Ready. Set. Go! It’s the New Year and it’s time to take advantage of that motivation we all are feeling to be better, do more, or accomplish something BIG. Decluttering your home isn’t just a small feat and it doesn’t just have small ramifications. It can be a BIG step to decluttering your life and making you a more organized person that can go on to accomplish even more BIG things! I guarantee this is one New Year’s resolution you won’t regret.
TIP #1: DEDICATE THE TIME
“Success is where opportunity and preparation meet” – Bobby Unser
Dedicate the time, actually write it down or put it in your phone with an alarm. It’s going to feel like a chore the first go around so make a commitment and don’t schedule anything else. Then establish goals, keep them small, achievable and specific (i.e. organize the toy corner of the living room). Gather boxes or totes for the sorting through process. Think keep, recycle, trash, donate, and sell.
TIP #2: REMEMBER THIS MANTRA: LESS MESS MEANS LESS STRESS.
Repeat after me: less is best. Less to clean. Less to store. Less mess means less stress.
Overcome the overwhelmed = immobile tendency and just start. Pick one thing up and make a decision. Is it a keep, recycle, trash, donate or sell? Decision made, pick up something else. It’s okay to get sentimental. I hereby give you permission to relish in those memories momentarily. I let everybody have one memory box, and whatever fits we keep, no questions asked. Have a collection you don’t really need anymore, but don’t want to forget about? Take a picture and frame it or make a photo book called “Things that brought me Joy”.
TIP #3: ACT AND ORGANIZE
“Arriving at one goal is the starting point for another” – John Dewey
Follow through and immediately goodwill or consign what you designated you don’t need to keep. Then implement something to keep you organized in this area. Think practical yet stylish and make it work for your home. Heard of Pinterest?! Buy some accent baskets, canvas totes, drawer separators, or even a label maker!
TIP #4: PREVENT FUTURE CLUTTER
“Dig a well before you are thirsty” – Chinese Proverb
Set yourself up for success by learning how to be proactive in keeping the clutter away. I follow three simple rules.
Rule One: Everything has a home (think about this PRIOR to a purchase).
Rule Two: Don’t bring anything into your home without taking something out.
Rule Three: Always have a box ready for donation for those random moments you find yourself saying “Why do I even own this?”
TIP #5: DESIGNATE A DUMPING ZONE: The problem is also your solution
Clutter is going to happen, with our busy lives is just inevitable. The solution is to allow it, in a controlled setting. Do this by designating a dumping zone, stick to something smaller than a whole room. Like a drawer. The key is to set a weekly or monthly reminder to commit to cleaning this area.
TIP #6 INCLUDE YOUR LITTLE HUMANS IN YOUR BIG RESOLUTION
The more family members you include in this resolution the more bought-in everyone will be to helping you manage it on a daily basis. It’s been proven that kids crave some amount of structure and what’s an easier way than to organize their play things. Try separating toys into individual crates so kids can pull out one activity at a time, and then easily pick up. Some parents do Mon-Fri totes so each day so toys are always revolving.
TIP #7: SCHEDULE DECLUTTER TIME
“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day” – Richard G. Scott
Staying ahead of the mess and clutter means you set reminders to do certain things on a daily/weekly/monthly or seasonal basis. Research tips to help you throughout the year to stay focused. Like turning your hangers backwards, and every time you wear an outfit the hanger returns facing correctly. The hangers/outfits for that season that never got turned should be donated. Life isn’t changed by chance; it’s by being the change you want to see in your life.
LET MARSHALLTOWN WORK FOR YOU!
Utilize what your community can do for you when it comes to decluttering. Marshalltown has ample places to donate to or even consign (you get a percentage of the profit!). Call around and inquire what they are accepting.
|Goodwill (100 Lafrentz Drive; 641-752-2431)
Salvation Army (232 N 13th Street; 641-752-3084)
Second Chance (230 S. 3rd Ave; 641-751-5063)
House of Compassion (211 W. Church St; 641-752-5999)
Your City Consignments (205 S 3rd Ave; 641-753-4815)
Twice is Nice Consignment (30 E Main Street; 641-753-2825)
Act II Consignment (126 E Main Street; 641-753-6873)
Odds & Ends Music, Movies & Video Games (106 W Main Street; 641-753-2846)
What about you? What are your best tips for decluttering and do you have a favorite place you donate or consign in Marshalltown?