Tips to help you declutter after the holidays when your life and home are overflowing with
TOO. MUCH. STUFF.
One of the many joys of having little kids is that magical feeling during the holidays, and also the multitude of toys that appear in your house overnight. Nope, definitely not that last part! The dreaded overload of “stuff” doesn’t look as pretty and tidy once they are unwrapped and removed from underneath the tree.
If you are anything like me, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the things you have in your home that you don’t need and the excess of toys upon toys.
EXCESS. Too much. Overflowing. Bursting at the seams.
Simplicity sounds wonderful right now, and cleaning up your space is a great way to set yourself up for clarity in the new year. But how do you start when you are overwhelmed? Where to begin? What rules do you follow for purging?
I tell you what … when you are looking for ideas and tips, ask a mom! I have a lot of incredible mom friends who are smart, resourceful, and have amazing wisdom to impart! I recently posted a “declutter” question on my Facebook wall, and I am saving all the responses because, you guys, they are all SO GOOD! (I’ll share a few of them in my tips below.) The bottom line: your living space has a great impact. Hanging onto things comes at a price; don’t let it be your peace, clarity, and productivity.
Here are some general rules you can use when decluttering, some that I use personally (especially right now, while I’m also in nesting mode), and some challenges, guides, and ideas from others.
Because I’m in it with you, we could all use some fresh ideas and motivation for tidying up our homes!
- Purge before organizing and buying bins. You don’t need to buy storage for things you don’t need to keep. Pull it all out, keep the favorites and necessities, and then take inventory of what you have and what you will need to organize.
- Invest in storage and organization. Having a place for things will help you and your family keep items where they belong.
- Go room by room or category by category. You have to start somewhere. Tackle small spaces one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed thinking about the whole house.
- Take before and after photos to keep you motivated and to see the progress you’ve made. Even drawer and closet spaces!
- As a general rule of thumb, if you haven’t used it in a year (or even six months), it needs to GO! Clothes, toys, kitchen tools, garage items, all the junk under the sinks, you name it.
- If you never liked it, you probably won’t. Don’t hang onto it solely for sentimental reasons.
- One toy in, one toy out. Anytime your kids get new items, get rid of something else. This could apply to adults too!
- Find organizations or charities you care about that accept donated items, such as Saint Louis Crisis Nursery, Agape House, Helping Hand Me Downs, Valley Park Foster Closet, or any local preschools. It gives your purging a higher sense of purpose when you know it will be going toward a good cause in your community.
If you don’t feel like “winging it” with the random trash bag and box method, here are some structured challenges in 2021 for you to consider for strategic decluttering:
- Rachel Jones’s 2021 in 2021 Decluttering Challenge via “Nourishing Minimalism” – make a real difference in your home by getting rid of 2,021 things throughout the year, keeping a tally as you go. FREE! And there’s a Facebook group for support. Kids can help too!
- Allie Casazza’s Declutter Like A Mother Challenge – this FREE 30 minute per day challenge begins January 1st and walks you through 14 days of decluttering six key areas of your home. Join the Facebook group here.
- Follow the Marie Kondo method – use this FREE KonMari Decluttering Checklist to help you declutter by category and only keep what sparks JOY!
- January Purge Challenge – each day of the month, get rid of that many things (for example: 23 items on day 23, 24 items on day 24, etc.). By the end of January, you’ll have gotten rid of 496 items!
- Get rid of one thing every day for the entire year. Seems totally doable!
- Hire a local, professional organizer to assist you. Organizing by Kelly + Co. in St. Louis has done some incredible, transformative work for multiple friends of mine who say it’s worth every penny! This is a great gift idea as well – with options for 1 or 2 days.
- Kate with The Naptime Kitchen Home Reset offers a course with 11 audio files that talk you through purging in 9 different areas of your home. This includes a PDF checklist and costs a small fee.
For extra inspiration to get you moving, some great resources are The Purpose Show and Motherhood Simplified podcasts, as well as Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Minimalism, and The Minimalists: Less is Now (all on Netflix).
Let us know how you plan to purge this year! Happy decluttering, and cheers to simplifying our lives in 2021!