Inside: Want to get rid of clutter quickly? Start with some of the easiest downsizing decisions you can make in one day.
A guest post by Rose Morrison
So you want to declutter your home but you’re not sure where to start. You’re not alone.
Downsizing can be an overwhelming task. It’s easy to experience decision fatigue and not know where to start.
Start by going through each room of the house with these super easy decluttering decisions you can make in just one day.
Breaking the process into small tasks will give you the momentum to continue working on decluttering and downsizing the rest of the house.
Downsizing Decisions to Make in Just 1 Day
Are you experiencing the negative effects of clutter in your home? From feeling more stressed to having difficulty finding things, clutter can hurt you in a variety of ways.
The good news is, you can change that. By working on downsizing and simplifying you can make your home a place you enjoy being.
If decluttering feels overwhelming to you, no problem. The key is to start small. Breaking the project down into manageable steps will make a world of difference.
Completing these tasks will help you to build momentum and grow your confidence in making decisions.
Once you begin to experience the benefits of decluttering, you’ll be more motivated to continue with it.
Today we’re going to give you some good starting points for beginning or resuming your decluttering process. We’ll go room by room with the easiest downsizing decisions you can make in just one day.
Let’s get started.
The Easiest Downsizing Decisions to Make in the Bedroom
Bedrooms are the best rooms to start downsizing because they have all your family’s most important personal items. You also spend a considerable portion of your life sleeping and relaxing in your bedroom, so its organization can significantly impact your mental state.
Here are two starting places for decluttering your bedroom.
1. Clean Out the Closet
Start with your closet. Look for anything that is an easy yes to get rid of. Clothes tend to be a longer process for decluttering so focus on the non-clothing items.
That could be shoes, purses, accessories, suitcases, or any other items stored in your closet that won’t take a lot of time or emotion to make decisions on. Clearing out these items will make your closet feel bigger and more usable.
If you really want to declutter your clothes next go for it one category at a time. Just be aware that for some people this process is more time intensive and potentially emotional as well.
2. Check Under the Bed
It’s easy to forget all the stuff hiding under your bed. Old clothes, shoes, random storage bins and other items can collect dust under there for years.
Cleaning out this area will open up a significant chunk of space and make your bedroom feel less crowded and cleaner.
Decluttering around your bed is a great way to make the room more comfortable and relaxing.
The Easiest Downsizing Decisions to Make in the Kitchen
Keeping a clean and organized kitchen can feel almost impossible — especially if you have children. But there are some things you can do to make the space work better for you.
These simple downsizing jobs will make cooking much easier and prevent food-related messes from building up.
1. Simplify Your Cooking Utensils
Be honest about your cooking utensils — do you really need four or five different-sized pots and pans? Do you really need multiple ladles, spatulas, and tongs?
Go through your kitchen drawers and eliminate duplicate utensils that you don’t need. Simplification is the key to keeping a clean and organized kitchen.
Having a minimized kitchen will make finding items easier.
2. Clean Out the Fridge and Freezer
Next, go through the fridge and freezer. Remove any expired food items and put the essentials — milk, eggs, produce, and other foods you eat daily — front and center.
Your family’s input is essential for this task. Ask them which items they want to keep and which ones to stop buying.
Cleaning out these areas will make your fridge and freezer function better and may uncover some food you should eat soon before it goes bad.
The Easiest Downsizing Decisions to Make in the Bathroom
Bathrooms can also get unorganized fast, just like the kitchen. It’s easy to let random cosmetic appliances and cleaning products accumulate over the years.
These downsizing decisions will quickly solve the problem.
1. Declutter the Counter
Look at your bathroom vanity’s countertop and count the number of random items. Do you really need all that stuff within arm’s reach? Probably not.
Put away anything you don’t need daily. Ideally, the only things that should stay on your bathroom counter are your toothbrush, toothpaste, and a hand soap container.
Focus on keeping the bathroom essentials and letting go of the excess stuff.
2. Consolidate Your Cosmetics
After you clean off the counter, consolidate your cosmetics. Check out this post with tips on decluttering makeup.
Be realistic with the things you use and give yourself permission to let go of the items that weren’t a good fit for you.
