Out with the Old, In with the New

Written by Mary Lutz

toys-in-storage-tubsFamiliar saying, right? Out with the old, in with the new. What does that title make you think of, or mean to you? Well, here on Show Mom the Money and specifically the Stay at Home Sanity section, we are going to tell you what it means for your home. I am going to give you some tips on purging the old stuff (aka decluttering) and making your house look and feel like new! It will be so refreshing and will really help your sanity!

Where to begin: The best place to begin a declutterization process is the area that bugs you the most. Mine is my office table/desk. I don’t have an actual desk so I use a 6 ft. table. It is so cluttered with mail and envelopes and files and paper and headphones and cell phone chargers and 3 disposable cameras of my daughters that need to be developed, and book and post it notes and all kinds of other crap stuff. It’s highly irritating. Most of it has a place of its own (need I mention not my table?) but it lands there because it’s convenient I suppose.

Stick with one spot before moving to the next:  It’s best to start with one spot, get it completely decluttered before moving to the next this way you will feel a sense of accomplishment. I know when I clean one spot, it motivates me to clean the rest!

What to get rid of: You should get rid of anything that you haven’t used in the last year, including, but not limited to: clothes, CD’s, books, papers, games, office supplies, shoes, home decor, dishes, candles, bedding, hair and body products, cleaning products, medicines and even furniture.

How to get rid of unused items: There are several options you can use to get rid of your unwanted items, some of which you can make some extra cash from, some you can donate to charity and some you can just throw away. Ebay is a good place to sell some of your used CD’s, books, and games, furniture, and home décor. Joining Ebay is easy; however I have not personally tried to sell anything there yet, but am thinking about it. Have a garage sale. Being that it’s winter here in North America, this may not be feasible right now, but you could begin organizing your items for a garage sale in the spring or summer. Old clothing can be given to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or other charitable organization, as well as any of the other items listed above. You can get a receipt from them with a value on the goods donated for tax purposes. Some of the stuff you just need to throw away like worn out shoes, melted candles and old hair and body products and medicine. Be sure you dispose of these things properly as we don’t want to contribute to more pollutants in the atmosphere or ground.

What to do with items until they sell or can be disposed of properly: You will need to get some bins or totes for the items you are selling on Ebay or have a garage sale in the future. After you take the photo of the item and post it on Ebay, put it in the bin. Mark garage-sale items with a price tag and sort them into bins by item; i.e. clothes, dishes, office supplies and home décor. Store the bin in a safe place, but one you can hide out of the way, like in a closet, or a room that is not used much. If you don’t have such a closet or room, make a spot out of the way, up against a wall, but make it easily accessible for when it does sell! For donated items take them as soon as possible, especially if it’s furniture, clothing or home décor. Any clothing items you can put in a large garbage bag or box, as well as games, CD’s and books. Obviously you will want to purge the throw away items as soon as possible as well.

Making time for declutterizing: This is probably the biggest reason your home gets cluttered in the first place, time or lack thereof, to clean. This is my reason excuse. If you take it one step at a time, one table, closet or room at a time, eventually your whole house will be decluttered. It will take some time, but it will happen if your persistent and set a time each day to clean out just one spot a day. It can take as little as a few minutes time to clean out a closet or clean off a table. The important thing is to make the time each day a part of your daily routine.

Keep the house decluttered: Once you have your house purged of the old, don’t go buying new stuff to re-declutter it again. That is unless you need to replace some worn out curtains, bedding, furniture or home décor. Use the money you’ve made on Ebay or at your garage sale to replace these items.

If you put forth the little bit of effort required to purge and declutter, then your house will feel new and refreshing! And with a little bit of effort each day, your home can stay nice and clean!

Happy House Decluttering!

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