You most likely landed here because you’re currently looking around wondering how the heck to get past the clutter and organize the mess once and for all. Am I right?!
I’m here to tell you that I understand! I am constantly looking for ways to keep ‘the things’ in my house under control.
- Your house may be small with limited storage.
- You might own WAY too much stuff.
- Or, you’d really just like to see the kitchen counter again!
Either way, it’s time to get this item off the to-do list and take action.
To help with this process, I reached out to a friend of mine who is a pure minimalist and asked her to share her top tips to help those in need (you and me!) to get our messy homes organized.
The one important note to make here is that when you declutter your surroundings, you declutter your mind. It’s honestly like therapy.
This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure here.When you declutter your surroundings, you declutter your mind. #minimalism #organize Click To Tweet
QUICK TIP: Start with baby steps. Decluttering and organizing can be overwhelming to people. Remember that you are doing this to relieve stress so find a path that brings you joy.
Let’s jump in…
#1 Organize and Downsize Your Closet:
Step 1: Take everything out of your closet and I mean EVERYTHING! Go through each item and get rid of clothing you don’t like, clothing that is damaged or has holes and other items that simply don’t belong in the closet.
Step 2: Put remaining items back in and turn all the hangers in your closet backward. As you wear each item of clothing turn the hanger back the right way. After one year (all four seasons), see which hangers are still backward. Remove these items and donate.
This means that you’ll be saying goodbye to clothing you haven’t touched for an entire year. These clothes either don’t fit you, you don’t like them or you may just own far too many clothes!
Other tips for your closet downsizing:
- Do you fluctuate in size and keep many sizes at home? Solution: Arrange a clothing swap with your friends.
- If your closet is small (like mine) you can use these stackable hangers for your pants and/or accessories. I personally love mine as it means I can keep everything in my closet and still maximize the space.
- Thinking you might fit into your fave jeans from high school, but been ‘trying’ for years? It’s time to let go!
- Organize your shoes so you can see them. I like to use a clear shoe hanger, which you’ll have lots of space for once you clean out your closet. If your shoes are uncomfortable or don’t fit right, get rid of them.
Why is this step of downsizing your closet important? Your closet should bring you joy. It’s that simple. Owning too many clothes that you don’t wear means that at least once a day you’re not feeling great about getting ready.
#2 Tackle that Kitchen:
Pick one drawer (or cupboard). That’s right, just one (to start), as I know the kitchen can be overwhelming.
- Take everything out of that drawer and put duplicates to the side. Do you really need 4 spatulas?!
- Remove gadgets you have NEVER used… You know that wine opener that ended up in a Holiday gift basket?!
- After putting your unwanted items aside, add them to your donation pile.
Tip: Consider purchasing a kitchen accessory that does a lot (so you can get rid of the other gadgets you don’t need). There is one kitchen utensil, the Microplane I have given to friends and family over the years because I simply LOVE it. Use it to grate lemons, limes, oranges, parmesan cheese, garlic, whole nutmeg, cinnamon, fresh ginger. It is such a powerful, high-quality tool and so affordable. You can pick one up here.
As mentioned above, just start with the one drawer or cupboard and when you’re ready to do more continue. It’s not a race and no one is judging if you can’t complete all at once 🙂Tired of the constant mess in your house? Here are 8 easy ways to organize your home - straight from a minimalist. #minimalism #declutter #minimalist #organize Click To Tweet
#3 Digitize and Organize Your Photos:
It’s time to get out those albums collecting dust in your cupboard and make digital copies.
If you feel comfortable, you can digitize everything and dispose of the old photos (this is a pure minimalist move). For those who are hesitant, you can focus on making a digital backup. This way you can look at your photos more and share with family.
Step #2: Organize your photos by uploading them into relevant folders on your computer, plus make sure to back them up on an external hard drive.
Step #3: You can try a photo sharing service like flickr, you can upload to Facebook or keep in a photo app.
Tip: Once all your photos are digitized you can take advantage of this by sharing with your family, and even making some gifts (calendars for the grandparents, framed photos for the family room and other cute gifts).
#4 Downsize your CD’s/DVD’s:
Yes, I know many of you are still holding on to SO many CD’s and DVD’s despite the fact that you most likely haven’t used them forever! Yep, I did the same until I finally organized them all. I had over 500 CD’s and at least 200 DVD’s – which were taking up a large shelf in the basement.
My solution was finding this CD/DVD binder which holds 400 discs 🙂
First things first:
- Go through all your CDs or DVDs.
