After the first of the year I started a much needed task in our home, decluttering. It has been an exhausting journey but the results have been life changing. Cluttered spaces have always caused me to become very stressed, unproductive and scatter brained. You may not struggle with clutter like I do but I have had an on-going battle with it for years. I absolutely hate clutter and I have come to understand that no amount of organizing will keep your house tidy if you just have too much stuff!
Shortly after Christmas I decided it was time to purge. I’ve always been able to get rid of things pretty easily when I actually take the time to do it. The decorator in me sometimes worries about getting rid of something and regretting it later but I just decided the stuff had to go!
I want to share a few things I found that made decluttering easier and will guide you through the process of getting started.
1. Start in a room that has the least amount of clutter. This will give you a chance to get confident of the process and those rooms with little “stuff” will go quickly!
2. Make three piles, keep, give away or donated and trash. This is the part where you have to be brutal if you want to get anywhere. Ask yourself:
- A. Does this item serve a purpose? If you have gone all four seasons without using this item that may be a good indication you don’t need it. This also includes having multiples of something and only needing one of them.
- B. Does this item have a permanent place in your home? If you don’t have a good place to keep it than it’s always going to be in the way.
- 3. Is this item my style? A lot of times we hold on to things that may have been given to us by family members or friends and it’s not our style. Keeping something for the sake of not hurting feelings is silly and leaves little space for the things you really do love. Remember you may have also changed your style or recently found out what it is. It’s okay to get rid of the things that no longer represent it.
When I was decluttering our built-in bookshelf in our family room for example, I cleaned every shelf off and put each item in one of those three piles. I made sure to only keep those things that I loved most. Then comes the fun part, styling your treasures. Decluttering can be tough but it keeps your home fresh and clean!
Here is the before. You may not think it looks bad but there was just a little too much on the shelves for my taste and it made dusting even more dreadful.
Here it is after a little decluttering –
I love each item and the beautiful wallpaper can really shine through. You can see the full built-in makeover here.
I also worked in our kitchen this past month and was able get rid of those little knick knacks that were not being used but instead were taking up useful space. Our open cabinets on the left side of our kitchen has been decluttered along with our side board in our breakfast nook.
I left only the things that we truly use. Our canisters, microwave, mugs, cookbooks and of course my beloved vintage copper collection. Don’t forget to showcase those things that mean the most to you. All the decluttering allows those things to take center stage!
I also ditched the wooden crate that once held my cutting boards and cooking utensils.
I had that old crate for about ten years and it served me well but it was time for it to make it’s exit. I also got rid of the extra cutting boards I never used. I think its refreshing to welcome change and part with those things that don’t fit our style anymore. I can also report that cleaning the counter tops is so much easier now!
Let’s not forget I’ve got one more tip for you.
3. The last step might just be the hardest. You have to prevent future clutter from coming into your home again or all your hard work will be in vain. To do this keep a couple things in mind when you’re out shopping.
- Will I use it?
- Do I know without a doubt where I will put it?
- Will it work along with the other decor, clothing, etc. I already have?
If you’re doubtful on any of these, don’t buy it! I have found that if I ask myself those three questions when I’m out and come across something I like, 3 out of 4 times I put whatever it is back even if it is at a great price. It not only saves our budget but it also saves me from a headache later when all the sudden we’re swimming in useless clutter again. Remember, there’s always exceptions. Maybe you’re planning a room renovation and you just know that it would be perfect in that future space, then go for it. If you’re anything like me more often times you’ll find that you really don’t need or have a place for the item.
I can’t tell you how great it feels to have a clean, clutter free home. It’s as though our home can breath again and so can I!
I still have a lot of the upstairs left to go through but It feels great to have made it this far. I’m quickly learning that decluttering is a season to season task. I hope if you’ve been feeling buried with stuff this will inspire you. If you decide to declutter with me just know it takes time and can be overwhelming but I can promise you the end result is so worth it!
I’d love to hear from you if you’re currently purging. What tip would you recommend most?
I hope you’ll join me tomorrow right here on the blog when we kick off this season’s One Room Challenge. Remember that powder room renovation? Well I’ve got some updated news to share with you!
You can see more of my recently decluttered home in my spring home tour from last week!