I met a friend for lunch and told her that I was decluttering my closet and the next step was my home office. She told me that I inspired her and she was going to do the same at her home on the weekend.
There is nothing better than start a new year with an organized home and life… Whatever is not used, outdated or broken should go and this rule applies not only for clothes but also for furniture, decoration, books, magazines, DVDs, food, etc.
It is hard to declutter your whole home only in one day therefore try to do it in steps. First divide each room in one task of your project and give deadlines to complete it. For instance, you can organize wardrobes in one weekend, kitchen cupboards and medicine boxes on the second one, books and DVDs/Blu-rays on the third one and etc. Set a date to conclude your project and try to stick to it. As soon as you finish it, better it is.
There is a basic rule: everything which has not been used in the past two years should go. Try old clothes and ask yourself “Am I going to wear it again in the next few months?” and if the answer is no, toss it. Whatever has no shape and is faded has to go. Make two different piles: donation and garbage. I donate most of my clothes unless they are broken and cannot be repaired. I am sure that many people who can’t afford to shop for new clothes appreciate them. Look at your community for organizations which collect used clothes and contact them.
I love books and used to have too many of them but honestly, unless it was a very specific professional book or a cook book, I read and place it on my bookshelf until it gets to a point where there is no space for anything else. Therefore I selected all books which I know that I won’t ready anymore (most novels) and donated them to a charity programme which builds library in countries less developed. Don’t you know any similar programme? Why not start one on your own? Contact a charity organization of your choice and propose it. Spread the news to your network and collect more books. You will probably declutter not only your home but also help a community having access to books.
Food and medicine
Take some time at your kitchen; go through all packages, dry herbs, teas, snacks, etc. Food has an expiration date for a reason, therefore toss everything which has expired for a while. This gives you also a better overview of what you have stored at home and what is missing.
The same applies for medicine, check each box and its expiration date and put away everything old. Make a list of what is missing and replace them. This will also help you getting ready for emergencies as you will be aware of what you have at home.
Since we have TV on demand, it doesn’t really make sense to buy DVDs and Blu-rays anymore. I had a large DVD collection which occupied a lot of space in my living room and office. I bought most of them because I love cinema and American sitcoms and they used to take a while to get on TV here in Switzerland. Recently TV options have increased and now is possible to access a large library of movies and shows from my remote control. For this reason, I have decided to go through all my DVDs and donate 70% of them to a non-profit organization. Once again, I will probably not watch those titles anymore and some of them are also available online. In addition, it doesn’t make sense to keep them at home when many other people could have access to them.
Don’t limit the decluttering to your closet, office and kitchen. Go through all rooms and basement, fix or put away what is broken and donate what can still be used.
Photo credit from the top to the bottom:
1.Clothes: Platoon Kunsthalle , 2. Books: Google, 3. Netflix: Mashable