Are you in the declutter mode? Usually January is the month when we want a fresh start. When we are craving more organization in our lives. And the most effective way to do that is to declutter.
However, decluttering can feel overwhelming. I always have this picture in my head that it requires me to spend all day decluttering my house. And while the end result is appealing, the process – not so much. But it does not have to be that way. Let’s talk about five things we can declutter to start 2020 with less things and less stress. These are the things that we either use every single day in one way or another or things that will help you declutter your physical space as well as mental space.
Declutter Your Purse
Let’s start with the least time consuming thing to declutter – your purse. I only wear one purse at a time, so it was very quick for me. But if you have multiple that you switch around regularly, then it will probably take you a little longer.
I don’t know about you but my purse is such a dumping zone – especially with kids. I have snacks, crayons, notebooks, and random toys that somehow found their way there.
In general, the current clutter in my purse was not bad at all. This was not the case a couple of years ago, when my kids were younger. But about a year and a half ago, I decided to ditch both a diaper bag and my large purse. And buy a smaller bag instead.
My thoughts were: less space in my purse means less clutter will fit. And it worked! I basically forced myself to be minimalistic when it comes to what I actually need in my purse.
So dump everything you have in your purse on a counter or a table and sort through it. I’m sure you will find some treasures 🙂 Get rid of anything that you no longer need. And if you are not sure if you need it or not, try taking it out. See if you will actually find yourself in a situation where that item would come in handy.
An organized and clutter free purse will automatically make you feel more in control! And once you get through with the process, get into a habit of going through your purse once a week to automatically get rid of anything that might have gotten there during the week.
Declutter the Junk Drawer
Yes, we all have that one (or two) drawers in our house where all the random items land. If you don’t know where to put something – it goes into the junk drawer. And before you know it, that drawer is so full that you don’t know what’s even in there.
But there is something magical about organizing the junk drawer. I swear it makes me smile every time I open mine.
What’s the best approach?
The process I used to declutter that space was to insert some drawer dividers and dedicate each compartment for one type of item. I got this idea from Kathryn from Do It On a Dime. She is a huge believer that when you do it this way, you will keep it organized and clutter free.
And I’m here to tell you that it worked! I organized this drawer months ago and it still looks really good. There were a few things that have gotten out of place over the Holidays, but for the most part, we were able to keep it clean.
And here is why. Because when I have an item that I need to put away, I would open my junk drawer and look for a space. Since each compartment had a specific type of item: pencils, scissors, or bag clips, I would often find myself with an item that does not belong in any of those categories.
And that meant that for one, it did not belong in the junk drawer. And two, I needed to designate a home for this item or throw it away. It basically forced me to really think about whether I need that item at all. And if I do, then I need to find a permanent place to store it.
Declutter the Front Closet / Mud Room
This is one of those areas in the house that is used a lot in our house. We do not have a proper mud room but rather a small coat closet that serves as a place to store our outdoor clothes as well as backpacks, laptop bags, and my purse. And since we live in the Chicago area, we have a lot of outdoor clothes to keep us warm.
I have a pretty good system that has worked for us over the past few months. I designated two bins for my kids so they can easily store their hats, gloves, scarves, and coats. That way they can put everything away by themselves instead of waiting for me to hang them on the hangers that are way too high for them to reach.
Set the Timer
But even with a great system, I needed to go through and get rid of things that longer fit or that simply did not belong there. I set my timer for 15 minutes and got to work. I set aside things that were too small for my kids to wear and later gave them to my family members.
I also pulled all the outdoor clothes that my kids were specifically wearing to play outside. I learned last year that I need to have a second set of clothes for them for that purpose if I don’t want to wash their coats every week. And I moved those clothes to a playroom because that is where they get dressed to go play outside (the patio door opens to our backyard).
And I ended up with so much more space! And it only took me 15 minutes.
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Declutter the Home Office Desk/Area
In our house, my desk seems to be the dumping ground for all the paperwork! And this definitely got completely out of control over the Holidays. Since I was preoccupied with preparing to host the Christmas Eve, buying gifts, and all the school events, paperwork was an afterthought. And since I did not have a good system in place, it just piled up in every possible bin I had there.
Decluttering my desk took me probably about an hour and a half. There was just so much paperwork!
And I wanted to also get rid of some of the things I had on my desk shelves to make the space more open. I have learned that I am much more creative and productive when I have a clear and clutter-free space. So that was my goal with decluttering the office desk.
And it turned out great! I don’t have all the paperwork piled up high everyone. What I do have is a clean space to work and a good system to keep up with my paperwork.
Declutter Your Finances
The last area that I think we should all declutter is our finances. Now this is obviously not a physical space, so it is not your typical decluttering process.
What I mean by decluttering finances, is to get them in order. As we enter the new year, it’s time to set our financial goals and create a realistic budget for ourselves.
This is definitely the most time consuming area that you need to declutter. But it is so worth your time investment. Because if your finances are not in order, your mind will be constantly cluttered!
What I do to keep my finances clutter free, is that I create a budget for the entire year. I plan all my spending ahead of time. That way I’m not surprised in June with an unexpected expense.
Having a set budget allows me to spend my money with more freedom because I know what my limits are. So if you don’t have a budget set for 2020, I encourage you to sit down and get it going. It will free up a lot of mental space for you and make the next year much less stressful.
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What areas would you like to declutter in your house?
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