- Decide which discs you want to keep. Don’t keep duplicates or bad music and movies please!
- Remove the disc and the sleeve from the CD/DVD case.
- Dispose of the cases – many cities recycle these cases, but make sure to look up the details of what’s recyclable in your city/town.
- For CD’s the paper sleeves easily fit in the binders pocket along with the disc.
- For DVD’s I didn’t keep all the paper sleeves but I did on my fav movies. I simply folded the paper sleeve and slide it into the pocket with the DVD disc.
The result: You’ll be able to clear out entire bookcases, shelves and boxes, plus you’ll end up with only one or 2 nylon CD/DVD cases. Win-win! This is the exact CD/DVD binder I used for my discs.Thinking of trying minimalism but don't know where to begin? Here are 8 simple organization tips to get you started. #minimalism #declutter #organize #minimalist Click To Tweet
#5 Don’t Buy, Rent!
For Home Fixer-uppers: Instead of buying that small appliance or tool you’ll only use one or two times, consider renting.
Big box stores such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s will rent TONS of tools for you to get the job done. For example, check out The Home Depot’s variety of rental tools.
For Fashionistas: Did you know you can rent designer dresses from companies like RentTheRunway.com (US) and RentFrockRepeat.com (Canada). Renting from these companies is ideal for a wedding, a big event and even just for fun. This is a great way to save money, save space and still look top notch!
#6 Clean Out Your Wallet Every Month:
My minimalist friend said to do this weekly, but if you are not a minimalist (like me) I think once a month is a good start! This is especially important for those that have “mom wallet’s” that they can’t close, at all.
This is pretty easy. DUMP everything out of your wallet. Get rid of old receipts and strange odds and ends that end up in your wallet! Only put back cards you use regularily, some cash and that’s about it. Anything else you need to refer to, you can always take a photo with your phone and delete later.
Other things to do with your wallet:
- I said to clean the wallet out monthly, but one thing you can do weekly is empty your change and put it in a piggy bank. Save it up and treat yourself to something later.
- Tip: DO NOT carry your SSN or SIN cards in your wallet. If you can’t remember the number you could take a photo of it with your phone.
- If you have a lot of gift cards that you don’t think you’ll use, consider swapping them out. There are companies that will take them and let you trade them for gift cards you actually want or they’ll send you a cheque. Not bad! Here are some companies I found that you can check out: CardCash.com (US), CardSwap.ca (Canada), CardYard.co.uk (UK).
#7 Use the One In, One Out Rule
Before you purchase anything, ask yourself… Why am I buying this?
Then you must say YES to one of these questions and ideally to both…
Do I need this item? Does it bring me joy?
If you don’t need it and it doesn’t bring you joy – WHY ARE YOU CONSIDERING BUYING IT? Put it down!
If you do purchase, follow the one in one out rule…
- You bought a t-shirt – get rid of an old one.
- You bought socks – throw out your holy pair.
- Purchased jeans – say goodbye to the ones that are too small, too short or too big.
See where I’m going with this?
#8 Pick It Up
Every time you get up, pick up one thing and put it away. It’s a simple concept but it means that things won’t pile up (as much).
Some easy ways to do this:
- During a TV commercial pick things up until your show comes back on.
- Tell your spouse/kids about the pickup rule!
- Walking upstairs/downstairs? Take something with you.
- Talking on the phone? Put a few things away as well.
Some other ways to stay on top of the mess:
- Put the timer on for 30 minutes and pick a room to tidy up. Learn more about time blocking here.
- Recycle magazines, old notebooks and textbooks.
- Eat what you have in your fridge and cupboards – don’t buy more until you actually need it.
- Every 3 months go through your medicine cabinet and throw away everything that has expired.
- Vacuum bags help organize large items in the offseason – winter jackets, snow pants, duvets, blankets, etc.
- Don’t own a storage unit (unless you’re renovating, building or moving)! You don’t need that much stuff!
I am about to start a FREE organization course – The 5 Word Organization Challenge. This course is from Hilary at PullingCurls.com. She is passionate about helping people organize. I’m in! Go ahead and join and we can chat about how it helped us. I will post an update for you all once I complete it.
All of these tips may seem a little overwhelming to some of you, but the goal here is to organize in bite size pieces and give yourself a reward like a little self-care afterwards.
Also, remember that clutter and a messy house can actually cause anxiety. You’ll notice once you begin to try some of these organization techniques that you’ll have a clearer mind and feel proud of yourself too!
What prevents you from conquering the mess and what organization tips are you going to try? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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