It is a new year and with the Christmas decorations coming down it feels like the perfect time to purge all of the extra things from your house. It is incredible to me how much “stuff” we can acquire so quickly! Add a few kids and boom it is completely overwhelming. Here is a list of 10 things you could start with today that you can purge from your house and feel much better. Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist there are still extras in the house that can certainly weigh you down and give you much more to organize than you need! As a general rule it is a good idea to ask yourself how an item makes you feel. I am a huge fan of the Kon Marie method but I feel like it is a little extreme for a family. Heaven knows Id love to only have that one coat and know where it will be every time I go in search of it, but that isn’t always the case. The #1 thing I do like about her approach is that it is designed to have you categorize your items into beginning piles so you can actually see what it is you have to work with. Often I think that we forget how much of something we actually have when it is spread all over the house. I recently watched a show about minimalism on Netflix and was inspired by the simplicity it brought to the lives of those who practiced it. It got me to thinking which areas of the home I need to edit and I came up with this list.
Clear out the linen closet. Old blankets, sheets, and towels can build up so quickly. If you have items in there that are smelling moldy, are frayed, or simply not being used any more it is time to pass it along. Old towels can be donated to animal shelters, and blankets/sheets that are in decent condition could be donated to shelters as well. It is best to have only 3 towels per person in the home as a guideline.
Edit the closet. One of my favorite ways to purge clothes from the closet is turn my hangers around the opposite way and then when I’ve worn them hang them bag up so that the hanger is now facing the normal way. This way I can actually see what clothes I am wearing in a six month time frame and adjust accordingly. Shopping can be very therapeutic, at least it has been for me in the past. I am now getting to the place where I try to focus on quality rather than quantity. Everyone is different when it comes to what amount seems comfortable/appropriate and you just need to find that happy medium for yourself. I laugh because my sister did the Marie Kondo method and almost got rid of EVERYTHING in her closet because she associated one negative memory with multiple items in her closet. Then she reassessed and realized those clothes also had a lot of wonderful memories too and she adjusted accordingly. Start small and work your way through your closet, but group things first so you really know what you are working with.
Cycle through the toys. The toys. Oh the toys. I have tried my best to pass toys on to charity when we get new toys in. It is a great opportunity to talk to your children about giving toys to those who are less fortunate and making room for the new toys. It seems to me that they are resistant at first but breath much easier when there is more space to enjoy the toys they have and recognize that they are doing something good for someone else.
Paper waste. Paper junk is coming into the house daily, constantly. I try my best to do the “one touch” method to put things where they need to be from the first time I touch them. Oftentimes this means the mail is coming out of the box and right into the recycle bin. One thing that has been super helpful for me is using the clipboard system so that when I get a paper that belongs to someone in the family I attach it to their clipboard and that lets them know that it is important! Otherwise it is most likely garbage. Check your statements/bills and look for ways to go paperless. We have set up Auto-pay and paperless for our regular bills and it has simplified things so much. Also, if you’re holding onto paperwork from college, old projects, or really old bill statements you can most likely get rid of those too.
Clear out excess cleaning supplies. When was the last time you took a good look at what is in your cleaning supply closet/cupboard? There are really only a few things that you absolutely need that can be used for multiple surfaces. That is why I like to put together a traveling tote with a handle that I can take with me from room to room and find a cleaning product that I can use in multiple rooms like Clorox’s new surface cleaner Scentiva.
I also really love Force of Nature. It is safe for pets, kids, and all surfaces.
Discover what’s under the bathroom sink. This is where I totally am guilty of holding on to things I should probably let go. Whether your vice is make-up extra shampoo, body lotions, facial creams, or curling irons. Take a real assessment of the things you truly use on a daily/weekly basis and let the rest go. You may be surprised what is hiding under your sink and how nice it will feel to get rid of those nail polish bottles that are dried up in the corner.
The craft room/office supplies. Craft supplies are tricky because you want to have a stash for when inspiration hits and you need that certain something. Craft supplies can also take up a lot of space that you could be using for something else. Recently I went through my fabric stash and found fabric I’d be hanging onto since high school. You can donate fabric to goodwill and make space for your sanity.
Decorations. This is the perfect time of year to go through your decorations and get rid of items that you are no longer enjoying. If you haven’t used a decoration in a couple of years the chances that you will be using them in the next years is slim. Decorations go out of style just like clothing and home decor. If you have a happy memory tied to an item and you really enjoy it, don’t get rid of it! If it is taking up space and you’re holding on to it simply because it was a gift and you hate giving it away, pass it along. It can serve someone else better elsewhere.
Magazines/books. If you’re a magazine reader you know it is easy to let them stack up in the “maybe I’ll read that someday” pile. Let go of the stacks! Books can be the same way. I am a book person and love to decorate with them in my home, but I have tried my best to go through them once a year to pass along books that I never plan to read again.
Kitchen sweep. Every year I seem to accumulate sport cups, mugs, and utensils that I did not buy and have no idea how they got there! The kitchen is one of the busiest places of the home and can fill up quickly. Take an honest assessment of the pots, pans, flatware, and sippy cups missing their lids. Let it go!
This list of 10 is primarily for the inside of the home, the garage in and of itself is another story! That is another post for another day, but if you haven’t seen it in years or needed it in years, chances are you could donate/recycle/throw it away and have extra room for a home gym you’ve always wanted. I hope you have found this helpful! Happy de-junking! You might also like:
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and believer in creating your best momlife the way you see fit. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, my hope is you’ll find something here to make your life a little better/easier. Let’s be friends on social!