Top 5 Areas to Declutter at Home

January 18, 2022

With so many areas of our lives that accumulate ”stuff”, how do you know where to begin decluttering? Here are my top 5 areas to begin decluttering at home.

Spice Cabinet: The kitchen spice cabinet is the number one spot on my list of places that need decluttering the most. Believe it or not, dry spices, oils, and even vinegars have expiration dates. While that 2 pound container of cinnamon from Costco might have seemed like a good idea at the time, unless you’re an avid baker and plan on using it all within 6 months (or a year at most), next time opt for the smaller bottle.

Toiletries: The bathroom cabinets are the second most in need of a thorough cleanout. Old medications, both prescription and over the counter, can be unsafe to keep around. If you are unsure how to dispose of expired or unneeded medications, you can call your local pharmacy, Fire Department, or Police Station. They often have drop off areas for safe disposal of medications. Do not flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash. Other items to sort through are old make up, shampoos, and lotions. Make up especially can harbor bacteria so toss the old stuff (you’re never going to wear that silver eye shadow again anyway!)

Clothes Closet: We all do it. We save a favorite clothing item for years because we may fit into it again… someday. Or a t-shirt from an amazing concert that we haven’t worn since. As the song goes, ”Let it go!” This also goes for anything worn out or torn (underwear drawer, we’re talking about you). Sure, you may get invited to a 70’s or 80’s theme party someday and need a white leisure suit, but if you give it to Goodwill, someone else will be able to use it for their costume party and will likely give it back so you can find it again when you need it.

Junk Drawer/Tool Box: For some, this may be two separate areas, but for others that junk drawer may double as your tool box. So, for starters, buy a toolbox and use it. For everything else in that drawer, clean it out. If you’re not sure what a junk drawer is, it’s the one with spare batteries, twist ties, pens that don’t write, and Command Strips.

Utensil Drawer: Area number five that needs clearing out the most is the kitchen utensil drawer(s). Not only does this hold spatulas, serving spoons, and other necessary items, but is often also home to random tools that were bought on a whim and either used once or not at all. If you have not made cannolis yet, you will never use those cannoli forms. Give them away, or better yet, let the kids use them for play dough. And that potato masher, same thing. It’s a great play dough tool and will no longer get stuck and keep you from opening that drawer!

Those are my top five. What other areas in your home do you need to clean out? Make a list and get it done!

I’m Bored!

January 14, 2022

There’s nothing like being faced with the same options day after day, especially if none of them pique your interest. You have hobbies, exercise equipment, television, books… but you’re still bored.

Maybe it’s time to ditch the old for the new. Those woodworking tools just don’t hold your interest anymore. The book club is no longer of interest. Often we hold onto these old ”habits” (yes, that’s what they’ve become, habits) instead of letting them go when they’ve outlived their place in our lives.

In a way, this is a form of decluttering. Setting aside the old interests to make way for new ones. Because they’ve become habits and have grown on us, it’s not always easy to let them go. Just as you grow and change physically, in your career, and in your relationships, your interests change as well. It’s ok to let go of the old ones and explore new ones.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument. Maybe a friend told you about a series of mystery novels that sound amazing. You’ve put off starting them because you “don’t have time”. But your time is filled with things you no longer truly enjoy.

Take a look at your days and weeks. What extra curricular activities fill your time that you no longer enjoy? Even take a look at subscriptions and memberships (tv streaming, magazines, clubs) that you no longer use. Cancel them and stop participating in the boring activities. Not only will this free up time, but also money that you can use toward your new interests. Do it today and start bringing some fresh, new excitement into your life again!

What’s In Your Wallet?

January 8, 2022

I’m not going to talk about which credit card company you should use as the commercial does. I’m going to ask you what you really have in your wallet or purse or every day carry bag. These often get filled with clutter that you end up carrying around with you every day.

If you only carry a wallet, especially a minimalist wallet, there’s not much room for clutter but this exercise can still apply. Consider what is absolutely necessary to carry with you every day (photo i.d., maybe a credit card, maybe a little cash). For so many who use electronic payment methods on a phone or watch, even carrying a credit card is often no longer necessary. Check for random old business cards or extra credit cards you don’t need every day. Other items that end up in wallets like store rewards cards and photos of the grandkids can often be uploaded to your phone.

Now let’s take a look at purses, backpacks, and other every day carry bags. So much more ends up filling these totes. Old receipts, multiple pens, makeup, hand sanitizer, snacks, first aid kit, kids toys, tissues… you get the idea!

Often the bigger the bag, the more we fill it with, whether we truly need it or not. Take first aid kits for example. I agree these are important, I carry different ones in different bags depending on where I’m going. It might be anything from a mini first aid kit to a trauma kit with tourniquet. What most people need every day is really just a couple of band aids. The idea to consider here is whether a large bag is needed for every day running around. I know that large designer purse looks fabulous and will make your coworker green with envy, but is it trapping clutter more than it needs to?

Your challenge today is to address the clutter in your daily carry bag. Obviously clearing out trash is a plus. Clearing out unnecessary credit cards decreases your chance of loss leading to identity fraud (that’s a whole other blog topic for another day). For those with large purses or bags, lightening the weight can also take strain off your shoulder and back. But the biggest benefit to clearing the clutter is to clear that space and make it easier to find what you need when you need it which also clears stress from your life.

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