Sometimes when it comes to big decluttering projects, all we need is one good push.
Maybe you’re waiting for an omen. Maybe you’re holding off until the next time you move. Maybe it doesn’t dawn on you until you find yourself buried under a pile of boxes that fell out of the closet.
But sometimes it’s the little things. Sometimes it’s the stuff you move a million times a day, that drawer of nice flatware you keep saving for “special occasions”, or that aforementioned closet. Whatever the case, there could be a million small indicators around your house that you should start looking into a big decluttering project, and you might find yourself feeling that much better when it’s done. Here’s a few of the biggest signs that you have ‘too much clutter’:
Getting stressed about getting dressed
Most people have more clothes than they’re really going to need, but there’s still such thing as too darn many clothes. Do you find yourself getting anxious in the morning because you’re not sure what to wear, or maybe you’re worried about saving your favorite shirt for ‘just the right occasion’? This can be a sign to clean out your closet, move some things into your bedroom dresser, and get on with your new life—a life of scaled-down clothing options.
Buried under bags
We’ve all seen that drawer or cabinet chock full of plastic bags from the grocery store. Who knows when we’re going to need them for lunch or sudden clean-up of a pet mess, right? Go ahead and start throwing those out—it’s not like you’re never going to the grocery store again, and this will be much easier for everyone.
The case of the un-closing cabinet
Do you have a kitchen cabinet that just won’t stay shut no matter what you do? (And before you ask, wiseguy, we assume you’ve checked all the hinges and handles.) It’s time to get that stuff organized and moved. Go through your worst cabinets and see what can be tossed out—spoiled food, cups you’ll never use again, that bowl with the crack in it—and keep the rest tidier with the use of cabinet organizers and strategically-placed wall mounted shelves in the kitchen.
(School) days gone by
Nostalgia can be a powerful drug, and it can lead to keeping a lot more stuff around the house than we really need to—namely old paperwork from school. Sure, maybe you did really well on that report the first time you saw Citizen Kane, but do you really need to clutter up your filing cabinet with that pleasant memory? Unless it’s something really important like a photo from Grandparents’ Day, don’t be shy about chucking out your old school work to make room.
Speaking of moving, while some people take that as a good time to declutter, some people take it as a sign to keep even more stuff around. Do you have a few boxes that came with you from your old house that haven’t been opened or touched since you moved? Are you worried they’re going to stay packed until you move again? That’s probably a sign you can start getting rid of whatever’s in those boxes.
Have you been stuck with a lot of clutter that you were recently inspired to get rid of? Leave a comment below!
The humble sweater: whether for fashion, business wear, comfort, or just plain warmth, the sweater is one of the most versatile garments around today.
This, of course, probably means you own more than a few and need somewhere to store them, especially this time of year when spring is trying its hardest to creep around the corner. Sweaters stand out among cold-weather clothes simply by being a little harder to put away than normal items—too bulky for many drawers and too heavy to hang up, they can turn into a pain before you know it.
When it comes time to put your sweaters away, avoid that yearly ritual of folding, stacking, and cramming sweaters into your already-overtaxed drawers with a few of our helpful Sweater Storage Strategies:
Tips for Drawers:
- Try rolling sweaters instead of folding them: fold the arms to the back, roll up from the bottom edge to the collar, and place the rolled edge up in the drawer (lined up single file) so you can tell each sweater apart. (Be careful not to let V-neck collars get snagged on anything!)
- Sort your rolled sweaters by whatever system works best for you: type, color, style, even when you wear them (winter sweaters vs lighter stuff) to keep them easier to access when the cold weather comes back around—or for those freak days we have every May where it drops back down to 50° again.
Tips for Closets
- One thing to avoid when storing sweaters in the closet is using hangers; these can lead to a horrible condition many experts refer to as “hanger burn” that leads to wrinkles, puckers, creases, and worst of all ruined collars. Don’t fall for hangers that try to claim they’re designed for knits.
