Get ready to declutter and organize

Jared Laabs

Don't let your annual spring cleaning sneak up on you. Whether you're going to dedicate an entire day to decluttering your home or garage, or you only have 10 minutes to spare, we've got some ideas to get you on your way to a clutter-free home!

Boxes with a banner saying "let's declutter!"

As you approach the somewhat daunting task of sifting through your stuff, it's important to make sure you get into the correct mindset. Corey from Hey There Home recommends asking yourself these three questions when determining whether to keep or toss items:

  1. Is it beautiful? If you saw it in a store today, would you love it?
  2. Is it useful? Is it used regularly or make your life easier?
  3. Is it sentimental? Does it tell your story?

Once you get comfortable answering these questions, you'll have the right mindset to go through your stuff, whether it's a desk drawer, a room, a garage, or a full house.

Let's tackle one of the most challenging pieces of the declutter process: time. To help with this, we've put together some tips to help you make progress and be efficient—whether you have minutes, hours, or days!

If You Have 10 Minutes

  • Grab trash and recycling bags and walk through the various rooms in your home. You'll be surprised how many items get tossed on surfaces or stuffed in odd places without ever making it to their final destination: the trash and recycling bins. This is a good exercise to adopt on a regular basis.
  • Organize your paper. Make a place for regular mail items that you want to hold onto: coupons, bills, event flyers, etc. Go through these files on a weekly or monthly basis to keep them current and organized.
  • Store those scarves... and hats, mittens, coats, snow pants, and boots, and move them into storage (when you know there won't be anymore snow). You'll have instant space in no time. 

If You Have a Few Hours

  • Purge your closet. As you transition your seasonal wardrobe pieces, take the extra time to purge unworn clothes from your collection. If you didn't wear it all winter, odds are you'll never wear it again. Split them into three (or more piles) and have bins or bags ready:
    • Store for next year
    • Donate
    • Trash - but before you decide this is the route to go, consider alternative uses for these pieces (rags, create a quilt from old sport jerseys/shirts, etc.)
  • Clean up your yard/exterior/garden. The winter season can take its toll on your home. Make time to do a little yard cleanup. It's amazing how good it can feel to rid yourself of all those leaves and weeds!
  • Purge toy bins/closets/rooms. If you have kids, this is a must! Toys and games can pile up quickly and create a ton of clutter. If you have anxiety about accidentally getting rid of a beloved toy, set it aside in a cardboard box in a separate room. If your child goes a month or two without asking for it, it's pretty safe to say it can be donated. You can also get organized with toys by creating special bins, shelving, or cabinets for easy toy storage.
  • Organize your garage.  It's amazing what can pile up in a garage, attic or shed over the years. As they say, "out of sight, out of mind." Go through drawers, shelves, and cabinets and clear out the clutter! You may be surprised you have duplicate tools, more than enough nails, or some blankets, holiday décor or other items that never get used. It's time to donate them!

If You Have an Entire Weekend

Spending an entire weekend on decluttering or organizing your home may seem like a solid plan, but beware of burnout. Take on the tasks listed above, but be sure to schedule in breaks and even an activity or two away from your home. If you find yourself getting into a "just trash it!" mentality, you may be close to burnout and accidentally toss some items that could be donated. Take it slow, and chip away at it over time.

It's a good idea to adopt these decluttering and organizing tactics on a regular basis. This not only helps keep your home clean, but can also alleviate the anxiety that can come when we let stuff start to pile up.

You can also set yourself up for success by getting creative with how/where you store things. If you're working with limited space (or just want to be inspired!) check out our blog with DIY Tips on how to make the best of a small space.

Where do I take all of this stuff?!

Whether you've got yard waste, sensitive papers that need shredding, want to re-sell or donate your items, there are resources out there to help. View our Guide to Donating >

One of that ways Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity offers support is with our ReStore outlets. We accept donations all year round, helping people get rid of unwanted items while also keeping items out of landfills. So give your goods a second life when you donate to ReStore!

Curious about what you can donate? Take a look at our Donation Guidelines specific to ReStore

donate now to support our mission

Topics: Tips and Tricks, 2022