Decluttering...and Keeping it That Way

Decluttering...and Keeping it That Way

Do any of your drawers look like this? 

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Or how about this?

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So your house isn't the only one with stashed away junk. I can hardly handle the post-Christmas-stuff build-up. I just went on a purging rampage.

I know I've written about this before, but I'm frazzled when there's clutter everywhere. I'm not talking about kids playing with their toys...that's normal, and I want my girls to play freely and throw Barbies everywhere if they feel like it. I'm more referring to random crap stuffed in places it doesn't belong, projects left out that need to be finished, that kind of thing. 

With this new year, I'm taking baby steps toward de-cluttering and organizing this house - FINALLY - that we moved into nine months ago (lol, time got away). But I've always thought to myself...if only it could stay that way…right? Don't we all see these picture-perfect drawers and closets on organization blogs, and think, yeah right! How long does it really look like this, after the kids tear it apart and then we throw it all back quickly? 

I'll tell you what works for me. It has to, has to, HAS TO be functional for daily use. And this includes obeying one rule when re-organizing. Eliminate everything in the space that you don't use. This won’t apply to certain areas we all may have, but most of them (obvs some spaces may have things like earthquake supplies, first aid emergency items, a random Halloween costume, that we rarely/never use but must keep). 

I like to start tiny, somewhere in my home, and see where it leads. This past week, my start was just to go through several drawers throughout the house, get rid of junk we don't even use, and then put the remaining items back with a drawer separator. Even just for those teeny projects like a few drawers, I feel so proud of myself, ha! I swear it brings me joy each time that I open each drawer, looking so pretty. You don't even have to buy a drawer organizer either. Sometimes I've just used little boxes and containers that I already have around the house.

 My nightstand in all it's chaos. Seriously I'm always fishing around for my chapstick.

My nightstand in all it's chaos. Seriously I'm always fishing around for my chapstick.

 Took me five minutes - and so much better, right? Now I can actually find my earplugs and chapstick in the dark, ha! 

Took me five minutes - and so much better, right? Now I can actually find my earplugs and chapstick in the dark, ha! 

After re-organizing my nightstand, I moved onto our bathroom. My drawer was super full of hair, empty jars of stuff, rollers I don't use anymore, that kind of thing. I'm sure you're getting joy out of this gross picture haha. I removed everything I don't use most days, and put it in the side cabinet or tossed it.  

 My bathroom drawer before...

My bathroom drawer before...

 And after! Only stocked with items I use regularly.

And after! Only stocked with items I use regularly.

And here is Jeff's bathroom drawer - he's going to kill me for posting pics of his retainer on my blog, LOL. Again, it was super quick, like five minutes, and it looks so much better right?! Gotta love guys. They only need like three things in their drawer. 

 Jeff's bathroom drawer before...

Jeff's bathroom drawer before...

 After!

After!

If this job just seems terribly awful to you....keep reading below for a step-by-step guide on how I organized my most cluttered drawer in less than thirty minutes... 

 Our kitchen junk drawer before I purged and re-organized...

Our kitchen junk drawer before I purged and re-organized...

Organizing a basic junk drawer: 

1. Clear everything out of it. Find a nice big space like a floor or counter to spread it all out. 

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2. Think: what goes into a kitchen junk drawer? It probably depends on your household and what you use often / need accessible. But in our house, this would include: some pens, post-it notes, random office supplies, keys, batteries, hair rubberbands, a couple tools, sunglasses, band-aids, ear buds, and phone charger. Remember: the organization needs to be functional.

3. Remove everything from the pile that is not something you use regularly. 

4. Now with what you have left, sort into piles by category. (i.e. office supplies, keys, tools, first-aid, batteries).

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5. Think of a tidy, yet accessible, way to put it all back. Measure the space if you need to and look for organization materials / containers to make it beautiful and clean (there are like 56 million on Amazon).

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And lastly, another tip to making it last. Be really picky about what you let into your house. Just because someone gives you or your kids a gift...doesn't mean you have to keep it. Those big plastic toys, massive play houses, random rocks / sticks / shells, or obnoxious Disney clothes...can all be easily donated or passed on (hint: be sneaky about when you remove items from your kids' stashes, haha). And think before buying something new (even I struggle with this one). Also, read my advice on how to deal with the constant flow of school work and art projects, here

Happy organizing!

xox

Kell  

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