How do I go about decluttering my home? Text

Is decluttering top on your list of things to do in 2016? Here are ideas for getting rid of stuff in your house and thus creating a clutter-free environment:

  • If there’s a space you really hate – like your garage -- start there. As part of the job, you probably need to recover that cracked and dirty floor and build new shelves and cabinets. So literally everything has to come out. You might have to rent a pod to sit on your driveway to hold the things you want to keep.

  • Don’t use cardboard boxes to store things inside your house. It looks ugly and you can quickly forget what’s in the box. Those boxes can also attract termites when they sit on the floor in the closet a long time.

  • Don’t buy tons of new storage units and plastic container boxes until you clean out the old stuff and know exactly what new storage you need.

  • In cleaning drawers, pull out everything; then sort it into piles of stuff to put back in the drawer, stuff to put somewhere else, and stuff to throw out.

  • In the kitchen, clean the refrigerator by tossing all food with expiration dates that are long past. Clean out the unidentified frozen objects in the freezer. Get rid of really old spices that don’t have any flavor any more.

  • In the closet and bedroom, toss old shoes that don’t fit well, clothing you never wore, and single socks without a mate.

  • In the bathroom, trash expired medicines and really old toothbrushes, combs and hairbrushes.

  • Get a large plastic garbage bag and fill it with things to donate. Put one discard into the bag every day for a month. It can be books, clothing, old toys, knickknacks, whatever.

  • Try to sell a few discards. If your HOA has banned garage sales, take that lightly used sofa or dining table to a consignment store. Getting a few dollars back will make you feel better. Consignment stores will sometimes pick up furniture at low prices.