For parents like myself, there’s nothing we dream of than a clean, organized home to welcome the new year. But, how exactly can you overcome the clutter with little minions running around the house, scattering toys and clothes every single day? This blog post tackles just that: how to declutter in the new year.
Being a parent of two little ones, I can definitely relate to the struggle of keeping the house clean and organized all the time. We live in a one-bedroom condo unit, but we still struggle with clutter. I can’t imagine what it’s like in a bigger home!
So, how exactly can you take control?
Start now. The biggest obstacle to decluttering your home for the new year is actually starting the project. Looking at our condo unit after a long holiday away from home, we did not want to start at all. Decluttering is a daunting task. With all the toys, laundry and little trinkets scattered all over…where do you start?!
Well, the answer is just start.
I think clutter accumulates because of one main reason: these items do not have a “home” in your home. If these items don’t have a place in your home, then why keep them there, right? The first step, then, to tackling clutter is to identify which things in your house you need to get rid of.
Step 1: Segregate. I started my decluttering project by first segregating all the stuff scattered around the house. I had a basket for dirty laundry and another one for clean laundry that haven’t been put away. I also had the minis’ toy box ready and a carton box ready for stuff we can get rid off.
Step 2: Clean up! Once I had everything segregated, I realized decluttering isn’t too hard. With all our stuff off the floor and packed away, it was easier to deep clean the entire unit. I started by taking out all our floor mats to the balcony. I then thoroughly swept the floor. If you have a vacuum cleaner around, that would be a huge help in getting all the dust!
After sweeping the floor, I took the dirty laundry and put them in the machine. While the machine is working its magic, I went ahead and started scrubbing the bathroom walls and floor. Don’t forget to clean up the toilet bowl too!
I had a huge pile of laundry in the machine so it took a while to get all the load done. While the clothes are getting washed, I scrubbed our kitchen sink and organized our pantry. By the time I finished the kitchen area, the laundry was done. I took the clothes out to hang under the sun.
Once that’s set, I went back into our unit and mopped the floor. I usually mop after I take the laundry out. Why? To conserve water, I use the laundry water to mop the floor. This way, I get to reuse the soapy water to clean the floor. I then mop it again using clean water to wash off the soap.
Step 3: Organize. After thoroughly cleaning the unit, I moved on to organizing it. This serves as my “last sweep” so I see if there are items that are still without a place. If I find any, I simply put them inside my garage sale / donation box.
That’s it! For half a day, I was able to deep clean and declutter our entire condo unit. The time it takes depends on how big your home is. It can be scary if you live in a bigger house, but just start!
Now, if you want to keep your home clutter-free the whole year round, one simple thing I added to our unit is a clutter basket. This is basically where we put all the items that we don’t have time to put away at that very moment. At the end of the day, we take that basket and put all the items inside in their respective places.
The minis’ toys and dirty laundry are not allowed in the clutter basket, though. Toys need to be put away soon after they’re done playing with them while dirty laundry must be placed inside the laundry basket after use.
Step 4: Purge! Your home is now spotless–congratulations! What do you do with the boxes of unused items? Sell them in a garage sale of donate them to charity. I usually hold garage sales every six months. Whatever doesn’t get sold, I put in a carton box outside our condo building and let whoever wants to grab what’s inside get it. If you have really nice stuff still left, consider donating to charity instead.
Have you decluttered your home already? Are there any tips you’d like to share? Share ’em in the comments section below!
Here’s an overview:
- Identify which items do not have a place in your home and box ’em up.
- Once all the extra items are boxed, either sell them in a garage sale or donate them.
- Clean up and organize the house.
- To keep your home clutter-free throughout the year, make decluttering a daily 15-minute habit with the clutter basket.