Having to stay at home for long periods of time can be a drag. Routines are disrupted, work and school circumstances are turned upside down, and families are seeing a lot more of each other, for better or worse. But being home more can also be productive.
If you have house projects that you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t had the time, maybe now’s your chance. Some of the most time-consuming projects homeowners run into can be home organization and decluttering. Clutter doesn’t happen overnight, so clearing the clutter won’t, either. But now that you have the time, here are four large decluttering projects for when you’re stuck at home.
Arguably, the best place to start decluttering is where there’s the most clutter. Typically, this is an attic or basement – the place where things go when there’s nowhere else to put them.
Having large storage areas is convenient until they fill up. When they’re overflowing or disorganized, you can’t keep moving things there from other places in the house. So, it makes sense to start decluttering by working on the basement or attic first.
Go through everything in your storage areas and decide what to purge and what to keep. Once you have a “purge pile,” makes sure it actually gets purged – thrown out, recycled or donated. For everything that you’re keeping, make sure it has a place. If you have to add shelves or storage bins, so be it. Once everything is in its place and you have more room, then clutter from the rest of the house (if you’re keeping it) will have a place, too.
Clear the closets
If there’s anything that can take up a lot of space in a little time, it’s clothing. Every house has clothes in the closets and dressers that are rarely, if ever, worn. As you buy new clothes, closets and dressers can burst at the seams.
But cleaning them out can be a long process, so it’s rarely done. Now that you’re home more, you can go through everything, decide what you want to keep, and put everything back neatly and more organized. Throw out or donate what you don’t want, and try to save a little space for new items you’re sure to add when you’re able to go clothes shopping again.
Check the children’s toys
The temptation might be to declutter room by room, but there’s an argument for doing things category by category instead. In some homes, there’s a lot of one category in several different rooms. One such category might be children’s toys or sports equipment.
If your kids are home from school, you can involve them. Go through their things with them and reach an agreement on what can go and what must stay. This means anything in playrooms, rec rooms, their bedroom, the garage, storage shed – wherever. Just as with things you’ll never again wear, toys they’ll never again play with should make their way out the door.
Ditch the kitchen claptrap
If you’ve ever had to clear your kitchen cabinets for refinishing or replacement, you probably know how much stuff accumulates over the years. Cabinets can fill up in a hurry, and things then overflow onto counter space and the top of the refrigerator, where they’re all too visible.
Do you need every single coffee mug or souvenir cup you’ve gotten over time? Do you really need three different sizes of slow cookers? What about all the plastic containers for leftovers that seem to multiply exponentially? People spend a lot of time in their kitchens, so having a more spacious, better-organized one can be a significant improvement in day-to-day life.
There are probably more decluttering projects you’d like to do. But focusing on the large ones while you have some extra time makes a lot of sense.
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