The Easiest Downsizing Decisions to Make in the Living Room
As the main socialization area, the living room should ideally be comfortable and clutter-free.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Kids can wreak havoc on a living room and turn it into their own play area.
Here’s how you can keep your living room under control.
1. Evaluate Your Furniture Pieces
A poor furniture layout might be one of the reasons your living room looks so cluttered. Spread out the furniture and create more open floor space.
Consider if there are pieces that don’t work in the room or that don’t get used. Clearing out even one thing can have a big impact on the space.
The end goal is to create a room that is comfortable and conducive to interacting with others in the space.
2. Declutter Toys
In some homes you may be able to store all of the toys in your kids’ rooms, but in other homes that isn’t feasible or practical.
Work with your kids on decluttering their toys and then create designated storage areas for them. Help them to form a habit of putting their things away at the end of the day.
The Easiest Downsizing Decisions to Make in the Garage
The garage is often the main storage area in the house, so it’s naturally going to get cluttered after a while.
These downsizing strategies will help you keep your garage organized year-round, no matter what projects you have planned.
1. Review Your Seasonal Storage
You probably store lots of seasonal items in your garage. Winter gear, summer toys, and holiday decorations are three common examples.
To create more of a minimalist garage carefully consider the items being stored there. If you have seasonal items you haven’t used in years or are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of them, decisively downsize those items.
2. Evaluate Items in Boxes and Storage Bins
Do you have boxes that have gone untouched since you moved into your home years ago? It’s pretty safe to say those items could go.
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to make sure to start labeling your garage’s storage bins. Randomly assorting items is the quickest way to make a frustrating mess.
As you move everything into their assigned bins, you will probably realize you have many unnecessary items, such as outdated tools and broken toys. Donate or discard whatever you don’t need.
The Easiest Downsizing Decisions to Make in the Basement
Basements are unique compared to the other rooms. They take on many different roles from house to house.
Some people convert them into family rooms. Other people simply use their basements for storage and laundry.
These downsizing tips are universally practical, regardless of how you use your basement.
1. Focus on the Big Stuff
Sometimes the basement is where things get moved to when you plan to deal with it later. Often that is a good indicator that you no longer want or need that item.
If you are storing boxes in your basement, using the vertical space will maximize your space. Make use of shelves, racks, and hooks to get your stuff off the ground.
This downsizing strategy is crucial if you live in an area prone to flooding. The basement is the first room to take on water, so you don’t want your belongings to get submerged.
2. Get Rid of Damaged Items
It’s easy for moisture to damage your belongings in the basement. It’s the most poorly ventilated room in the house, so humidity is bound to be a problem.
As you switch to a vertical storage style, make sure to use airtight containers so your items will be protected from moisture exposure. If you have items that have already been damaged, go ahead and let them go.
BONUS: Easy Digital Downsizing Decisions to Make
It’s helpful to remember that clutter isn’t just the stuff in your home. Digital clutter has become a bigger issue in recent years with how often people use devices.
Here are two quick ways you can get rid of some digital clutter to save yourself time in the long run.
1. Get rid of any apps you don’t use (or don’t want to use)
Declutter your phone by getting rid of the apps that you don’t need or use. If any of them are costing you money per month, make sure to cancel them so you don’t continue to get charged.
You’ll not only save money but you will have fewer distractions and be able to more easily find the apps that you do use.
2. Delete junk mail
If your inbox has been neglected for a while, decluttering your emails might feel like quite the project.
By sorting by sender you can get rid of lots of emails in a short period of time. It’s a great project to tackle in 5-minute increments. All of that progress will add up to help get you to a clutter-free inbox.
Every Project Starts With Small Steps
Downsizing your entire house might seem intimidating, but every successful project starts with small, manageable steps.
Knock out these minor tasks in each room first to build momentum for the rest of the house. You can realistically complete them in just one day, freeing up time for other essential tasks.
What downsizing decisions have been easiest for you? Share them in the comments section.
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My favorite way to declutter a food-stuffed kitchen is to invite guests for a meal. If entertaining isn’t fun for you, try combining leftovers into a soup, stew, or casserole. Either of these approaches will leave you with a more manageable refrigerator.–Anne