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Is your home cluttered with stuff you don't need or use? Are you overwhelmed by how much you have to do to get on top of the mess? Here's how to tackle home organization, one day at a time.
Don’t just declutter for your own peace of mind, declutter for the health of your pet.
At what point does your collection of re-useable shopping bags become counter-intuitive to saving the environment? These days, stores that don't want to be accused of adding to the growing plastic bag problem are giving away free reusable bags all over the place. It's probably time to pare your stash of bags down to only the most efficient and durable ones, or your bags may end up all over the place!
If plastic grocery bags are taking over the cupboard under your sink, check out the video below in how to turn them into yarn that you can knit into a sturdy tote bag.
Broken gold and silver jewelry can be traded in for cash at one of the many gold buying outfits that have cropped up over the last few years. There might even be a gold buying kiosk at your local mall. Give unwanted costume jewelry to the kids in your life. Playing dress-up is always more fun with a little faux bling!
It shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes tops to sort through a drawer in your bathroom vanity, and you'll feel so satisfied when you open the drawer the next day while you‘re styling your hair and you find everything in neat and tidy order.
Once you've finished with the bathroom, move onto the kitchen, then the office, and so on. Clean out the stationary drawer under the phone in the kitchen while you're on hold with the cable company.
How many pens in the jar sitting on your desk still work? What about those stubby pencils with worn down eraser heads, are they really serving you any more? Go through your stationary and toss out dried up pens and markers. Get rid of excess supplies that have slowly accumulated over time. (Where did those 20 yellow highlighters come from?) Dried up glue and correcting fluid should be tossed. Dull scissors should be either sharpened or safely disposed of.
Organize your email inbox and delete junk mail and spam. Look for hidden storage folders on your computer and delete unnecessary photos, downloads, and .pdf documents. Clear files off of your desktop and organize them into folders, you’ll speed up your computer’s processing time and memory when you purge it of unwanted files and images.
Old expired coupons, store receipts for items you can no longer return, out of date calendars, appointment reminders that have come and gone, why are those things still hanging around? It's time to toss them!
Get rid of any frayed cords and cables that are worn out and kinked. Exposed wires could lead to a fire so don't take your chances. Make sure your cords are properly identified and labelled so that the right cable is used to charge up the right device. Roll up and bundle excess cord length to keep it from becoming a tripping hazard.
If a neighbor or family member stopped by for an unexpected visit, would you be proud to seat them in your living room? If not, try sorting through the following areas that seem to attract clutter and chaos.
Do you have four remote controls sitting on the TV console but you one have one TV and a DVD player? Do you have four remote controls sitting on the TV console but you one have one TV and a DVD player? Sometimes when a TV or stereo system gets sent off to the electronics recycler, the remote control gets left behind, cluttering up your entertainment center. Match each remote up to a working device and then get rid of the rest.
Arrange the rest in a medium-sized, archival-quality photo album that can be brought out when you want to lovingly brag about your brood.
Once you start paring down your collections of books, DVDs, and so on, you may find that you have lots of room leftover on your bookshelves. Instead of creating a void that will start to attract more stuff, consolidate the remaining items onto one bookshelf and sell or donate the old bookcase. Not only will you be eliminating the temptation to clutter up the empty shelves again, you'll be creating a more spacious feel in your living room. The same goes for side tables, end tables, and curio cabinets. As you declutter and get rid of all the excess stuff that needs (i.e., picture frames) a surface to sit on, get rid of that excess furniture and notice how much more airy and breezy your place is.
Clean out the trunk of your car and vacuum it. Inspect your roadside tools and safety equipment so they’ll be ready to use in an emergency. Clean out your glove box and shred out-of-date insurance forms, maps and registration papers. Keep service records in a folio. Don’t forget to purge your sun visor of old drive-thru receipts or expired gas coupons. Clear your dashboard of old parking stubs. And finally, before you close the door on this decluttering project, inspect the side pockets for loose change and other ‘surprises.’
When it comes to decluttering and keeping your home healthy and safe, there are a few items you'll want to take note of and toss out of they've passed their prime. According to Canadian microbiologist Jason Tetro, here are some of the yuckiest items hiding in plain sight around your home:
© 2017 Sadie Holloway