Living and working in a clean space leads to a clear mind, or at least that’s what our parents said to make us clean our rooms, right?
Well, it turns out your parents were right. According to Psychology Today, “Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.”
If this sounds like you, we’re here to help.
Our storage experts have created a declutter guide full of the steps and tools to declutter your home and bring peace to yourself and your family members.
MAKE A PLAN – FEEL ACCOMPLISHED
The hardest part of decluttering your home is knowing where to start. We recommend that you start small as you learn the skills of decluttering. Consider a task that you can finish the same day and feel the success. Whether that’s decluttering your closet space or reorganizing your pantry, start with a project you know you can achieve. If you have a lot to declutter and need to keep track of multiple tasks, we recommend using a mobile app such as these below to help.
Backed by Martha Stewart and Real Simple Magazine, Tody has been described as simply a smarter way to manage your home cleaning. Tody estimates the priority of tasks and measures the actual need for doing them, helping you manage your workload.
Cost: Android/Free, IOS /$6.99
Chores Schedule App – PikaPika
Best suited for families, this organizing app lets you keep track and share with everyone which rooms have been tidied up and when. Meaning: You’ll know exactly who didn’t finish cleaning the kitchen. See at a glance how long it’s been since you last cleaned while scheduling the tasks in order of priority.
Cost: Free + in-app purchases on both (IOS and Android)
CREATE FOUR BOXES
Once you finalize a plan and choose a room to start out with, the next step in decluttering is creating an efficient system that will identify where you will move unwanted objects. You will need four distinct containers – boxes, trash bags, or storage bins.
Box #1: Trash
Use this container for those empty soda cans, expired coupons, old mail or magazines, etc. Anything you’re not planning to donate, sell or keep belongs in the trash.
Don’t waste the chance to recycle when you can! Use a separate box if needed and check Glad’s guide to see what you can and can’t recycle to make things easier on you when you finally throw the trash in your bin.
Box #2: Donate/Sell
This container is one step up from the trash. Items that you will never use again and could be useful to someone else go in this box. That list includes old prom dresses, dishes, college books, kid furniture, or toys, for example, that are in good condition but not useful to you anymore.
You might want to save this box for further distribution. Once you have organized the space, you might want to go through this box again and decide what items could be sold at a yard/garage sale for some extra cash, and what goes to your local nonprofit.
If you’re having a tough time getting rid of items, read our article on Four Steps to Help a Hoarder Declutter! Need a place to sell your unwanted items but don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a garage sale? The Facebook Marketplace is an e-commerce platform that lets you buy and sell locally and from businesses.
Box #3: Storage
Choose this container for items you still want but don’t need on a daily basis. Household objects like seasonal decorations, summer/winter clothes, camping equipment, etc. can take up too much space and clutter your home. For tips on the best storage organization, read TMS’s Storage Unit Organization Best Practices. Need a storage space but don’t know what size? We’ve got your back with our TMS Self Storage guide.
Box #4: Reorganize
This container is for items that you still want but that have found their way into the wrong space. Such items may be garage tools left in the bathroom when you were repairing the toilet or bills left in the kitchen that need to be moved to your in-home office so you will pay them. You might also find items that need to be repaired or replaced. Feel free to grab another box to designate repairable/replaceable items.
REWARD YOURSELF FOR COMPLETING A ROOM
We all know that feeling of satisfaction and pride when you finish a task, especially one that has felt too overwhelming. Give yourself a reward each time you complete a room. Whether it is a 5-to-10-minute break, a walk in the fresh air, or a coffee break, decide how you will reward yourself to keep motivated to declutter your home.
PLAN THE NEXT ROOM
With the help of your home decluttering app, rank each room from highest to lowest priority. Depending on your personality, you might rank it from simplest to the hardest room to declutter. Or, you might decide the ranking based on the room that irritates you most to least irritating. It’s your project, so plan it the best way to keep you motivated.
DECLUTTERING IDEAS FOR EACH ROOM
Now that you have your decluttering system ready, a ranking system for rooms, and your mobile app to keep you going, let’s delve into some tips for each room in the house.
While smaller in size compared to other rooms in your house, the bathroom is one of the main rooms we use and becomes easily cluttered.
Go Through Your Bathroom Products
That skincare routine you tried but didn’t work? Trash or give it away. The beauty blender you forgot to wash and instead bought a new one? Trash. The majority of the clutter that is in our bathrooms are beauty products we haven’t used and forgot or stopped using and didn’t throw away.
The rule of thumb is any beauty product such as a skincare product, hair product, makeup, accessory, etc. that you haven’t used in over six months should be thrown away. If you have a duplicate of a product that’s running low, feel free to combine them to conserve space and money.
