UR TIDY: 4 Tips for De-Cluttering Your Space

UR TIDY: 4 Tips for De-Cluttering Your Space

Written by Melanie Sutrathada 

You’ve seen those episodes of Hoarders right? The ones where old pizza boxes, brand new rolls of toilet paper and boxes of old Beanie Babies are stacked to the ceiling? Ten bucks says you do not want to be that person. Choose today to de-clutter your space and open up your home to new possibilities and fewer distractions. After all, when you have less, you also have less to clean, less to organize and less to stress about. Here are my top four tips for de-cluttering your space.
1. Pick one place to tackle first. 
It can be overwhelming if your apartment or house looks so cluttered that you get stressed out even thinking about it. Therefore, choose one room and go from there. Trying to de-clutter your entire place all at once is similar to trying out DIY art projects – you’re so excited at first that you get started on a bunch of different things at once and then end up with six balls of yarn and a scarf that’s only big enough for a newborn to wear or a half-finished popsicle stick bird feeder. Try picking the room or space that needs the most help. The good news is that once you finish de-cluttering that space, every other space will feel much easier in comparison.
2. Figure out what you do and don’t need. 
Let’s use your closet for an example. Some of the things you don’t need in there anymore are: a moldy sandwich, Pokemon cards, or gaucho pants (even if you think you need them, you’re wrong.) If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in the past six months because it’s too small, too ugly, or was something you bought because it was on sale and you “just couldn’t pass up the deal”-it’s time to send these items to the donation bin. The same goes for items you have no use for or that are generally ignored in your household. I recommend having four boxes handy: one for things you want to keep, another for things that you need to store (winter coats, your snow boots, etc), one for items to throw away and a last one to hold pieces that you want to donate or sell. After you’ve finished the sorting process, toss out what you don’t want, store the pieces that aren’t season-appropriate and take your donation items directly to your car to drop off later. This will leave only the items you want to keep and intend on using regularly.
3. Find a way to organize everything. 
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the things you don’t need (really, gaucho pants need to be burned or donated asap), it’s time to get organized. Place similar items together and put things where they belong. For example, untangle all your delicate jewelry out from their random and mismatched boxes and place them in a hanging jewelry holder or in velvet-lined dividers to keep them protected. The Container Store and Ikea are perfect solutions. You get extra cool points for using a label maker, color-coordinating your pieces and using matching hangers or storage containers.
4. Make better use of your space.
Whether you live in a shoe-box sized studio in New York or a farm in the middle of nowhere, there are always better ways to use your space. For example, bed risers are great for providing extra storage space. You can slide a bin with all your winter clothes or pieces that don’t get worn often under the bed instead of unsuccessfully shoving them in to an already full closet like Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses. Hanging shoe racks that go over the back of your door can also be helpful.
Now that you’ve been through the trouble of de-cluttering your space, make sure you work to keep it that way. Just ten or fifteen minutes a week can help you from going down the hoarder path of no return. Little changes can make a huge difference in this case. Instead of throwing your coat over the couch at the end of a long day, hang it nicely with your other coats. Read and sort through your mail immediately instead of letting it pile up in the corner. Make a conscious effort now and it will eventually become a habit. De-cluttering your space is powerful and allows a certain type of freedom and openness. Begin tackling one portion of your space today, and you’ll notice yourself feeling lighter, happier and refreshed.
When Melanie is not working on her fashion and lifestyle blog, Lace and Combat Boots, she spends her time working in pr and marketing, trying new recipes in her kitchen, and singing along to the soundtracks of her favorite Broadway musicals. Melanie lives for anything creative and can almost always be bribed by pizza or pink peonies.

 

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