There are a few ways to de-clutter our homes.  The first way is to purge.  This is the easiest, cheapest and most obvious. To do this, we go through with garbage bags and boxes and select everything we have not used, enjoyed or noticed for the last 2 years and put them in the bags and donate them to a good cause.  In Part One I told you why you should de-clutter your home.  Today I will get down to the nitty gritty and see how.

Purging is not the only way to de-clutter.  Just because you haven’t worn a dress for 2 years does not mean that you won’t want to wear it next week.  You can still keep artwork after you run out of wall space and you can keep toys that a child has outgrown.  The secret is to organize and use your creativity and/or to have adequate and clever storage solutions.

Alternatives to Purging

Furniture and accessories can double as storage and clutter control. If you choose your furniture wisely, it can add aesthetically, functionally and add storage to the room.

We can use space wisely and add storage. Thinking outside the box can bring creative and unusual solutions. One of my favorite ideas (because I love to learn) is to turn a dining room into a multipurpose room with library shelves and books. This would maintain your dining room and give you a cozy nook to study and read.

Creative solutions are available as well.  Do you have tons of books that you enjoy, but tend to clutter the house? Cover them (see the picture with the giraffe) with book covers that unify. This allows you to keep your books and declutter at the same time. Anytime you can unify the look, visual complexity will diminish.

Something that is just taking up space in one room can serve a useful purpose in another. You may consider how you can repurpose something instead of throwing it away.

By adopting new habits, like seasonal cleaning and review, organized rooms should be easy to maintain. Many of us keep health or spiritual journals. A household journal is helpful in keeping information and going back to see what works and doesn’t work. I don’t know about you, but when I change where I put my Christmas decorations after 20 years, I better write it down. Otherwise next year I may never find them. Then I’ll end up buying more and start a new cycle of clutter. Ugh!

Next, we’ll begin a room by room walk through with suggestions and ideas for managing your home! Stay tuned …

Happy Decluttering!

Janice Marto, HHC, AADP


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