by Carla Collier
Summer is a great time to take on projects that get put off during the busyness of the school year. One such project is decluttering and organizing. This is not a favorite task for many people but an important one to maintain order and simplify life. We try to do this every summer to prevent the job from snowballing out of control. You may say, It’s too late!! Our family could be featured on a reality show for hoarders! Don’t despair, maybe these tips will help.
- Break the job into manageable pieces. Start with one room and decide how much time you will devote to decluttering each day. Work your way through the room systematically: one cupboard, drawer and shelf at a time.
- Use containers or trashbags to sort items into three categories: trash, keep, give away (or sell).
- A good rule of thumb when decluttering is if you haven’t used it in two years it probably ought to go!
- If an item has sentimental value but is not practical to keep, such as school projects and large stuffed animals that are coming apart at the seams, take a picture of the item to preserve the memory in a frame or album then discard the item.
- When working on bedrooms always make the bed first, the room will look better immediately and you will have a clean surface to use for sorting and stacking.
- Children should be involved in organizing their own rooms, don’t just do it for them! If they learn this skill at a young age it will benefit them their whole life and they will be more likely to maintain a system of organization that they helped develop.
- It’s important to keep some special keepsake items like a favorite doll, stuffed animal, toy or book from childhood. Help your child figure out which is the favorite one to keep and talk about how the others will make other children happy who receive them.
- Make it fun… turn on music, laugh about the funny things you find as you excavate under beds and in closets, and plan a fun outing or activity to do when you are done!
Be sure to read our next article: Garage Sale Tips!
What has worked for you? We would love to hear your ideas on decluttering and organizing.
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