With my daily/weekly cleaning list and my zone cleaning list under my belt, or rather in my home management binder, I turned my attention to decluttering my home in February. I think all homes should be decluttered on a regular basis – at least once a year – unless you can be super strict about bringing new stuff into your home.
I declutter my children’s clothes every time I do a seasonal clothing change. I have a basic list of clothing needs for my kids which I keep in mind when decluttering the clothing boxes. My children, especially my daughter, receive clothes as gifts from relatives. While I try to help with making sure the clothes fit my children in size, I can’t always guarantee my kids will actually wear the clothes. After 6 years, I finally gave up on buying my daughter dresses, even the ones that can be worn with leggings, her pants of choice. She simply won’t wear the dresses.
I like to do a room by room purge twice a year. While I try to get rid of stuff when new stuff comes into our home, things do get by me and take up needed space. We’re a family of 7 which means every ounce of space in my home needs to be used. I also recognize when we’re moving out of a season like baby/toddlerhood into school-aged children.
I am not a minimalist when it comes to keeping stuff; nor am I hoarder. My goal is to keep what we need now, and what I anticipate us needing in the future. This is where it gets tricky – future needs. Some future needs are obvious, like clothes, shoes, socks, and underwear. Others not so clear, like how long do I hold onto football equipment used by my oldest which cost us a lot of money, but…the other boys may not use. If I had spent less money on the equipment, I would have an easier time letting it go.
How to Purge a Room
- Decide if you’re going to tackle the room 20 minutes at a time or use a block of time. Schedule your time. If it’s important to declutter, then it’s important enough to be on your schedule. I like to spend a week on a room because I need time to make decisions about some of the items.
- Try not to purge a room while the kids are around, especially if it’s their room. Yes, you can set aside items to discuss with your kids. However, it’s easier on you if you can work without a barrage of questions and comments. I have much experience in these matters.
- Before you start, put on some fun music. It’s all about the environment. Trick yourself into thinking this is a fun thing to do, and snap, the job’s done.
- Decide if you need containers for sorting items or not. Personally, I don’t need containers since I don’t have a lot to sort through. If you do, containerizing according to Keep, Toss, and Donate may help you make decisions more easily.
- Keep a piece of paper handy as you’re working. You may realize the light in the room needs repair, or you need to get another pair of shoes for your son because the daylight is showing in his shoes. Write it down, get it out of your brain, and review the notes later.
- If you think of someone who could use whatever you’re getting rid of, write that down, too. Keep your phone handy to take a picture of the item and text it to the person later.
- Don’t do anything else in the room during your decluttering time. Stay focused on the task. This is where setting the timer for 20 minutes keeps you focused on the task rather than jumping off into cleaning things. If something needs cleaning, write it down on the list, and move on.
- If you run across something that you can’t make a decision about, like old letters from your best friend, put them in a box. Mark the box and put it away. Make a note on your calendar in 30 days to look at the contents of the box and decide what to do. You may need time to process the decision. Give yourself that time.
- Room by Room Purge List in Home Management on ListPlanIt
- 10 Questions to Ask Yourself While Decluttering from Life Your Way
- Why You Need to Declutter from Life as Mom
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