Decluttering: It's Time For A New Start

Hey everyone, Chelsea here again! I don’t know about you but over the years I have accumulated a lot of “stuff.” Things I don’t need, rarely use, have had for years, and things that just take up space! In my blog post, 30 Tips for Moving, we discussed how we need to declutter our house before we start packing. Well today I am sharing with you some techniques, and helpful organizational thought processes on how to successfully declutter your home! 

One person I look to for inspiration on living a life with essentials and less clutter is, Emily Ley, she is the created of the Simplified Planner and the author of A Simplified Life. She discusses how to live simply and is also the creator of the Ruthless Declutter Challenge! 

So we will spend the rest of our time discussing where to start, what to keep, and what to toss/donate! This whole process might give you anxiety or seem daunting but luckily it doesn’t have to be! You have bought a new home! And when you buy from Foster Signature Homes you are getting a NEW home. So let’s get excited about getting rid of the things we don’t need, and think of this as a great opportunity for a fresh start

Getting started is the hardest part, my first tip is to designate piles; DONATE, KEEP, TOSS. 
Generally if you haven’t touched it in over 6 months or have ever said “I forgot we had this!” It might be time to say good-bye! 

Some of the first big decisions to make will be on furniture! If you’ve been thinking, “We need a new couch (bed, chair, table etc.).” Then now is the time to sell or donate any furniture you want to replace! There is no reason to pack, haul, and unpack furniture that you just plan on replacing anyway.  Once you have gone through each room and decided what pieces of furniture you will be keeping, it is time to move to your other belongings. 

One thing to take into consideration is the “Bottom Third Rule.” Most of the things you don’t need/use tend to fall to the bottom of the drawer or pile. Examples of where this happens the most; t-shirt drawer, sock drawer, junk drawer, etc. I recommend donating or tossing the bottom third of the pile. This will eliminate a large chunk of your “stuff” and will make this process go by a lot faster. 

Once you have gone through your drawers and piles; it’s time to move to your closet and go through your clothing. We generally only wear about 25% of our clothing so now is the time to get honest with yourself. Go through each item. If you can’t remember the last time you wore it, it is time to donate! Things to keep, wedding dress, heirloom pieces from loved ones, and handmade items from family or friends. Going through your closet is hard but should make going through your kids a lot easier. If they are old enough to do it themselves, have them start and you can go through the rest when they claim they are “done”! 

Clothing is a tough one, so now that you have made some tough decisions it is time to move to other items like electronics, toys, Knick Knacks, and your kitchen. 

For electronics and toys if it has been sitting still long enough to collect dust, it is time to donate! When going through toys and stuffed animals it is my recommendation that you let the kids pick which things are most important to them. Whatever they don’t chose we will donate. If you have a child that is having a hard time deciding or wants to bring it all, now is when you make the decision for them! We don’t need to bring baby toys when our youngest child is 7, just my personal opinion.

When going through the décor in your home remember that if you don’t really like something anymore now is the time to donate or sell and start fresh in your new home. For example, I have always wanted to be more modern but my style has been a little more bohemian in the past, now is the time to make the change. New house, new canvas! Things to keep, like discussed in the clothing section, keep heirlooms, handmade items, memorabilia from your parents and or childhood.

The last thing to really spend time decluttering is your kitchen. Go through each drawer, get rid of that old can opener that doesn’t really work anymore and got pushed to the back, and throw away old plastic cooking utensils that have seen better days and the dishwasher can’t save! Cleaning supplies that are almost empty or at risk of leaking, try to use them or throw them away. As Emily Ley would say, be ruthless! Physical clutter is mental clutter! 

Remember that you will most likely not get this all done in one day, you will get overwhelmed and feel like you are being wasteful! I recommend you spend time reflecting on the new home you have just purchased from us at Foster Signature Homes and how you worked hard for a beautiful new home and deserve to bring the best and most important things with you! Decluttering is exhilarating! Have fun and if you have any other tips or tricks you have used in the past, drop a comment! We would love your feedback.