Yes, we know it’s cliche that many folks’ New Year’s resolutions have something to do with having a more organized home. We think it’s entirely unrealistic to live your life like The Home Edit, no matter how pretty their Instagram feed is. Instead, we like to take an approach, similar to getting your home ready to stage and sell – purge.
We tell our sellers all the time: you must edit your belongings before showing your house. But don’t just save this tip for a move. We’ve all heard stories of folks who decided not to move after a stager helped them edit the belongings displayed in their home. Purging not only helps you have a more organized home, but a less stressful home as well.
What to Ask Yourself When Purging and Organizing
- Is it broken or damaged?
- Do I have duplicates of this item?
- Do I use this? Have I used it in the last year or two?
- For Clothes: Does it fit?
Purge Your Way to an Organized Home
Julie’s sister, Tracy Smythe, likes the 30-Day Purge method. Tracy is the proud owner of a Tiny Home for her family of five, so she knows a thing or two about purging.
- Day One: you get rid of one item.
- Day Two: you get rid of two items.
- Day Three: you get rid of three items.
- This continues each day until you get to Day 30, when you get rid of 30 items (think dishes, that third set of silverware, and more)
These are the easiest items to purge in the home.
- Knick Knacks and Home Decor: Go around your bedroom and living room; take down 50 percent of the decor items. Start with bookshelves, bedside tables and console tables. Clear the surfaces. Purging decor items is one of the easiest ways to a more organized home.
- Kitchen Utensils: Unless you are an avid cook or baker, do you really need four wooden spoons or three spatulas? Purging duplicate kitchen items helps free up drawer space and lets you take advantage of those pretty drawer organizers.
- Linens: How many throw blankets do you actually need? Keep your favorite two and donate the rest. Frayed towels? Donate them to a local animal shelter. Get rid of throw pillow covers that no longer match your aesthetic.
Start by making three piles:
- Throw Away
Additional Items to Purge
- Most, if not all, appliances and electronic manuals are online. Recycle your paper copies.
- Old cell phones. Reset to factory settings and take them to Best Buy to be recycled.
- Books you’ve already read, don’t want to display and don’t plan to read again. The Peninsula has a ton of great libraries and other places that can help you cut down on book clutter.
- Promotional calendars, koozies, stationery, t-shirts, etc. Just because it was free doesn’t mean you need to keep it.
- Expired or sample-size toiletries.
- Shred old bills and bank statements.
- Hair ties that have lost their stretchiness.
- Unused vases. Keep two or three that are neutral and most versatile.
- Dried out pens and markers.
- If you need added incentive, Oprah has a few ideas of her own.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Organized
Congrats, you purged a ton of duplicate and unnecessary items. The best advice for keeping the house organized is to have a plan. Whether that’s a one-in-one-out rule, no spend months, don’t buy any books this year, or the famous hanger flip Oprah taught us – write down your plan for keeping your home tidy. Put that plan in the notes on your phone and refer back to it when you feel like you need a reminder.
Do not buy bins and organizers until you’ve purged. Only organize what you are willing to keep. And please bring your measurements to the store.
Label, especially your cords. As soon as you get a new electronic, break out the label maker and wrap a small label around the cord. Avoid the tangled mystery cord basket at all costs.
Thank you for reading J+J Team Homes Blog
If you have any questions or a topic you’d be interested in learning more about – leave us a comment below or on our social media. Or reach out to us directly. Even if you aren’t in the market, we’d love it if you’d pass along our information to those on the lookout.