Four Decluttering Must-Dos

Decluttering example of open closet with hanging clothing, shoe rack, shelves and baskets.

It’s hard to believe February is already under way. 2020 is racing by and those New Year’s Resolutions… ?

Whether you never made any resolutions, are still on track, or something in-between, a touch of tidying up might be just the ticket. What’s more, less stuff and clearer surfaces pave the wave for thorough, efficient cleaning come spring. Here’s the 4-1-1 on our top four decluttering must-dos.

REPURPOSE: Old Towels & Linens

Take worn and faded textiles from your linen closet and repurpose them. Cut to sizes for dusting, household chores, pet care and car washing. Keep cloths organized by storing them in convenient places, such as a kitchen drawer, mudroom cupboard or bin in the garage. Now you’re ready for a year of cleaning up – no disposable paper towels required!

DONATE: Rarely-Used Dishware & Apparel

Remove clothing and shoes from the bottoms of drawers and shelves. Pull unopened dry-cleaning bags from your clothes closet. Ask yourself whether you can remember the last time you wore each item? Do you feel good wearing it? Take inventory of kitchen cupboards, china cabinets and dining room servers. Haven’t used a dish or glass since you got it as a wedding gift? Never tried that won-in-a-raffle blender? Simply don’t like washing those two-handled soup bowls? Let the answers to these questions help you create a pass-along pile.

Invite everyone in the family to contribute their gently-used or otherwise shareable item, too. Take the lot straight to a local charity donation location. Sharing what you have with others who may be in need is a wonderful group activity for neighborhoods or classroom communities, too.

DISCARD: Expired Toiletries & Makeup, Old Condiments & Spices

From moisturizer to mascara, and ketchup to curry powder, check the dates on those packages. Seasonings lose their flavor over time and beauty products can just dry up. Toss and tidy to sweetly simplify morning routines and meal prepping. (Maybe you’ll be inspired to try a new recipe or a new look!)

REORGANIZE & REPLENISH: Craft Supplies & Junk Drawers
Example of craft supply decluttering with embroidery thread in a storage box and on a threading card.

Sort loose piles of writing and craft paper, removing scribbled-on and scrap-size sheets. Discard dried-out or empty glue tubes, markers and glitter pens. Re-spool balls of yarn or string. Sort items like pens, push pins, paper fasteners and paint brushes into appropriate bins or drawers. And, honestly, how many twist ties does one family need to store alongside the wax paper and tin foil? Finally, inventory what’s left and place a fresh order to refill or replace needed items.

A few parting suggestions: Take your time. Enlist the help of friends or family. And celebrate each de-cluttering accomplishment. Spring cleaning? Bring it!