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10 Ways to De-Clutter

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

 1. Give it a home! Take a look around your house, what stands out the most to you? Do you have lots of random papers everywhere? Kids toys? Dog treats? Shoes? Give these items one specific place and keep them there. For example, when you bring in the mail, have a designated place for it to go so that papers don't pile up around the house. 


2.  Start clearing a starting zone. Give yourself a starting point. Depending on how ambitious you are it could be a high-traffic area, or a smaller space in the home. Make this one area completely clutter-free. Once you're done removing the clutter from that area (no matter how small or large), keep it clutter-free and keep expanding the space until your whole house is clutter-free! 





3. Clear off a counter. I think this is my mother's favorite de-clutter rule. She will not go to bed until all of the counters and tables are cleared off and everything is put away. This is a great rule to live by because it's much harder to keep clutter if you have no where to put it! If you're like me, and love to leave stuff everywhere because "I'm going to use that again in a little while", it's best to start small with one counter and work your way up to all of the flat surfaces in your home (tables, kitchen island, etc.). 


4. Pick a shelf. This is great if you only have a few minutes. Pick one shelf in your house every day and make it clutter-free. Get rid of all of the things that don't belong. Either throw them away, put them in their proper place, or donate them. You don't have to do all the shelves in one room or on one piece of furniture, just clean one shelf.  





5. Schedule a decluttering weekend. Ask a friend if you can borrow their truck one weekend, and block off one weekend for the family to de-clutter the house. Pick up some boxes so you can choose what you want to stay, donate, throw away or relocate. Make sure that each room has four boxes so that the items in that room can be categorized. At the end of the day, haul the throw aways to the dump and take the rest to Goodwill. If there are some items that you aren't sure about - you don't want to get rid of it per say, but you don't want to stare at it every day either, make a "maybe" box. Put everything you're unsure of in the box, and store it in the attic. Then, put a note on your calendar in 6 months and decide what you want to do with it then. This give you an opportunity to see how often you actually use those items and how badly you want to keep them. *You also may want to add a 5th box, if you want to have a yard sale - but make sure you actually set a date for the yard sale and follow through.  

6. Re-learn how to buy. One of my friend's had a rule growing up, that he wasn't allowed to buy anything with his allowance the day he saw it. He had to wait a month before making a purchase, that way he knew that he really wanted it. What a great idea for his mom to instill in him at such a young age! It's so easy to go by the $5 bin at Wal-Mart and pick up several DVD's that you have wanted forever and they always end up taking up more space and you only watch them once. Instead, make a list of things that you want to buy while you're out that isn't a necessity, and put them on your calendar. After 1 month, if you can't get that item out of your head, go get it. Most of the time, they are impulse buys and this will save you lots of money and clutter! 

7. Teach your kids where things belong. This only applies to the parents among us, of course, but if you teach your kids where things go, and start teaching them the habit of putting them there, you’ll go a long way to keeping your house uncluttered.There is nothing worse than stepping on a Lego at 2am and trying not to wake up the whole house - just to go to the bathroom! Of course, they won’t learn the habit overnight, so you’ll have to be very very patient with them and just keep teaching them until they’ve got it. And better yet, set the example for them and get into the habit yourself.

8. Pull out some clothes you don’t wear. You may have seen this on Oprah. Take all of the clothes in your closet and turn the hangers around backwards. At the end of the year, anything not turned back needs to go to Goodwill. Let's face it, if we haven't worn it in a year, then we probably will never wear it again. You can something similar to your drawers, and just put the clothes in upside down (have the folded half of the shirt face the back of the drawer instead of the front).  

 
9. Clear out your medicine cabinet. If you don’t have one spot for medicines, give them a home! Clean out all of the expired medicines, anything that is empty, trash, etc. Only put medicines in here that will be used regularly or are not out of date (pain relievers, blood pressure medicine, band aids, etc.). And no, the Vodka and Bourbon don't belong here! 









10. Pull everything out of a drawer. Just take the drawer out and empty it on a table. Then sort the drawer into three piles: 1) stuff that really should go in the drawer; 2) stuff that belongs elsewhere; 3) stuff to get rid of. Clean the drawer out nice, then put the stuff in the first pile back neatly and orderly. Deal with the other piles immediately!

Reusing to Redesign

Tired of looking at the same ol' same ol' in your home? Me too! But sadly, redesigning the entire house is way out of budget! Here are some tips to help redesign your home without breaking the bank:

1. Rearrange the furniture
Sometimes you can rearrange the furniture that you have in each room to make the space feel new again. However, it can sometimes surprise you to see what you can do by pulling from throughout the house. For instance, take a chair from your living room and swap it with one from a bedroom or game room. 


2. Refinish items
Instead of buying new furniture or knick knacks, try refinishing or painting them. You can bring an old 90's frame up to date with a simple coat of paint! Plus, painting some of your decor will bring consistency to your room. 


3. Change out your Pictures
Sometimes the tiniest details can bring new life to a room. Experiment with changing out pictures in your picture frames, or changing up your wall art. If you want to get crafty, you can always make your own art out of other household items, or try your luck at a flea market for some unique, inexpensive art. 

4. Paint
Paint is cheap and can make a big difference. Try painting just one wall or the whole room to give your space a whole new feel! 

For more tips, questions, or help with your design, please contact Woodmaster Woodworks to help make your house feel like home.