Happy New Year! With a new year comes resolutions and opportunities for change. One of your resolutions may be to downsize your clutter. If so, I’m here to help.
2017 is bringing a major change for us – a move! We’ll soon be going cross-country from North Carolina to the evergreen state, Washington. One of the ways I’ll prepare for a fresh start is by downsizing as much as possible. This will make the process of moving into our new home more seamless.
I invite you to join me in my efforts to downsize clutter in the home. I’ll even include some handy freebies for your convenience. Simply follow these steps:
1. Pick a room in your home.
The task of downsizing an entire house can seem overwhelming or impossible at first. Make things more manageable by tackling one room at a time. If that still seems like too much, break it down one drawer, closet, or area of the room at a time.
2. Make an inventory.
In each room (or drawer, or area), sort your belongings into three categories: Must haves, live withouts, and needs replacing. Must haves are absolute necessities – things that you’d replace if you’d suddenly lost everything, such as beds, dinnerware, or a couch. Sentimental items like photo albums and keepsakes may also go here.
Live withouts are items you’re not sure why you own. Anything outdated, worn or broken belongs in this category, as well as any items that haven’t been used in a year or more. Examples may be old electronics, unused kitchen appliances, or novelty purchases.
Needs replacing are items you want to have, but need an upgrade. This is your chance to get rid of those threadbare bath towels or the coffee table from your college days.
See the bottom of the post for a printable to help you with this!
3. Categorize your clutter: Sell.
From here, look at your live withouts and needs replacing items. Decide which items are worth selling. These are items in good condition that you simply no longer have use for. This is the preferred option for anything that is valuable or large. If your DVD player has been collecting dust ever since you started streaming movies on Netflix, consider selling it.
You can choose to sell in-person by hosting a yard sale, or use an online service such as Craigslist or eBay. The downside to this is that selling items takes time and you may not always be able to make the sale. This brings us to our next category.
4. Categorize your clutter: Donate.
Donate any items that are in good condition, but are not worth the trouble of selling. These will be low-value items like books, photo frames, or linens. Round them up and drop these items off at your nearest thrift store.
5. Categorize your clutter: Toss.
Anything that is unusable should be tossed. This includes anything broken, used to the point of visible wear, or obsolete. Your VCR player and non-stick pans that have lost their coating would go here. This is the easiest category to take care of – all you need is a trip to the garbage can or dumpster.
The printable at the bottom of this page can also help you categorize all your clutter!
6. Organize remaining items.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your clutter to your essentials and most-loved items, think – is there a better way to organize this room? Keeping your home messy is a gateway for allowing more clutter back into your life. Instead, invest in an organization system. Pinterest has a ton of inspiration on how to go about this. I even have an Organization board on Pinterest with my favorite ideas.
After you get some ideas together, go shopping for what you need. (Don’t buy before you plan or you’ll start hoarding bins). The Container Store, Target, and TJ Maxx all have great storage options, but I’ve gotten most of my storage baskets from thrift stores.
7. Repeat process for the next room.
Pretty self-explanatory. Move on to the next room (or area) and go through steps 1 and 6 again. Keep up your momentum!
Go through closets separately.
If you go through your closet the same day as your bedroom, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed. By doing a sweep of your closet yearly, you’ll be amazed by how much you can pare it down. Donate, sell, or toss anything that you haven’t worn in a year, that no longer fits, or that doesn’t fit in with your present wardrobe.
This task yields the best results if you know what flatters you. By this, I don’t mean “what hides my muffin top” or “what colors are most slimming.” My husband and I have both had color and image analysis which has given us clarity and discretion in shopping for clothing. Here is a directory of 12 Blueprints certified color analysts and image analyst Rachel Nachmias’ website to get you started.
Want to make things even easier? Grab my printable decluttering kit!
This kit includes everything you need to declutter your home:
- Downsize Your Belongings Flowchart
- Downsize Your Closet Flowchart
- Inventory Chart
- Donate/Sell/Toss Chart
Grab the kit (and access to the entire Den & Sky Resource Library) by entering your email below: