There is something about spring that makes me want to throw open my windows, organize my stuff and buy fresh flowers. I’m not the first to feel this way since someone already invented the term “spring cleaning” to declutter and organize your whole home, and it wasn’t me.
But before you refresh your home or office you have to create space to do so. I’m talking about de-cluttering; we all have more stuff than we know what to do with. And while shoving everything in a closet and then shutting the doors may seem tempting, you’re only creating bigger problems for yourself in the long run. (Like when you open the door and an iron falls on your head.)
I also happen to be a minimalist and clutter just plain bothers me. Now you may not be as OCD as I am, but I can safely say that organizing your spaces can help bring tranquility to your home or office; and in the very least helps you find things when you need them.
Interestingly enough, today’s tips come from an episode of Wife Swap I watched years ago. The mother, Lisa Fine, was a professional organizer (how do I get that job??) and went to live with a very messy family. By the end of the episode the house was immaculate. Below are her tips on how to sort your stuff with a few new points from me.
4 Steps to Declutter and Organize Your Home
To de-clutter and organize your space you need to make a decision about every single item in your home or office. While this may seem like a major task, it’s not that bad when you decide you’re going to do one of four things with the item.
1. Keep it.
2. Sell it
3. Donate it
3. Throw it Away.
And to help you with this decision ask yourself three questions:
Do you NEED it? Do you LOVE it? Does it make you MONEY?
If the answer is no to all three questions – donate or throw away. It does not belong in your house or office. But it’s not always that easy, is it? We start to justify that we NEED something.
Perhaps it’s the beautiful multi-colored skirt in your closet that you’ve had for two years but can’t find a top to match. Or the box of craft supplies you have no idea what to do with but know some day you’ll come up with something amazing. Maybe you will. But why not try to make something with it today or this weekend? Or at least come up with something to do with it. If you can’t – sell or donate.
We hoard so much stuff in our homes that we could give to the less fortunate. I don’t know about you but that encourages me to want to give away more!
As for an item making you money, you’d be the best judge of that. With Amazon, eBay and a whole host of other websites, we no longer have to rely on the traditional yard sale to sell our stuff. Not only will you clean out your space, but you’ll make a few dollars in the process!
RELATED POST: 150 Things I Tossed When I Downsized from A Welder’s Wife.
Don’t be discouraged if it feels like a daunting task. Start in one room and move to the next. If that still seems like too much – start in one corner and move to another.
Sometimes if I’m sorting a small closet or drawer I’ll even throw everything into a box so I can just focus on those items. And it doesn’t have to all get done at once. You can spread it out over weeks. The only thing that matters is that you start. And of course, don’t forget to throw open your windows. You may find a little fresh air will inspire you too. 🙂
Why you’re at it, here are 10 Tips to Become a Better Organizer.
Make sure to check out my weekly cleaning routine schedule too!
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((P.S.Do you want to love your home again? Are you ready for a reset? Do you want to walk through the door and see a place of safety, calm, refuge, and good memories?
—-> My friend Emily created a 10-day course to RESET your entire home and create a more tidy, peaceful, and calm place that FUELS your instead of stresses you out. Also, use PRETTY SIMPLE at checkout for $2 off!))
Great tips Sarah! I want to be a professional organiser too!!!
I am trying to be more minimalistic too – I love reading Marie Kondo’s Life changing magic of tidying up … it inspired me so much!
I know – awesome book!
Sara Sullivan says
Great post! I love the “Does it make you money?” question. The only unorganized place in my home is my home office. I need to use that question to clean it up.
If that’s the only unorganized place you’re doing pretty well!
I love the 4 simple categories! I get so distracted when organizing things, having to narrow it down to one of those 4 uses will definitely help. Great post!
Yup I like simple recipes as well!
