Today I opened the linen closet, and an avalanche of sheets, towels, and toiletries spilled out. As I looked around, wondering what on earth had happened, I realized that my home is stuffed with stuff.
I always get itchy to start decluttering in the spring. I think it’s because spring cleaning was a thing when I was growing up, and everything outside is becoming fresh and new again and clean after all the spring rains.
All I know is I always get the urge to purge clutter in springtime.
It is easy for me to declutter in the spring. However, I find myself needing to get rid of “all the stuff” at other times of the year as well, especially if we are moving. Sometimes, I find subtle clues that show me that it is time to do a major overhaul. Other times, I get hit with a surprise avalanche of toiletries coming out of my linen closet!
To make it easier, I have created a kind of checklist that lets me know when it is time to declutter. You can find that list below.
I regularly have to clear the same space – It’s time to declutter!
It seems like almost every room has that one surface that always gathers stuff. The main stuff-catcher in my house is the living room for some reason. By the time everyone is done with school work, soccer, and their various jobs, we have an impressive pile of backpacks, soccer cleats, dog toys, papers and pencils, and even random socks all over the living room.
Before dinner, I ask each child to pick up their clutter and put it away. However, sometimes when we are in a hurry, the stuff from the living room gets dumped on the floor of another room. This does not help.
When I find myself moving the same stuff a few days in a row, it is usually a sign that I need to declutter. If something does not have a permanent home in my house, then I either need to find a home for it or get rid of it. Sometimes, finding a home for a new item means displacing an old item. If that is the case, then maybe it is time for the old item to go.
Random socks are taking over the world – It’s time to declutter!
I do not know how things go at your house, but at my house, there are always a ton of random socks. I try to fold laundry every single Saturday and mate socks, but eventually, we end up with a pile of socks without mates.
At that point, it is not only time to go through the socks and throw away the odd ones, it’s also the perfect time to declutter drawers and closets. Everything that’s torn goes in the rag pile. Clothes that are too small or not loved get donated. Out of season clothes are sent to storage.
Closet doors or drawers will not close – It’s time to declutter!
I have a bad habit of buying new stuff to replace old stuff and then forgetting to throw out the old stuff. When I lose several socks to the dryer monster and buy new ones, I usually have orphan socks floating around for months. I have wool socks I’ve kept for years, thinking the mate will show up! I guess I just keep hoping that darn sock will show up somewhere! (I do love my wool socks. Not sure if you know that about me or not.)
However, I do the same thing with all kinds of random crap. I have plenty of old clothes for cleaning days or painting days because I keep all of them! I know it’s time to downsize when the closet door does not want to close.
I have 37 plastic Tupperware lids but only four containers – It’s time to declutter!
Why is this a thing??? This is a very real, completely mysterious problem. We end up with too many lids and no containers. Where do the containers go??? When the ratio is so bad that it is ridiculous, I go through and match all of the containers to the lids. The rest get thrown away. Try as I might, I just can’t find a way to recycle those silly lids!
I don’t have a great filing system. All the important papers usually end up in a stack on my desk, where they sit for eons until one of us needs something – last month it was a 1099 I had lost. (Yikes!) My problem is, when I get these papers in the mail or whatever, I’m usually focused on something else. I don’t want to interrupt my train of thought to deal with a piece of paper.
I know it’s time to go through all of these papers, filing the important ones and trashing the rest, when I can’t find something I need. I grab a trash bag, sort and organize what doesn’t get thrown away, and file the keepers in one of our record bins.
Are You Inspired to Declutter Your Home Yet?
I know I am! It’s spring and I’m in the mood to fix this mess. Decluttering is an important part of managing a household, especially when you have children. Truly, it should be done often so that the task of decluttering doesn’t pile up. That’s easier said than done though – we are busy moms, and at the end of the day, I’d rather admit I spent an hour playing Blokus than announce that I cleaned out the closet. I get it, mama.