One thing I love about a new year is the opportunity to clean house and get reorganized. Out with the old and in with a fresh start. After reading a fellow contributor’s blog about living a minimal lifestyle and watching a documentary by the Minimalists, my husband and I are making 2017 the year we analyze what we have and what we truly need. I’m done letting the things I own own me. I want to love what I have and not feel like I need more. I want to purchase quality, and not quantity.
Before I dive into cleaning and reorganizing I’m going to ask myself two very simple questions: 1) does this item bring me joy? and 2) do I really need this item? While I’m going through the various rooms in my house I’m also going to analyze what I want to keep, sell, or donate. Here are my four top places to start:
Closet – For me this is always the easiest place to start. First, select the items you love to wear and wear often. Then look at the items you haven’t thought of, or had the desire to wear in the last year or two. Clearly the items you love are in the “keep” pile. The items should go in a separate pile. Then, analyze if they are in style and in good condition to sell (check out Poshmark, My Sister’s Closet or Clothes Mentor). If the styles are a little dated, but in good condition, donate to Goodwill. Now follow the same steps for cleaning out old purses, shoes, and jewelry. Boom, done! Another great resource to check out is Project 333 – Be More with Less.
Pantry – It may seem like a daunting task, but this one is easy! If it’s out of date or is something you know you’ll never eat- chuck it! Get rid of it! Ask yourself why you’re holding on to something like this? Even if it’s still in date, but you haven’t had the urge to eat it and don’t see yourself eating it any time soon, then move it out. Consider donating your unexpired food also. You’ll be surprised how much things pile up and how wonderful it is to actually SEE your pantry. Once you get rid of the excess, designate clear sections in the pantry for canned food, cereal, breads, chips, drinks, desserts, and baking. These same rules also apply when cleaning out the refrigerator.
Home Office – This always seems to be the place to toss paper work and stuff you’re not sure what to do with. First things first – go through all the paper work and create a filing system. Head to Office Max or the Container Store and grab a bin, file folders with tabs and categorize items based on Household Bills, Medical Bills, Receipts, Taxes, Children’s Projects, and Other (just to name a few). Anything that doesn’t fit into your important files gets tossed (or shredded!). Next, look at everything on your desk. What do you really need? What gives you joy? The picture of your kiddo or family – keep! The cup of hundreds of pens/marker/pencils – narrow it down to 3-4 of your favorites. Keep this going as you work through everything in your office.
Children’s Room or Playroom – Oh boy, this one is big! Depending on the age of your child(ren) this can be a great project for them to do with you. Teaching your children the responsibility of cleaning and organizing is a plus! If they’re too young, it may be easier to do during nap time or after they’ve gone to bed. Just like the other rooms, really analyze what your child plays with. If they haven’t played with it or had any interest in it for a while – donate or throw it out!
Now that you’ve tackled these rooms, keep the steam rolling throughout the house. Get rid of the clutter and enjoy the new space. The goal moving forward to is not bring anything else in the house. Take a spending break and really enjoy what you have. You’ll be surprised what little you actually need to feel happy. Now, go get yourself organized! Any tips for organization that you love? Comment below!