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How to De-Clutter Your Home For the New Year

Updated on December 14, 2012
Tote bins come in different sizes and colors to fit your needs in storage and organizing.
Tote bins come in different sizes and colors to fit your needs in storage and organizing. | Source

New Beginnings

It always amazes me how fast each year goes by nowadays!

Weren’t we just celebrating Independence Day?

I am an Aries. Arians are the first sign in the Zodiac. Astrologically and astronomically it is the first thirty-degree arc beginning at the point of the Spring Equinox. My Native American spirit guide is butterfly which represents rebirth and new beginnings.

Between my Astrological sign and my spirit guide, I am all about the rebirth and new beginning of things.

I always look forward to the New Year because that’s just what it is…NEW!

New year, new job, new beginnings, new outlook, so many new and exciting things await each of us.

2012 is going to be an exciting year and I want to be a part of it.

I have already begun writing my Hubs on putting our homes in order with “Getting Prepared in 2012” and 72 Hr. Emergency Kits. I am passionate about these subjects as I have experienced firsthand how important it is to be prepared for any disaster or financial crisis.

There will be two other areas I am going to write about later which will make my life easier and also give me health and strength. Anyone who would like to join me for the ride, I welcome with open arms. Remember, I love learning about other ideas and views as well in these areas. The more input, the better.

The first area I will write about in this Hub is how to de-clutter, and organize your home.

Hubbing a Great Topic

Now, it’s obvious that this subject has been written and discussed over and over again. Am I tired of seeing it? Absolutely NOT! There are some wonderful HUBS that touch on the subject of de-cluttering and organization. The only thing different between mine and the other HUBS is that it’s mine and how I had learned through the years to get organize and to de-clutter my home.

I have to admit that I used to be a “What if” kind of gal. You know the type… “What if I will need these 15 year old papers someday”, “What if I know someone who has a friend who has a sister that just had a baby boy who might need my ex-husband’s old baseball glove?”

I think most of you, if not all of you know exactly what I mean. Don’t you?

Because everyone’s home is different, there is no wrong way in getting yourself de-cluttered and organized. The good news is that YOU ARE DOING IT!!!! However, there are less stressful ways to go about it. Hopefully my ideas and tips will motivate and help you in what you want to accomplish.

Isn’t it amazing just how much we accumulate over the years? Sometimes, my “Catch-All” room needs a “catch-all” room!

De-Clutter and Away We GO!

Cleaning our home is pretty much second nature to us. But, de-cluttering can be a little stressful, especially to those who like to hold on for things. So I’m here to offer my advice and experience in the way I de-clutter. First, take some gasoline and a match….. just kidding… Wow.. I could hear your gasps all the way through my computer!

Okay folks.. It’s time to D-E-C-L-U-T-T-E-R!!

You will need the following:

  • 6 Plastic Tote Bins (The lids will not be used at this time)
  • Magic Marker
  • Index cards
  • Tape

On two cards write the words “KEEP” and tape each card to two bins and put bins in one area.

On the next two cards, write the words “THROW AWAY” and “RECYCLE” and tape those two cards on two more bins and place those bins together in another area.

On the last two cards, write the words “DONATE” and tape them on the last two bins and place those bins in a different area.

As you go through each room in your home, keep in mind that you need to focus on one area at a time.

I like to start with the closets and anything on shelves, including medicine cabinets.

The whole idea is to be completely open-minded and honest with you and ask yourself 2 questions:

  1. DO I REALLY NEED IT?
  2. CAN IT BE DONATED or RECYCLED?

When you ask yourself “If you really need it”, be honest and realistic. Think about this:

  • When was the last time I used it
  • When would I ever need it again? (If more than 6 months- get rid of it)
  • Are these papers worth keeping? (If they are not already filed or in a safety deposit box, chances are, you don’t need them. RECYCLE BIN!
  • Once you have established that you don’t need it, determine whether or not if it can be recycled or donated.

See how easy it is? Don’t try to over analyze why you need to hold onto it or keep it or whether or not you should get rid of it. Go with your first thought and reaction. You will be surprised with how much “Stuff” you can unload with those simple questions.

Don’t be afraid to get rid of it! Cleansing and purging is good. Remember, it’s all about the rebirth and new beginnings!

After the cleansing has taken place, it’s important to organize the remaining items you keep.

Who knows what that might be, but one thing to remember is to make sure you keep them clean, easy to access and don’t allow them to clutter up the area you just de-cluttered.

Tote Bins are perfect for keeping your linens clean and in order.
Tote Bins are perfect for keeping your linens clean and in order. | Source

TOTE BINS "R" US

I LOVE tote bins to organize. My preference is those that are clear so I can actually see what’s in the box.
(Tote bins also come in an array of colors and sizes depending on your needs)

This saves a lot of time when I am searching for something specific.