- Instead, we suggest using a flatter storage system to avoid running the risk of damage. Take some sweater storage bins or garment bags and line the floor of your closet with them to provide an easy, flat storage solution for sweaters (that can be used to store other knicknacks when sweaters come back into season)
- Not enough space on the floor? Get some closet shelves lined against the back or side walls of your closet. This provides flat space to safely lay all of your sweaters where they can be easily accessed whenever needed.
Tips for Everywhere Else
- Already out of closet space? (We get it.) As long as your home is temperature controlled and pest-free, anywhere can be converted into a space for sweaters. Set some rust-proof wire shelves up in the attic to keep them nicely out of the way, or down in the basement so long as it doesn’t get too musty. (Some of those moisture traps would be perfect here.)
- Space under the stairs? Perfect place for some storage bins. Drawers in the stairs? Even better, just remember what we told you earlier about arranging them in that area.
Got any other out-of-the-ordinary tips for sweater storage? Drop a comment below!
‘Decluttering’ has been a hot topic in the world of home organization and design lately, and while there’s been plenty written about the effect decluttering can have on your mental well-being and stress levels, there’s another place it can start to have a positive impact on your life: your wallet!
Starting a closet purge is the first step towards learning to let go of a bunch of stuff you don’t need anymore, and a great way to get all of it out of your house is to sell it! Consignment shops like Plato’s Closet or websites like Poshmark make it easier than ever to get cash for the gently-worn clothes you’re not going to wear anymore, and will go a long way towards freeing up space in your home. Let’s start by getting your closet decluttered, and then we’ll help you figure out what to do with it all:
- Start by going through everything in the closet and asking yourself a few crucial questions, like:
○ Do I love this?
○ Am I going to wear it?
○ Does it still fit?
○ Does it project the image I want? Can I wear this in front of other people? (This one tends to be a real deal-breaker for a lot of indecisive thinkers.)
- Once you’ve found an answer for those questions, start finding other places to keep them all. Set up a storage bin or even just a big cardboard box to separate the stuff that’s getting sold or donated from what you’re keeping, and make sure to keep the box somewhere you’re not likely to lose it.
- As for everything you’re keeping (which hopefully isn’t much), it’s time to make your closet a little cleaner and easier to get through. Put up some closet wall shelves and sort your remaining clothes by type, size, seasonality, or whatever works best for you—just remember to make a plan and stick with it. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in this mess again sooner than you know it.
Getting rid of it all
- From here, let’s decide what you want to do with the clothes you plan to get rid of:
○ Can you sell it directly? Is there anyone you know that’s always buying clothes for craft projects or just likes thrifting? Can you unload some of it more quickly that way?
○ Where can you take it to in town? Does your city have a lot of consignment shops or resale stores you can take them to first? This tends to be the easiest method, and you’ll usually end up walking out of the store with money you didn’t have before.
○ What about a yard sale? It might not always be the right time of year, weather-wise, but a great resource for selling off unwanted clothes is to throw some tables in the driveway and hold a yard sale. It’s the reason your parents held them, and you’d be surprised how much less stuff you’ll have afterwards.
- Finally, just remember to keep all of your stuff separated. If you’re taking them to a store to sell, a lot of them require clothing to be freshly washed and bagged neatly, so break out the laundry bags and get folding. Otherwise, you’ll at least want to separate items by type (shirts, bottoms, etc) to make them easier for your friends/potential customers/both to sift through.
Have you sold a bunch of your old clothes lately? Got any tips for people who need to do the same? Drop a comment below!
Ah, the old New Year’s Resolution. A common source of jokes for people that don’t make them and a source of worry for the people that do, resolutions can be a good way to start on some goals you’ve been putting off - so long as you don’t take them too seriously!
Closet shelving is a handy addition to any closet or bedroom that a lot of people maybe don’t use quite to its full potential.
That’s not to say it goes unused, nor are people always using it the wrong way, but there’s some ways to use that space to really help make the most of the room you have in the closet!