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Create a Decluttered Life in 2012

Updated on January 12, 2012


2012 is here and it is time to de-junk your home for a fresh start. We tend to collect a lot of unnecessary things through the years and it rarely catches our attention. I am guilty of this myself, especially with clothing that I rarely wear. True I do love to save clothing and recycle it into hot new items, but there comes a time to say goodbye. Apart from hoarding clothing, we also tend to collect decorations, books, DVDs, and more. Below I am going to highlight some space saving ideas for you to try out.

Sock Drawer Madness

First I have got to point out one of my biggest problems which would be the messy sock drawer. While it may not be visible to visitors entering your home, it is still a mass of clutter that you can do without. Sock drawer organizers are the perfect remedy to this problem. They are actually quite cheap at around $5.00-$8.00 at various online stores. They vary in size so that they can fit specifically to your needs. This is a great way to get rid of some chaos in your life so you don’t feel overwhelmed each time you open that drawer.


Small Room Distress

As a recent college graduate I have had my fair share of small dorm rooms. Whether your room is a single or a double being in such a small space can be daunting. Yet, don’t distress because there are many ways that you can keep your space manageable. Make sure that you keep things in their place. For example, don’t throw all of you dirty clothes on the floor or leave dirty plates lying around. While daily life can be busy you do not want to bring clutter into such a small space.

I have been there and I know how it can pile up before you know it. Not only is it just messy it can also be distracting you from important tasks you need to complete. I suggest that you take a clean sweep of your room. If you are not going to need an object in the coming months put it away in storage. If you have some decorations out remember that less is more. You can always rotate your decorations. There is no need to have everything out at once. Invest in some storage containers that you can slide under your bed. These are perfect for a small room, because it isn’t sitting out taking up space. The other big bonus is that you do not have to see it them.

Messy closet? There are plenty of over the door storage hangers you can go to organize your closet. These are cheap and some even come scented to keep your clothing and shoes fresh. Febreeze makes a wide selection of these. If you are desperate for space in a closet you can get some collapsible hangers that hang more than one clothing item on a given hanger. They are quite awesome so I’ll include a photo below. You can get these on amazon for around $5.00 -$8.00.


Family Room Mayhem

Shared spaces are also very susceptible to becoming a hot mess. Family rooms typically have toys, games, video games, exercise equipment, decorations, collectibles and much more. When it comes to de-cluttering big spaces or even small ones I suggest you do a little each day. Take 15-20 minutes to remove clutter from one surface/shelf. Once that is finished step back and realize how good it feels. Then you can do another surface the next day. Before you know it you will have an entire room done. That way you are not left with an overwhelming amount to do at once.

Small steps not your thing? No problem. In that case I recommend that you set aside a day where you have a few hours to spare. Step back and take a good look at the room. Pin point what you do not need. You can really gain perspective if you look at photos of zen rooms online or anything on HGTV. Grab four boxes or garbage bags and start picking out what to give away/sell, what needs to be put into storage, a maybe box, and a trash box. Once the boxes are filled, step back and look at your victory.

One method I usually take is when I tackle a drawer or a closet I take everything out at once. Then I organize it into piles for example, clothes pile, office supplies pile, décor pile, and so on. After I do the four box method I grab the storage containers and label then so I know where to find the items I keep later. I also have a three drawer container in my small closet to organize my craft supplies. I really recommend one of these if you have a small closet, because they fit perfectly.

Now I know that throwing things out can seem a bit heartless, but sometimes you have just got to be. The truth is most of the stuff we accumulate over the years are things we will never use. So all those old Christmas cards, stuffed animals, or strange Christmas gifts just have to go. If you are really unsure about some items then perhaps create a “maybe” to make the transition easier.

Stay Clutter-Free

After you have gotten rid of all the clutter in a given room, it can be difficult to maintain it. This is usually due to habits we acquire over time. However, do not fret, because breaking a habit takes time. The best way to maintain your clutter-free life is to actually schedule time to de-clutter. If you just set aside 15 minutes a day or even an hour a week you can maintain this lifestyle. I promise you that you will feel much more relaxed. Clutter is overwhelming, and can make you not even want to be in a room. Once you have tackled your clutter problem you will feel like a weight is lifted off of your shoulders.

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    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 4 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Clutter management and reduction is best with a daily, baby-steps approach, 15 minutes a day is a good amount! A clean sweet is often overwhelming and counter-productive. I must look into such a hanging tool - it would save so much space in my closet.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      These are great tips to reduce clutter and manage the stuff you keep. The sock drawer organizer looks very tempting. I have been trying to clean fifteen minutes a day, and it is a slow progress, but I have been able to see a great deal of progress. Voted up and useful.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Good idea to spend 15 minutes per day. My problem is being a messy packrat, so it would take me solid weeks to get to that point of maintaining. Right now I'm too busy, but maybe I should start doing a little bit every week to start organizing. Thanks for the hub. Good ideas.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Clutter follows me wherever I go :) Very good information. I like your idea of scheduling time to declutter once it's gone. That can soon become clutter to if we don't keep on top of it. Voted up, Useful and sharing.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

      I like this way of sorting, it works for me. You are so right about clutter being a heavy weight upon ones shoulders. I love it when everything is in it's proper place...I can move freely about the house and having a clear head:) It really does make a difference in how your day functions...not only physically but emotionally:) Having a neat and orderly space, really does give you more energy and a great attitude! Seems I get so much more accomplished in my day:) Great Hub!

    • profile image

      theking2020 5 years ago

      This is a great article, the more organize the better life gets, the easier to find things and enjoy a better day.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I have had decluttering on my to-do list for a long time, this was inspirational! Thank you!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      What a great hub which will benefit so many I m sure.

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • everythingdazzles profile image
      Author

      Janelle 5 years ago from Houston

      Your welcome Bail Up ! yes this is my big thing right now as well. I have already conquered my closet. I have the closet the size of small box and those hangers have been awesome! They save so much space for me.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 5 years ago

      This is one of my new year resolutions. Decluttering really gives you a new perspective mentally, makes you feel free and that you can do with much less. I'm leaning towards those collapsable hangers, thanks for the idea.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very useful advice. Start small and just keep going. I am working towards decluttering. A nice way to think about it is that if you donate your unused items to a charity, it will help others and do double duty that way.

    • profile image

      Jeff_McRitchie 5 years ago

      This is a great article. I especially love the idea about the sock drawer. Thanks for posting this and have a great 2012!

    • Jakob Barry profile image

      Jakob Barry 5 years ago

      Great tips. And I would say for those of us who really have a hard time thinking some of the necessary de-cluttering/detaching through; ask a close friend or family member to spend the day and help talk some of it out. Sometimes it just takes another person to help guide us through transition even if it's in a positive direction.

    • everythingdazzles profile image
      Author

      Janelle 5 years ago from Houston

      Thank you for reading everyone!

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 5 years ago from chennai

      When we stay clutter free, your mind also feels clear and calm.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 5 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Yes we are all guilty of collecting items and putting them out of site, where possible. Not only does a cluttered top of cupboard look messy it takes a lot longer to clean and makes a room look smaller. If you have a small room then have less on top of cupboards and work benches. Love the sock drawer idea too.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Your advice to start with one small space at a time is excellent. Too often, we put this off as long as possible because organizing a large space is overwhelming. A small space is doable. Voting this Up and Useful.

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