January seems to be the month of decluttering the house, and with the cold and polar vortexes expected here in the Midwest, let’s make the most of our time and dig into the best organizing tips for a tidy home. I’m a hoarder of all things vintage, letting go of decor is a very difficult process — legit anxiety-ridden. If you need help in the process of donating and purging, my simple 5 step process to organization is for you. But before we dig in, be sure to check out the best storage bins and organizers for every room. It will give you even more ideas on how to declutter your home.
Way back when there was a TLC show full of tips for organizing your home called Clean Sweep. The host would walk into a cluttered home and force the homeowner to pull everything outside on the lawn, creating 3 piles. Keep, Sell, and Toss. Did you ever watch it? In a nutshell, 2 days later, the home would be transformed and happiness and tears ensued. Blah, blah, blah. My method is basically the same.
Best Organizing Tips To Declutter Your Home
Organizing Tip 1 – Create 3 Piles
Since Chicago is presently covered in snow and it’s -20° outside, I will not be using my lawn for sorting and organizational purposes. Instead, I will find an out of the way space in the house. Start unloading everything out of the room you want to declutter and place everything into 3 piles. Unlike Clean Sweep, my piles are Keep, Maybe, and Donate. There is also a garbage bag for anything that is just plain trash. So I guess yes, it’s technically 4 piles.
Tip 2 – Clean It Out and Reorganize
To immediately feel some joy, whatever is garbage…take that bag out to the trash can. Let it go, and get the junk out of your home. You don’t need to look at it anymore…just unload. If it’s in the Donate pile, box it up immediately, and call a local charity. Many times they will even pick it up for you. I like to donate to AmVets or a local women’s crisis center. Whatever you need to do, just channel Elsa. Do not feel bad about cleaning and organizing your home.
Take whatever is in the Keep pile, and put it back into the room. I guarantee you’ll find things in the Keep pile that doesn’t belong in the room. Take this opportunity to declutter and put everything back in its proper place. That’s a gold star for cleaning! It’s now time for the third organizing tip for your home.
Tip 3 – Question Every Item
The Maybe pile will be sorted out last. Each and every item will go through the rigorous questioning of, “Does it bring me joy?” If it doesn’t bring joy, can it be sold? If it can’t be sold, have you used it in 6 months? Does your home need it? Can someone else use it? FYI, this may be a difficult process, but this is the pile that relieves all the stress of clutter. Your goal is to try and rid yourself of 70% of the Maybe pile. Really question yourself before you move it back to the Keep pile. There’s a reason why it’s in the Maybe pile. It’s your duty to determine why it wound up there in the first place.
Organizing Tip 4 – Wait It Out
Yes, sometimes I have total and complete regret after tossing or donating, so I like to box up my Maybe pile and wait 2 weeks before the final purge. If you find yourself laying in bed thinking about an item in the Maybe pile, write it down. It’s not going anywhere. Now think about it.
Still missing it? Unsure? Pull it back out. You’re not ready to part with it yet, and that’s okay. Organizing your home does not have to be a complete purge. But, don’t put it away. Wait one more week and keep your treasure somewhere in plain view. When you imagine the item in your head, does it bring a smile to your face? If you answered yes, you best keep it. Find a special spot for it, and tuck it away.
Tip 5 – Make The Final Decision
It’s now been 2 weeks with your Maybe pile in a box. The separation anxiety should have passed by now. Standing ovation and high-five you! You’re ready to donate again. Do not open the box. That’s how to negate every organizing tip you just followed. Close it up with tape and donate. Let these treasures bring someone else joy.
That’s all she wrote folks! You’re done with all the best organizing tips for a tidier home, and you should be proud of yourself. What you just accomplished wasn’t easy. Now I’m off to take my own advice. My home office is a complete disaster zone. But once it’s organized, my hope is that this space offers me more creativity and less anxiety.