Do you feel anxious with the amount of things you have in your home currently? Does your house feel cluttered shortly after you have cleaned? It may be that it is time to declutter and downsize. One thing that I have become good at over the years is letting go of items that no longer serve a purpose. I rarely have an emotional attachment to items. Don’t get me wrong, that is okay, it just makes it harder to declutter and downsize when needed.
How to declutter toys
At the start of the pandemic, we decided to create a playroom for learning while Cassidy was out of school. It was a great idea, however, now she has two rooms that are overflowing with toys that she has accumulated. The easiest way to downsize toys is to organize them using bins. While organizing, ask yourself a few questions: Does your child play with this toy often? Is it broken/missing pieces? Is it age-appropriate? If your child plays with the toy often, obviously they will be upset if it is gone. Decide if it is still age-appropriate, if it isn’t make the tough decision to let it go. If the toy is broken, in the words of the great Elsa of Arrendale, LET IT GO! Any item that you decide to get rid of that is still in good condition, consider making a garage sale pile.
Donating old clothes
Another area of our home that constantly needs to get decluttered is our closets. Quarterly, I make a donation pile. I do this by identifying clothing items that I have not worn in 6 months. If I have not reached for it in that amount of time and it is not out of season, I donate it. Also, if it does not fit me anymore, I let it go. Having a closet full of clothes that you either do not like or that do not fit you is stressful. I promise getting dressed will be easier when you have clothes you love in front of you. I also make a pile of clothing that may be ripped, stained, or have holes. These go into the garbage.
Recommended shelf life for personal care items
Let’s talk about bathroom and personal care items. This is going to be unpopular, however, do not keep hair and body products that you do not like. Toss them. I also want you to think how long you have had something. If you have had it for over a year, it’s time to either replace it or trash it. If these items are hot tools such as blow dryers, straighteners, or curling irons, consider putting them into a garage sale pile. When it comes to makeup, I used to “collect” makeup. I loved playing with makeup and would frequently keep things past expiration. Don’t do that. As beautiful as a product might be, it really isn’t hygienic to use products that have been sitting for years. Most products indicate on them how long their shelf life is after opening. Usually, it is between 12-24 months.
Tackling your garage!
If you are anything like us, our garage becomes a dumping zone. The land of the misfit toys, if you will. We have a garage gym on one side and then, miscellaneous items on the other. A lot of the time we put big and bulky furniture that we have already replaced in there. If you plan on having a garage sale after you declutter, most of your sale items will probably come from your garage. This is where you need to be a little strategic. The end goal is to downsize, so that means if you put it out for sale and nobody takes it, it does not get to come back inside of the house. We know what happens when we let something sit in the garage, it stays forever.
In order to combat that, think about reaching out to a moving company in your area. Contact them and ask about their furniture pickup and delivery services. If you are in Central Florida (Polk, Osceola, Orange, and/or Lake), you can reach out to Infinite Moving. They will deliver extra bulky items like dressers, bed frames, bicycles, tables, etc to a donation center. If the reason for you downsize and declutter is because you are moving, even better. They offer packing and moving services as well. While you have assistance in packing things in the most efficient way, you can focus on organizing your items instead. What I like best about this option is that you don’t have to make multiple trips to the nearest Goodwill or donation site of your choice. Nobody wants to do that, especially after spending time decluttering and then listing items or having a garage sale.
I am definitely curious how often you declutter and downsize the items in your home. I really try for quarterly, but it at least happens once a year. Cassidy’s toys have gotten out of control, so that will be my next area to tackle. If you have any tips, tricks, or favorite donation sites, comment below!