A Clean and Organized living room

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3 Easy Steps To Declutter And Organize Your Home

It’s 2020, and you’re entering into a new decade. How is your house? Do you feel your best at home? Does your home feel to you like a cozy haven?  This is the perfect time for new beginnings, getting things in order, and letting go of things that don’t serve you anymore. 

It’s time to detach, declutter and organize.

There’s so much emphasis on doing inner work in preparation for the new year, but it’s also important to prepare your outer surroundings for the ultimate fresh start. 

Detaching, decluttering and organizing your belongings not only benefits you, your family and your home, but your unloved things can make a huge difference to others. So, are you ready?

“Something that’s been sitting in your house, unused and unloved, may bring a great deal of joy to, or fill the genuine need of someone else. Make their day, and give yourself a pat on the back. Knowing that you’re doing good can make it much easier to part with your stuff.” 

– Francine Jay, “The Joy of Less”

a clean and organized apartment in Boston

Step One: Declutter & Detach

First of all, you need to get some sorting containers. Four should be enough. Label them with the following: ‘Stay’ ‘Throw’, ‘Donate’, ‘Sell’ and work your way through your clutter.

If you’re already thinking that it’s going to take you a whole year to sift through all the junk you have lying around, don’t panic. Make a plan and tackle one room at a time. Every weekend, identify a room and focus on decluttering that specific room. 

Maybe you want to start in the living area and work your way up to the bedrooms? Or you’ve decided to tackle the big boys first – the garage and basement. 

Make it a fun process. Put on some feel-good music. Decluttering can be very therapeutic and nostalgic as you come across old memories and moments. While you’re decluttering, it’s also essential to practice detachment. More often than not, we hold onto things because of our inability to let go of the past or our tendency to think that these things may become useful or ‘back in fashion’ in the future. 

Honey, that lime green mini skirt is never making a comeback, let it go! 

Let go of your material attachments as you go through old clothes, family collections, your collectibles, gifts, and your grown-up daughter’s old, favorite toys. This can be painful but necessary. If you have decided to keep something that’s not particularly useful but important, make sure you can justify it with a good reason.

A person folding to organize

Step Two: Donate, Sell or Throw

Donate

There are hundreds of charities and organizations that will be more than happy to take your unwanted goods off your hands. If you don’t have a local charity shop in mind that you’d like to donate to, check out this comprehensive list of charities that need donations from MissMinimalist.com. 

Not able to take or send your items yourself? Donationtown.org also lists local charities that are willing to offer a pickup service. The great thing about this website is that they guide you to choose a charity that is in line with your own values. You can choose charities that focus on the environment, the elderly, children, the homeless or a faith-based organization to receive your goods.

After the festivities are over, don’t throw out your used Christmas cards! St. Jude’s Ranch has a recycled card program and they need your gift cards!

A box of donations goods
(PHOTO CREDIT: Ofweg.com)

Sell

If you have items that will make you a few bucks, why not sell it on and boost your finances for the new year? 

Websites where you can sell items include: eBay, Craigslist, thredUP, Swap, local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups and consignment stores in the grater Boston area. There are also plenty of online sites that buy used electronic devices such as Gazelle, Nextworth, and USell.

Throw

If you can’t sell or donate something, then it’ll have to be thrown away. But before you reach for that trash can, ask yourself if it can be recycled. Items such as electronics, clothes, and textiles can be recycled at numerous drop off points around Boston like the City Hall Plaza

If you have large items that need to be disposed of, the city council arranges scheduled pickups for these. Accepted items that can be picked up range from electronics, mattresses, furniture and household appliances. Your local council will then dispose of and recycle these items. 

In the Boston area, you can find more information about recycling and trash HERE. For other areas, consult your local council website.

old chair waiting to be picked up by Boston trash disposal

Step Three: Organize

Now it’s time to tackle the items that you’ve chosen to keep. Instead of just throwing things in cupboards and corners, invest in storage furniture for easy organization and keeping things looking neat and tidy. 

For your living areas, invest in some beautiful baskets and boxes that provide a purpose and look gorgeous at the same time. Bulk up your items such as magazines, books, toys and give them their own basket/box. 

If you don’t have the funds to splash out on cute baskets or one of your goals in 2020 is to be more frugal, get crafty and go DIY!

Make Pinterest your best friend! There are so many amazing ideas and tutorials on Pinterest for creating easy, beautiful storage options from things that you already have lying around your home. From decorating old shoeboxes to making your own pallet shelves

handmade storage baskets for decluttering
(PHOTO CREDIT: Remoguide.com.au)

Excuse #1: I Have kids so this will never work!

Having children doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give in and allow them to turn your home into a bombsite. You can go through the three steps with them. Get them involved by giving them their own colorful storage containers and make it into a fun game. 

Use colorful labels and pictures on the boxes and use games and rewards to encourage them to keep their stuff tidy and stored away in their designated boxes and shelves when they’re not being used. This encourages your little ones to learn about the importance of decluttering and organization.

storage boxes in child's room to keep things organized
(PHOTO CREDIT: Pottery Barn Kids)

Excuse #2: I Have no time!

Ah yes. This old cop-out. If you really don’t have time to organize your home or you just don’t want or like doing it, consider hiring a professional home (or office), organizer. 

The Little Details is a team of professional organizers who actually love doing this for fun and are good at it! Using creative systems and strategies, they will get your stuff and home organized and looking amazing in no time. Check out their website to find out more about their services. Please, let them know you read about their services in our blog 🙂

Closed decluttered by The Little Details in Cambridge
(PHOTO CREDIT: The Little Details)

As you’re decluttering and organizing your home, you may discover sections or parts that you haven’t cleaned in years! Arranging a deep cleaning with House Bliss Cleaning will add that final touch in making your home as blissful as possible. With no more clutter or stuff blocking areas, we are able to give your home the cleaning attention it deserves.

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