Clearing clutter from your home can be a cathartic experience. After bidding farewell to clothes that no longer fit and electronics that no longer work, it feels like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Suddenly, you realize how much space you have.
But clutter likes to hide in the most unexpected places – and it can be hard to know where to start. We want to help you clean and organize your house, so we’ve compiled the top 10 places where clutter can build. So grab some boxes, decide what you want to pitch and what you want to donate – and then breathe a sigh of relief. That clutter is gone.
1. The Garage
Comb through your garage for toys your kids no longer use, gardening tools that have seen better days, or the old grill you never got around to selling. Toss anything that’s broken, and donate the rest. If you have larger items that are difficult to transport, find a charity that offers free pickup at your home.
2. The Entertainment Center
Whether it’s a five-year-old gaming system nobody uses or the seven different remotes you own for one TV, we often hold onto electronics that are past their prime. Determine what you actually need to operate your television and other electronics, and get rid of the rest. When you’ve finished decluttering, use a Swiffer 360 Duster to remove dust from the entertainment center, electronics and wires – too much dust around electronic components can damage them.
3. Your Closet
Is your wardrobe stuffed to capacity? Donate or sell the items that still have life: the impulse-buy shoes you’ve never worn and the jeans you plan to slim into “someday.” Toss anything that’s damaged, faded or shrunken.
To maximize closet space, consider separating your clothes by season and storing off-season clothing in boxes. To keep your garments smelling fresh while in storage, wash them first using Unstopables in-wash scent boosters. The scent lasts for up to 12 weeks, so when you’re ready to wear these outfits again, they’ll smell great.
4. Your Makeup Bag
Cosmetics have a surprisingly short shelf life – usually six months to a year – and are a breeding ground for germs. Search through your makeup bag, and throw away anything that looks gloopy or gunky.
5. Your Jewellery Box
We’ve all got a drawer or box that’s bulging with jewellery we never wear. Be ruthless. Sell unwanted pieces in your next garage sale, and donate the rest to charity shops.
6. The Linen Closet
You really only need two sets of sheets per bed. Part ways with mismatched pillowcases and old sheets and blankets. (Animal shelters welcome donations of bedding and blankets.) To avoid a musty smell, spray Febreze Fabric Refresher on stored blankets and comforters that are difficult to launder in the washing machine.
7. The Desk or Filing Cabinet
Years-old magazines, instruction manuals, catalogues, greeting cards, flyers, bills – your desk or filing cabinet is likely a catch-all for random pieces of paper. Overflowing shelves and piles of paperwork are a source of stress, so file anything important and shred the rest.
8. The Basement
We all have a box full of ornaments and holiday souvenirs that we don’t want to display but don’t know what to do with. It’s time to give it all to charity. Remember, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
9. The Kitchen
Sort through your pantry and remove any expired dry goods. Then do the same in your fridge and freezer. Don’t forget to check your spices and baking ingredients!
Kitchen gadgets can take up precious space in cabinets and on countertops. Even if that ice-cream maker, fondue set or chocolate fountain seemed like a good idea at the time, if you’ve only used it once, sell it or give it away.
10. Your Cell Phone
Grab your smartphone and start streamlining. Delete old emails. Banish from your e-reader books you’ll never read. Change your passwords and upload digital photos to the cloud. Finally, back everything up, switch off your device and relax. You’ve earned it – you finally have a clean house!
How do you declutter your home? Share with us in the comments section below!