Decluttering on the go

I thought I’d write about how I plan to declutter and how I am beginning my decluttering spree.

My goal is to have more space (ie less stuff) in all our storage areas: cupboards, drawers, pantry, library, toy boxes, under beds.

I am going to gradually go through each drawer, shelf, cupboard, toy box and get rid of things we don’t need or use. I’ll give away things or throw things away.

Each time I fill a rubbish bag, shopping bag or washing basket with things to get rid of, I think about how that gives me that much more storage space. I’m trying to get rid of at least a rubbish bag or washing basket of stuff each week. Yes, I really do want to remove that much stuff from our home!

So, other than spending a set block of time sorting through stuff, and because I’m pressed for long stretches of time right now, I’m trying to “Declutter on the go.”

The toys are the hardest to do because they belong to the children. I’ve started the toy cull by throwing away pointless little puzzle pieces and plastic toys, as well as broken toys and toys that are left in the floor past the ‘tidy up or else’ threat. I do this on a daily basis as we tidy up after play. This also includes art and craft items. I try to throw away a few things each day. That way the children don’t notice.

For clothes, each time I fold the washing, I make a pile of clothes to throw away or give away. For example, things that don’t fit, are too old or holey or past repair go into that pile. By the end of the week, I can usually fill a shopping bag for the op shop. It’s also a nice feeling to have less socks and jocks in the drawers because I gradually throw away the old stuff.

*Tip: if you’re crafty, clothing items such as jeans can be reused to make pencil cases, bunting, Christmas decorations and dolls clothes. Shirts can be used to make all kinds of things, or cut them into pieces for a child’s sewing kit. T-shirts can be cut to make skirts or shorts for young children, or beanies for babies. They can also be used to make headbands and scrunchies. Good quality flannelette sheeting and pyjamas can be cut up to sew pads and liners, for example, for Days for Girls. I recently decided to get rid of work suits I haven’t worn since 2007. The fabric could be used to make cute stuffed toys.

For the pantry and freezer, we’re using up food in storage. We have a big freezer and pantry. My plan is to use up what’s in storage so I can sort through what’s in store, and give the pantry a good clean and re-stock. Because our pantry is pretty big, it’s also a storage space for recipe books and other cooking and serving items. By the end of the year I’d like to have a more organised kitchen, with less bits and pieces and more free shelf space in the pantry.

In the laundry, I’m throwing away cleaning rags, using up all my cleaning products and cleaning out the cupboards. I’m setting up a ‘cleaning caddy,’ which holds cleaning products and cleaning cloths. Then I (or the cleaner) can cart that around when cleaning. Previously I’ve had cleaning products in each room that requires them: 2 bathrooms, kitchen, toilet and laundry. It’s time to just have one cleaning caddy, less chemicals and more cupboard space!

I’ll start in the library by throwing away all the magazines. I’ve held onto some of my favourite magazines just in case I ever want to go through them again one day, but I that day hasn’t come in years, and isn’t likely to, so the magazines have to go! I’ll donate them to the kids’ school most likely. It will give us a whole shelf in the library!

For my craft cupboard and craft supplies, I’m planning to not buy more yarn or fabric, and just use what I have. Each time I open the cupboard I look around for things I might want to get rid of, but I don’t find much!

So, that’s how I’m decluttering as I go. I’m also spending time here and there working on sorting through a shelf/drawer/toy box as I get time to, but I’ll write about that another time.

Have a good day x