Great post. I try to follow those rules all over my house! I did a 30-day minimizing challenge in November, and am already waiting for another one! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Ooh that challenge sounds awesome! I’m such a minimalist I’m not sure what I’d have left after that though. haha
Great tips! We are beginning our Minimalism journey. Even though it’s winter, it feels so good to get rid of our clutter. I am hoping to be clutter free by spring. 🙂
Winter cleaning! 🙂
Great tips. I love decluttering spaces. Makes me feel productive LOL
Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee says
Great read! I try to always implement the same 4 step system when cleaning/organizing a space but have been pretty bad since we moved! definitely getting back on top of things for 2017!
Jennifer Dawn says
Great tips! I love organizing.
What a lovely blog you have. I’m happy to be following along now.
April Walker says
This was a great post to read, as this has been something heavy on my heart and mind in the last several months. I am transitioning from a sentimental freak who had to keep EVERYTHING to a minimalist-wanna-be who just. can’t. stand. the. clutter!!!! Thanks for the simple tips…. It makes me feel productive just reading your words 🙂
Ooh tough transition but let me tell ya – worth it! You start to appreciate time spent with people more instead of just the stuff.
LOVE this! So simple, 4 questions towards decluttering – perfect! I am definitely going to use this method and clean out my closet before 2017 gets here 😉
-Clarissa @ The View From Here
Before 2017? Ambitious! You can do it 🙂
Love this! I totally agree. I am slightly guilty of donating everything instead of trashing some stuff. I just hate to throw stuff away.
OH, I can understand that. One person’s trash is always another’s treasure.
Michelle @ Lillian Abbey says
I like the simple plan! I tried the Konmari method last year but here we are, all cluttered up again! I think I may be a bit of a hoarder. Eeek!
Bridget @ Antics of a Nutty Hiker says
This is currently what I am working on so I can start the new year off clutter free which for me equals stress free =)
I’m going to do a major declutter at the beginning of 2017 and I can’t wait.
I can always use new ideas to stay organized! I find that decluttering stuff I don’t use helps a lot!
Nicole Parise says
I am in the middle of a massive clean out, it is so nice to just organize and figure out needs vs clutter!
I so need to do this! I did have an attempt at a clear out yesterday, but it still needs a lot more work doing (I’m a bit of a hoarder!).
hahaI guess we all can be when it comes to certain things. I hoard Christmas ornaments!
I decluttered my office space a few months ago. It really helped my productivity and my sanity!
It really does help. That’s the awesome part.
Barrie Bismark says
Great tips! There are so many areas that I need to declutter in my own house. Thanks for the advice!
Great tips! Simple but a nice reminder on how to keep organized and de-clutter!
Awesome tips! This is at the top of my to-do for the new year!
Awesome. I’m going to re-refresh my spaces. haha!
Great ideas!! Once a season I like to go through my stuff and clothes and determine what I absolutely love and get rid of what I don’t
Another great tip!
Lee Anne says
Just in time for the New Year! Love these ideas, I’ll definitely be taking all of these into consideration.
I love this! My new mantra is if I don’t love it then I don’t need it 🙂
Yes! The konmari mantra. haha
I’ve been trying to declutter lately, I’m having a really tough time with sell and throw away… it’s hard for me to get rid of so many things 🙁
Thank you for the great tips!
Elaine McKellips says
We just recently organized our office and the difference it made was HUGE! Feels so good. Great tips! 🙂
I know. I am always surprised how good I feel after I organize something.
I regularly declutter my spaces. With 4 kids plus 2 adults, stuff seems to get everywhere so decluttering has to become a part of your routine. And guess what? It makes the spaces we live in so much more inviting because there isn’t junk everywhere.
Amanda – AGREED!!! 🙂
Rachel Ritlop says
I really need to get so much better with this in 2017! My word of the year is actually “organize” since I am such a mess all the time and my home office is in our living room so everything just spills out all over the place lol
Rachel | The Confused Millennial
Rachel – that’s a good word! Best of luck in your organization. My home office is my couch. haha!
I love the 4 pile rule! This is such a great time to clean through things with a new year and new start, it feels fresh!
Debbie Savage says
Oh, I really needed to read this post! Thank you for the great tips! Happy New Year!
xo Debbie | http://www.tothineownstylebetrue.com
Great post, thanks for sharing