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4 tips for decluttering your home



When it comes to home design, there is a fine line between cozy and cluttered. While a sofa filled with mismatched pillows is acceptable, a house brimming with unnecessary trinkets is simply too much. If you think that your space is more messy than homey, use these four tips to neaten things up.

1. Organize your drawers
If your home has a designated “junk drawer,” you are not alone – plenty of households sacrifice one storage compartment to handle all of life’s odds and ends. If every drawer in your house is filled with random clutter, however, it is time to get organized. Not only are junk drawers breeding grounds for messes, but they also seem to be black holes – just think of how many safety pins and rubber bands have gone missing over the years.

“Get dividers for your drawers.”

Real Simple magazine suggests getting dividers for your drawers so that you can compartmentalize everything that you need and get rid of everything you do not. This is especially useful for bedside tables, which tend to collect whatever items you are looking to shed at the end of the day. Install dividers in every drawer in your house and see how many days you can go without misplacing your keys!

2. Use the ‘four-box method’
Decluttering can be a major undertaking, especially if it has been a while since your last cleanup. Becoming Minimalist explains that you can simplify the process by enlisting the help of four boxes. Label each one with the following designations: trash, give away, keep, relocate. Next, choose an area you want to declutter and go through the space item by item, placing each piece in its corresponding box. Doing this is often easier said than done, however, so do not be surprised if your “keep” box starts to overflow. Simply go back in and seriously reevaluate why you want to hold on to each piece – you will probably realize that there are plenty of items you are ready to part with.

You probably are not wearing everything in your cluttered closet. You probably are not wearing everything in your cluttered closet.

3. Make lists
Stay organized throughout your decluttering process by making lists tailored to what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you are trying to redo your wardrobe, write down what your clothing essentials are throughout an average month. Go back into your closet and get rid of anything you did not write down.

Lists can be extremely useful when you are trying to organize larger appliances as well, especially seasonal ones, as people tend to let these items collect dust. Sit down and think about what your family uses during each season – for example, three room fans during the summer and two space heaters during the winter. Head to your basement or attic and see how many machines you have accumulated. Keep the ones that are in good condition and replace the rest.

4. Check key areas
There are certain items that seem to contribute to clutter more than others, so it is important to reevaluate your inventory of these pieces on a regular basis. Apartment Therapy recommends starting with coffee mugs, as these simple, go-to gifts tend to multiply throughout the years. Look for ones that have real or sentimental value and are in top condition. Get rid of whatever is left.

Next, go through your party and craft supplies and see what you should keep and what you should toss. If your children are all in high school and you still have “Happy 5th Birthday” banners, see if a friend or relative could use them. If not, throw them away to make room for more appropriate paper goods.

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