Check Your Medicine Cabinet
Now’s the time to check and see if your medicine/pill bottles have expired and toss anything that’s no longer usable, like stretched-out bobby pins. Make it easier on yourself by taking everything out all at once to sort through, and wipe down the shelves afterward.
Tips for Bathroom Storage
Still running low on bathroom space? Build shelving or attach baskets along the walls to hold towels and other need-to-reach items. Having trouble keeping all your hair clips together? Use a magnetic strip inside your medicine cabinet to keep barrettes and bobby pins in place. For products like cotton balls/swabs, hair ties, or makeup brushes, using labeled jars add a nice touch of organization to your bathroom counters. Don’t be scared to use the top of your toilet! Adding a tasteful basket, tray or shelves will create space while adding more character.
Now onto the room where you spend the most time. Start with a small task, such as making the bed or picking up trash off the carpet. These small tasks add up to a clean and organized bedroom.
If you have a nightstand or an end table that is littered with Chapstick, glasses, books, jewelry, and other small items, think about what you use before you get in bed and after. Are any of these items essential to your routine? If not, repeat the Four-Box Method. Your glasses and Chapstick can stay, but your day-old coffee mug needs to find a new home in the dishwasher.
Ever put away your freshly folded laundry and realize you need to stuff all of them to fit? I’m sure you already guessed it, use the Four-Box Method where Box #2: Donate/Sell and Box #3: Storage might be the most useful. If you see that your clothes are still in OK condition, no longer fit, not your style anymore, or have no sentimental value, get rid of them. Try rolling your clothes in order to create more space and smooth out wrinkles.
While this may seem like an intimidating task, a well-organized closet space creates peace in your bedroom. If you have shelving above your clothing rack and see shoes you haven’t worn in over eight months, get rid of them. Seasonal shoes like snow boots can go into storage if they still fit. Need storage space? TMS Self Storage offers a wide variety of both climate-controlled and traditional units to fit your needs.
This room is often the gathering place for your family. The problem is, it is also a gathering place for clutter and needs some serious organization strategies. Thankfully, you won’t need a team of experts to follow these three simple steps!
Step #1: Four-Method Box Style on Toys, Technology & Miscellaneous
Your coffee table or ottoman shouldn’t be stacked with random books, magazines, or papers that you neglect. Nor should the entertainment center be filled with old gaming consoles that have wires poking out and DVD/CD sets that you don’t use anymore.
Sort through these items to see what you do and don’t want to keep and get rid of items you haven’t used or don’t plan to use in a year. For those stubborn cords and cables that keep poking out or tangling, use zip-ties to keep them together and tape/hooks in the back of your entertainment center to keep them from showing in the front.
Step #2: Reduce Knickknacks & Decor
Sometimes your décor can contribute to the clutter. Double-check to see if you really need all of those pillows on the sofa and chairs. Consider what you have on the shelves and tables to see if there is anything you can either get rid of or relocate. Be scrupulous!
Step #3: Storage, Storage and More Storage
After figuring out what you do and don’t want to keep, putting away stray remotes, blankets, etc. in an ottoman or a basket for safekeeping will instantly declutter your home without taking away your personal touch.
If you still don’t have enough living room storage to hide your personal belongings? Here are 30 Genius Living Room Storage and Organization Ideas for a Clutter-Free Space.
A cluttered office is the last thing you need when you’re trying to find the motivation to work, and you definitely don’t need another excuse to procrastinate. To help you feel more productive during work hours, here are some decluttering tips:
What Doesn’t Belong?
Having non-work-related household items in your workspace can easily create distractions and be reminders of tasks you don’t need to do while you’re working. Sort through and put away workout gear, old dishes, toys, and anything else that will prohibit you from being your most productive self.
Be Your Own Secretary
If your office is covered with random paper stacks and is a place where receipts go to be forgotten, it’s time to be your own secretary and start filing. To make this process as painless as possible, create three paper stacks similar to the Four-Box Method where one stack is designated for trash/recycling or shredding, the next stack is for filling once you finish, and the last stack is for documents that need immediate attention. Consider digitizing your important documents to keep your paper trail to a minimum while saving on space.
Organize Desk Drawers & Cabinets
Now’s the time to go through each of your drawers to remove old dried-up pens and other writing utensils that no longer work. Arrange your drawers by how frequently you use your office supplies, with your most frequently used items in the top drawers – such as pens, notebooks, phone chargers, and sticky notes – and the least frequently used – like a hole punch, stamps, and envelopes – at the bottom.
Following this extensive guide for each of your rooms will lead you on the path to a clean home and a clear mind. At TMS Self Storage, we have a team of experts ready to help you start your home decluttering journey. Contact our helpful management team or call us at (940) 648-5000 to begin your path to a decluttered and peaceful home.