able to do much of the organization on their own.

Working with any family member to declutter a home or a portion of a home can be frustrating at times. Foster a loving relationship with the person rather than creating strife over how clean and organized the house is. Family teamwork is important, and everyone should be able to pitch in and help keep a home looking nice. This type of family teamwork can also build pride and self esteem among family members.


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How to Keep Potential Clutter Out of Your Home

Be Aware

The key to keeping clutter under control is to bring less stuff into your house. It’s just that simple. Remember all of the hours you spent getting the clutter out of your house. Then think at least twice before you bring that extra knick-knack or pair of shoes into your home. Remember, the less stuff you bring into your house, the more space you will have. And the less you will be responsible for cleaning and putting away.

Once a person has their house decluttered, it is important for them to be vigilant. Sometimes people with clutter issues at home also have other issues as well. They may need to take a good look at their workspace and declutter there, as well. And some people judge their happiness and mental health by how their home looks. Don’t forget the old adage “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.” Does being organized make you more holy?

Who knows? But you can judge your happiness and the healthiness of you and your family by the way your home looks. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect. But you should be able to find what you need in your home without sending out a search party. And you shouldn’t have so much stuff that you spend more time taking care of things than you do of yourself and the people around you that you love.

Shopping and Clutter

Limit yourself when you shop. This is a good idea in general, because you can keep your budget and your household clutter under control if you set limits as you shop. Perhaps you can really get by with only one shopping trip per week.  Get the gas for your car at the same time. Also, never shop without a list. Lists save you both time and money in the long run.

If you don’t have a list, chances are that you will probably forget something you meant to pick up at the grocery store. Then you will have to waste time and gas money to go back to the store to by that item. Shopping and errand lists keep you honest, as well. If you stick to your list, you won’t bring extras home that you really don’t need. And shopping lists improve your chances of ignoring impulse buys that might tempt you.

What if you get to the store and don’t remember if you need an item or not? Do you have enough masking tape around the house for that painting project you want to start? Can’t remember? If your house is decluttered, you probably know how much masking tape you have, because you worked hard to sort through a pile to find it.   If you really don’t know, don’t buy more. Wait until your next shopping trip, and check your supply at home.

Avoid cluttering your home with duplicate items, and save yourself money as well.

Do you have a place to put that impulse buy that is calling to you from that shelf?

Or would you rather have that bare space you worked so hard for? Usually the choice is clear. You really don’t want to reclutter after you went through all of the work of decluttering that spot.

Most of us have something we either collect or have too much of. Yarn is an example of that. If you have boxes and boxes of yarn stored somewhere neatly in your house, good for you. But you really don’t need more. So plan on avoiding the craft store or yarn department all together. If you have a room full of die cast cars, think hard and long before you add a new one to your collection. You really don’t need another one. And that bare spot you worked so hard for is easy to clean and nice to look at, too.

If you bring something into the house, take something out of the house. If you buy a new outfit and have a closet full of clothes, get rid of at least one old outfit. Throw it away, give it away, or donate it to a local shelter. If you are a book lover and need to read the latest murder mystery by your favorite author, choose the 2 or 3 books you are going to give away, sell, or donate before you buy the new book. Think about the number of unread books you have at home, as well, before you decide to buy a book just to kill some time. You probably already have lots of books like that at home, already. Don’t succumb to the temptation to buy more. By the way, do you have room on your bookshelves for another book? If not, don’t buy more until you do.

Take a little time to think about buying before you bring a new item into your home. Know exactly where you are going to put a new item in your home before you bring it into the house. If you can’t think of a spot, don’t buy the item. Do you have space for more stuff? Do you want to make space for more stuff? Do you really want to waste the time or energy dusting or cleaning new stuff? If not, go home and reward yourself for being a strong shopper who wasn’t influence by impulse buying.


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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.


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.


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.


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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