I usually buy the totes with the snap on lids for a few of reasons:

a) Lids prevent God’s furry critters from getting inside

b) Keeps the contents safe from water damage

c) A little more stable for stacking

Some of my items I place in totes are:

§ My linens, such as table cloths, napkins, and placemats

§ Craft supplies, such as paints and brushes, glue guns and glue sticks

§ Candles

§ First Aid supplies

The possibilities are endless.

On a note, I like to store my totes in closets, under beds, and in the garage; pretty much out of sight.

I don’t like when company comes over and I have 30 totes stacked from floor to ceiling in the living room. The operative word here is STORAGE; put away, unseen.

De-cluttering is healthy. When we have less clutter, we can focus on the important things in life, such as our family and ourselves, our minds become less cluttered because we know where things are, and last but certainly not least, it makes us feel better about our homes and ourselves. What more could you ask for?

I’m excited about starting my year end de-cluttering. I hope you are too!

And remember…. HAVE FUN WITH IT!

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    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Inspiring aticle . . . and I need to declutter BAD! Voted up and useful.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Mahalo nui YogaKat,

      I really appreciate your vote!

      Have fun de-cluttering. Think of it as "Yoga for the Home" *big grin*

      Blessings,

      ~Lisa

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Great hub! It is hard to get rid of some things. This has given me some motivation, thank you! Voted up and useful.

    • Outbound Dan profile image

      Dan Human 5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Fantastic hub! I started de-cluttering my life a few months ago with a deep desire to simplify. Though my apartment is cleaner, I feel less constricted by my things. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you so much sgbrown. I think motivation is the key. It's awesome we have so many Hubs with ideas on how to do this. I'm so happy I can be motivating to others. It helps me as well. Good luck. Let me know how you do!

      Blessings,

      Lisa

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Outbound Dan. (BTW, Love your Hub Name)

      I agree with you. It's such a great feeling, isn't it?

      It's amazing how a cluttered room or home can be so influencial on our lives.

      Blessings,

      Lisa

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 5 years ago from California

      I love, love, love this article! I use the clear totes too so I can find what I'm looking for...yay!! Excellent hub..

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thanks Rachel, I greatly appreciate your comments!

      BTW-I've been "Tote'n all day! What a good feeling it was to throw out "stuff" I forgot I had. Actually filled 2 bins for donations, 1 bin for ebaying, and 2 bins for recycling. Woo hoo! I'm liberated!!! :)

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 5 years ago from California

      Haha!! That's awesome! I bet the energy is movin' -- LOL -- I can feel the excitement! Happy New Year to you!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Same to you Rachel! :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Love this hub! You have some excellent ideas that I plan to follow. Organization has never been one of my stronger points - but now that I have read your motivating hub, I'm ready to do this. Your tote idea is awesome and easy! Thanks so much and voted UP all the way!

      vocalcoach~

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you VC.

      I appreciate your comments and vote. I'm happy this motivates so many. Makes me feel good to beable to share my ideas. There are so many good ideas out there!

      Blessings,

      ~Lisa

    • Donna Huebsch profile image

      Donna Fairley Huebsch 5 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

      De-cluttering is my goal for this year...we moved into a smaller house and the clutter we have accumulated is mind-numbing!! I also get distracted very easily, so I will sometimes use a timer set at 15 minutes to keep me focused on my decluttering task. Thanks for the tips! I think I will go work on a box in the garage now :o)

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Oooo I love the timer idea Donna! Sometimes I get so involved with my cleaning and organizing, I forget about eating or doing other things that need tending. A timer would keep me a little more focused on my "Time management." Downsizing is never easy, but can actually be therapeutic if you have things you really don't need but held on to them "just because". Good luck on your new venture!!!!

      Blessings,

      ~Lisa

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Lisa,

      I believe we have much in common already, decluttering so we can spend more time with our fur babies!

      I love your ideas with the clear bins to sort. You will find many a hidden storage bin in a myriad os sizes around my home. Organizing actually helps calm me down and gets me in the mindset to be more productive.

      Voted UP & UABI... have a great day, mar.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      I hear ya mar! My fur baby even has a bin for her "babies".

      Isn't it amazing how whne our home lives are a little more organized and clean, other things don't seem quite so hard?

      Thanks for the vote!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      I like your approach to decluttering, especially that you say there’s no wrong way to do it. We seem to constantly declutter, but still constantly have clutter! I guess that’s part of family life in a way. Your hub has encouraged me to get going again.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Melovy. You're absolutey right. It is part of life. Just as anything else. No one has the same house or the same clutter, etc. We declutter to suit our needs. The idea is to be free of any unnecessary things that take up needed space. I'm happy this hub encourage you!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I need this hub! Bookmarking NOW! Voted up and useful.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you. I really appreciate your comments and votes. Have a great day! :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I have gotten active recently and truly focused on decluttering our home. Have bags and boxes of things now ready to go out the door to donation spots. It was raining today or they would already be gone. Good hub. Voted up and useful.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Peggy! Doesn't it feel good to get rid of the clutter? To me it's like an emotional cleanse! Thank you for you comment! :)

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