During this pandemic quarantine you may have had time to look around your home and question the presence of a few items. Okay, let’s be honest, you’re questioning the presence of LOTS of items.

Clutter happens. Each member of the family contributes to the piles of paper, the conglomerate of toys and pieces of toys and the junk drawers so full that they don’t close properly. So it’s only fair that each family member gets in on your effort to de-clutter and enjoy a more stress-free, calm and inviting living space.

Here are ten tips to help your family attack the clutter monster:

  1. Identify your worst trouble areas, make a list of them and assign each area to a family member. Your list will probably include such trouble spots as the garage, junk drawers, closets and flat surfaces around the home. You may need to have your younger family members work with an older one to make a de-clutter team.
  2. Once the areas are targeted, create a sorting method, such as things to toss, things to sell, and things to recycle. Is it in good repair? You may decide on keeping things that need repair or not.
  3. Create some self-talk to help you as you make decisions. “Thank you for your service, but someone else can use this now.” Or “I used to like you, but I don’t need you anymore.”
  4. While some items in your home will be easily banished, there are bound to be things that have sentimental value to at least one family member. You might decide before beginning the tasks to allow each family member a certain number of “saves.” That old bowling trophy might mean quite a lot to someone.
  5. Find ways to save the memories, but get rid of the “stuff.” Can you scan pictures, take photos of bulky items, go through old yearbooks and only keep a few pictures, get rid of duplicate items such as tools or kitchen gadgets? Think less is more, if you’re not using it, get rid of it.
  6. Clothes closets may be your biggest challenge. Most people wear only 20% of their clothing 80% of the time. Does it fit? Does it need repair? Will you ever wear it again? If not, someone else may be able to use it or it may be ready for the rag bag. Imagine a well-organized closet with only items you can happily wear now. Be ruthless.
  7. Make it a goal to clear flat surfaces in your home. These areas tend to gather yesterday’s mail, notes from school or old magazines and junk. Identify places for the things you want to keep and clear away the rest. Your home will feel cleaner and you’ll feel more at peace when your counters are clear.
  8. Be ready to spend a bit of money on new storage units or ways to consolidate your possessions. Toy boxes or cupboards, shelving, cubby units, and various kinds of baskets can help your family return things to their rightful places.
  9. Plan a garage sale. There is nothing more motivating than making a little spending money after all your de-clutter work. Allow the kids to reap the benefits of culling out old toys or other possessions they have agreed to part with. And even if you don’t sell those items on sale day, don’t allow them back in the house. They’re on their way to recycle-ville.
  10. As you work through those trouble areas decide to keep like items in one place. Do you have tools in several places, sporting equipment, art supplies, school items, etc. Consolidate like items for a more organized home.

Your family de-clutter project may not move you into the category of minimalist living, but it’s guaranteed to bring a new level of serenity and satisfaction. You can do it. One, two, three…GO!