Over the last few years we have seen an uptick in shows that revolve around cleaning your home, keeping a tidy home and minimalism. In a prior blog post, I spoke about loosing 85% of my belongings in my basement, the cluttered mess of no mans land. It was the place where things went to retire, but that I could not get rid of, just a sea of shit floating crap at the end of the day (pun intended). I lost all these belongings to a sewer break that took over several homes and mine was not hit so hard. Over the course of a week a company came in and cleaned everything up and threw out most of my basement belongings.
It really gave me the ability to clean my soul and sparked the rest of that year to transform my life. I still have a bit to go, but I stopped spending so much on Amazon and buying things I didn't really need. I started to save my money and make more intentional purchases, but I also started to clean the rest of my house. Room by room I started to get rid of the things I no longer needed, I cleaned the walls, freshly laid the walls with paint and started to design my house and create rooms that gave me excitement and felt homie.
Sometimes I get a little lost, and the kitchen isn't clean or my room has two weeks of clean clothing in the basket and my drawers are a mess... but I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I clean my room most days and I make my bed without fail EVERY SINGLE DAY! Getting rid of clutter can be difficult. However, study's show that those who live in a clearer environment have less health issues and sleep better then those who live in messy homes.
We are taught from any easy age to collect things, not to throw them out and to create an emotional feeling towards objects. This is especially why we have such a hard time sending items to the trash can or donation bin! We create emotional feelings to old objects. Every month, I challenge you to donate or throw away your clutter and if you have children, encourage them as well! Don't ask them to hold onto something they don't play with either (because you are reinforcing that behavior of creating feelings for things). For more assistance in how to break down decluttering projects or to gain more information, go check out Unf*ck Your Habitat! I thought this cite was super interesting!
Create a Starting Zone
I don't know about you, but cleaning the whole house at one time is kinda impossible when you are a single momma with kids in the house. I'm pretty sure it's challenging for most. When I am working on cleaning up my home, I usually like to do a deep clean. I start at the front or the back and make my way to the other side. Creating a starting zone and finishing it before moving to the next helps me keep things in order. I also do this with the seasons. I do a complete gut job of my home four times a year. It's something that I took from childhood with me.
Clear Off The Kitchen Counter
I can not tell you how amazing it feels to have clean counter tops. This doesn't last long... but for the most part, if you remove things from above the cabinets and on the countertops your kitchen will feel so much bigger, brighter and have more space to enjoy meal prepping. I tend to also keep a small space for my mail in the kitchen and I removed most things on top of and on my refrigerator!
Create a Place for Mail and go Through it Often
Do you keep your mail all in one spot? Good for you, move on to the next paragraph! If you do not, I suggest you get a small container to store your mail in it. Keep in close to where you pay your bills and shred what you don't need right away and get rid of it! Do not collect mail!
Schedule a day or an hour to work
Make time in your schedule to get through cleaning your home. If you need a full day, then schedule it. Take a day off from work, block out a weekend day or use a rainy day to sit inside and clean.
Spend Time Visualizing the Room
Go into the room you are going to tackle. Now close your eyes and take a deep breath. What does it look like? Did you envision new pillows, a different sofa, less clutter? If you said yes to any of these, then go make it happen! I love finding a good clearance buy for new pillows on my couch every year or so! I also love to use blankets for an accent and since I have a small house I improvise on the space. I do like a chic modern twist with a bit of rustic in their and a clutter free home.
Create a SOLD BOX
Create a box of everything you want to sell and a box for everything you can donate. List your items on apps and social media sites. Here is the golden rule; If it doesn't sell in a week then donate it or send out an SOS for a curb alert! If you haven't worn something in your closet in a while, get rid of it, if you barely use the cook books, donate them. It's time to stop holding onto possessions if they give you no value!
Create a Maybe Box
If you are seriously struggling with getting rid of some things... I suggest creating a maybe box. However, you have one month to go digging in it for what you need or want. If you don't... add it to the SOLD BOX or stuff it in your trunk and donate it to a good cause!
Teach Your Children to Clean
I will put my daughters clothes away for her and tidy up most of the house, but do give them chores. Make sure your children are in charge of the way they live. Make them pick up their belongings after themselves and teach them about laundry, dishwashing, dusting, mopping and toilet cleaning! This is great leverage for when you don't feel like doing it and they are old enough to do it... PS- They seem to be motivated by money!
Clean Out Your Drawers in One Room
Once I decide I am doing a deep cleaning of a particular room, I also make sure I go into all the drawers and clean them out too! Who else is with me here? I tend to stuff things into drawers and never look back. If it's something you really don't need, it may be time to say goodbye!
Go Through Your Closet
This is probably easier said than done. You can totally do the hanger test and turn all your hangers in the opposite direction (if your closet is organized by seasons like mine). If it isn't then I suggest you do that first. After you have done that, turn your hangers around and give it 6 months. If a shirt doesn't get turned around in those 6 months then it's time to pull it out, give it a good look and decide on if it stays or if it goes. I enjoy doing this to make room for NEW CLOTHES!
Discard Old Medications
How many times do you head over to your medicine cabinet, closet or drawer only to find half of it is expired? I suggest going through your medications every 3-6 months and discarding everything you no longer use, need or is outdated. Make sure you also follow proper disposal requirements and any medication that needs to be discarded in a safe way can usually be taken to the health department or medical facility.
That's it for now... I'm gunna go clean!