Home & Garden

Operation Declutter

What words would you use to describe your home? If you said peaceful, clean, inviting, or organized, congratulations—it sounds like you’ve cracked the declutter code. If you said chaotic, overwhelming, or messy, let’s chat. Of course, it’s perfectly natural for your home to alternate through phases of clean and cluttered; we’re human, after all. Here are some strategies for streamlining your space.

ENTRYWAY: Establish a landing area for your keys, wallet, purse, and shoes. A console table with a small bowl can hold keys, or a tiny hook in the wall will suffice if the space is small. If you don’t have a coat closet, install coat hooks along one wall and slide a shoe rack underneath it.

KITCHEN: Let the decanting begin! Choose some jars of various sizes to hold grains, nuts, seeds, pasta, and flour. To store smaller amounts, you can save money by soaking off the labels of pasta sauce or pickle jars. This will not only make your pantry look more cohesive but also make it much easier to know what you need at the grocery store to replenish your supplies.

LIVING ROOM: One word: curate. Pretend you are staging your living room as if it were an Airbnb. How do you want guests to feel in the space? What could you get rid of to make the room more livable and inviting? If you’re holding onto knickknacks solely out of guilt, give yourself permission to toss them.

BEDROOM: Are you overwhelmed by the amount of clothing in your closet? Consider a capsule wardrobe of thirty coordinated pieces that will make getting ready for the day much simpler. Try designating a “maybe” bin if you have trouble being decisive. If you don’t miss the items of clothing in the bin after a few days, you know it’s time to donate them.

BATHROOM: Change your habitat instead of your habits. If your dirty clothes always find their way onto the bathroom floor, move your laundry hamper into the bathroom. Do you have half-full bottles of shampoo that you used and didn’t like or face masks gifted to you by well-meaning friends? To paraphrase Elsa from Frozen, “Let them go!”

Think of decluttering as a journey and not a destination. It’s a constant process of assessing your habits and establishing systems, like taking out the trash every Tuesday or hanging up three shirts before going to bed. Instagram is a great resource if you are someone who likes to follow a plan. Search #declutterchallenge for weeklong, monthlong, or even yearlong strategies. Or commit to a “no-buy month” (other than essentials) and get to the root of your motivation to accumulate. Go forth and declutter!

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