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Start 2017 Out Right with Our Top Ten Decluttering Ideas 1

Take out the Trash

Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions to “get organized” or declutter our homes each year. But why is it so hard to follow through? We definitely develop emotional attachments to our stuff and without some forethought, decluttering can quickly turn into a daunting project. It’s also easy to make excuses for why we didn’t get it done and let ourselves off the hook. So, start off on the right step in 2017 with our Top Ten Decluttering Ideas for your home and workspace. This is a great time to just say yes to less and get rid of the mess. In no particular order, here are some great decluttering tips:

1. Buddy Up!

Lianna George from By George Organizing says in her article, 4 Reasons Why Your Decluttering Isn’t Working, “When you declutter by yourself there is no accountability, no one to question your decisions (or lack of them).  If you want to see real results that lead to a change in your clutter, you have to be willing to have someone work alongside you.” Makes a lot of sense. So, grab your spouse, your sister, your best friend, whomever you choose and get to work!  

2.  Rome was Not Built in a Day!

Make yourself daily goals. Start with smaller spaces and move on from there. If you get done with one area and feel motivated, tackle another early. But make your goals S.M.A.R.T. – specific, manageable, achievable, realistic and time-based. There is no sense in making a goal to clean out an entire garage alone on a Sunday afternoon while taking care of your infant and toddler too, so don’t set yourself up for failure. There are lots of month long “decluttering challenges” you can take part in to help you keep your goals S.M.A.R.T., just google it or look on Pinterest.

3.  Be Real with Yourself!

One thing I am guilty of, is keeping clothes that are in great shape but don’t fit or things my kids got as gifts that we couldn’t return and pile them up thinking I’ll consign them or sell them on eBay for some extra cash. Well I have a lot of piles and no extra cash. So, if it’s not complete junk, donate it. Otherwise, trash it.

4. You Better Work!

Start with your workspace. Your desk can probably due with a little purge. According to LifeHack.org you should make cleaning off your desktop a #1 priority. ”Keep flat surfaces clear, and have an inbox for all incoming papers.  When the papers come in, sort them each day – toss, delegate, do immediately, or file simply file all documents, but whatever you do, DO NOT KEEP THEM ON TOP OF YOUR DESK.  All you want on the surface of your desk is your phone, computer, inbox, and maybe a special photo in addition to the documents you are working with at the moment.”  - LifeHack.org

Decluttering

5. Time for Virtual Reality (Checks)!

If you’ve been downloading pictures to share on social media over the holidays or have a lot of old files and emails clogging up your computer, it’s time to clean up. Use file storage solutions such as Dropbox to move pictures and files you need or really want to keep. Or use the iCloud if you’re a MAC user to store pics and music without slowing down your system. Windows users, check out OneDrive for a great way to keep your files organized without clogging up your desktop or your memory.

6. Take 5!

Leo from Zen Habits offers you 18 different 5 minute decluttering challenges to jumpstart the rebirth of your newly organized home. Just pick one, right now (seriously, right now). I like the idea to schedule a decluttering weekend and getting family on board so that it’s on your calendar and it’s easy to get everyone on board with enough notice. You probably have a lot of boxes you can use to sort your clutter from all those holiday gifts you ordered right now too!  

7. Make No Assumptions!

Just because you assume your kids don’t play with xyz toy, don’t just throw it out. Keep them involved in the decluttering of their own areas but also be realistic and talk about it ahead of time. You know younger kids are going to have some emotional attachments and older kids are going to want to feel in control. You can make it a game like the STOP clutter game suggested on HGTV with younger kids. Just make sure you are ready to not back down. If you have older kids or teenagers, let them be involved but be clear that the clutter is going. They can help decide what they really need and want or they can just deal with your decisions. One way to really drive home the point that there’s just too much “stuff” is to dump it all out in one big pile for each kid or each room. It’s pretty mind blowing.  

8. Dare to Declutter the Bathroom!

The bathroom can be an area that get easily overwhelming. If you have cabinets and drawers of stuff, empty them out. You probably don’t need three half empty bottles of shampoo and that great smelling bath scrub you never used from 2011 can probably go now. Work on organizing and simplifying your storage spaces and then get that vanity top cleaned off! Use small bins or drawer separators to keep things tidy.

9. Play Toss, Keep or Store!

If your kitchen cabinets or pantry have become a scary place you just don’t want to look at, it’s time! Check out this pantry decluttering checklist from Kristen at Chatelaine

10.  Live with Less!

Overall, you can declutter every month or even every day, but if you just keep buying more “stuff” you’ll never be done. With everything from tools to toys to clothes and home goods, go for quality over quantity.

Playroom Organization
Here's the Goins' playroom in 2011 after a thorough decluttering by Stephanie. Now they're painting over that jungle mural for the boys so stay tuned to see how it looks.

Just remember as you begin your decluttering adventure, it’s not about perfection. It’s about making your home a place of peace and comfort and having rooms that work for you, not against you. If you’re making a New Year’s resolution to declutter your life and home, let us know your own tips below.

Top 5 DIY Holiday Decor Ideas 0

If you are spending the holidays entertaining this year, maybe you want to add a few new décor items to your home? If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, there are plenty of great DIY ideas out there that you can do quickly and affordably. You can even make them as gifts in some cases! Here are 5 of our favorites from around the web. 

 

DIY Felt Christmas Trees 

Don't you think the ones Katie at Little House of Four made are better than the ones she pictured from Target’s catalog last year? We sure do! These are easy enough older kids could help out too!

Felt Christmas Tree

Make Your Own Melted Crayon Christmas Ornaments 

Melted crayon projects are one of my favorites and I am re-doing my tree color scheme this year so these would be an inexpensive way to add new colored ornaments to the tree. I’m going to add glitter to mine.

Melted Crayon Ornaments

Star Punched Paper Hurricanes 

If you celebrate Hanukkah, check out these easy and elegant hurricane candle holders for the table or mantle. Martha Stewart has a whole collection of Hanukah Crafts and DIY Décor on her site if you need more ideas.

Star Punched Paper Hurricanes

 

Christmas Tree Reindeer Decoration 

Here’s a fun video tutorial from Tammi Craft showing you how to make some reindeer (dare we say Rudolph?) inspired ornaments for your tree. These look like something the kids might like to do too! If you are already pretty crafty, you probably have most of the materials in your home already. 

Reindeer Baubles

DIY Iced Branches

And a truly inspired find this year, these DIY Iced Branches from Dana at Make Them Wonder. This is one DIY you want to do now before all the branches are covered in snow! These beautiful branches can be used indoor or out, with lights, on the mantel, in a vase, on your table…the possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Iced Branches for Christmas

 

If you’re thinking, "listen I just want to buy some décor that’s not going to break my budget, I don’t have time for crafts", check out our Snowflake Variety Wall Decal Set and Winter Wonderland Decals. Instant ooh and ahh factor included! And on December 3rd only, you can take advantage of our doorbuster deal to get the snowflakes at 40% off. How’s that for magical?