Home Decluttering Tips: Week Two of the Unclutter Your Nest Bootcamp finds us in the kitchen, office, and craft room. We’re going to use these tips and see how to declutter your home as we dive into these areas.
Hello, Decluttering compadres! So, how did you do last week decluttering your bedrooms and bathrooms? I hope you are having great success during this Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp. The 207 pounds of stuff that we took out of our home from our bedrooms and bathrooms has really energized and motivated us to keep at this decluttering process.
Now I’m chomping at the bit to get the decluttering going on in other areas of our home and share with you the home decluttering tips that have worked for us along the way.
If you are just starting the process of how to declutter your home through our Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp, then pop back here to get the general guidelines and suggestions.
Subscribers to Nourish and Nestle can also pop over to the Subscriber Benefits Library for the Discard sheets. These sheets are handy to keep track of donations for tax deductions and if you want and if you want to keep track of what you’ve discarded. If you choose to weigh your discards, you can print jot that down on this form too.
You could also click the button below to have this Discard Sheet sent directly to your inbox.
I’ve got to be honest while weighing it is one more step to take, it has been so motivating. If you are a goal-oriented person, seeing those numbers on your scale increase will surely motivate you to keep going. And if I’m at 95lbs, I promise I’ll find something that weighs 5 lbs to take it to 100.
Oh, and I KNOW you are going to have many pounds of discards as we declutter your home…..check out this page for WHERE TO RECYCLE AND DONATE YOUR DISCARDS.
During this process, it has occurred to me that I am attempting to lay hands on just about every item in my home. That’s quite an undertaking, but it’s been so invigorating to use these home decluttering tips to shed our home of unnecessary and unneeded stuff and it is reassuring to know exactly what is in my home.
So grab your ‘declutter kit’ and let’s get going. We will be using these home decluttering tips for each area:
- Bring a bag/box for TRASH, DONATE, RECYCLE, RELOCATE and, if you really need it, for STORAGE.
- See here for a list of places to donate your gently used items or recycle other items.
- Bring a dustbuster or vacuum, rags, and cleaning solution.
- Put on your favorite Pandora station, CD or radio station.
- If it motivates you, take note of what you toss and the weight of all the stuff leaving your home. My home is already breathing easier with some of the weight lifted.
- You can deduct the items that you donate on your taxes. The discard list can also help to keep track of that. Just estimate the values of the items as you go along.
Home Decluttering Tips: The Kitchen
If you are at all like me, the kitchen is a clutter gold mine. I am on record as being a sucker for kitchen gadgets. Maybe ‘sucker’ is too nice a word…the truth is that I think I have a kitchen gadget ‘problem’.
My brief stint at Williams-Sonoma only enabled my ‘problem’. So that said, my first order of business when I began to declutter the kitchen was to really examine all my kitchen tools and to set aside all my favorite kitchen gadgets and cookbooks to protect them from the tsunami of the unclutter machine!!!
Decluttering the kitchen: Here’s how I went about shedding 117 pounds of kitchen clutter:
- I picked up every single item in all of my kitchen drawers and some of my cabinets and laid them on the counter. I skipped the cabinets that housed my everyday dishes as I use them…everyday… and know exactly what is there.
- By laying everything out and picking everything up, I could easily see where I had duplicate items.
- I had 3 different versions of handheld lemon juicers; couldn’t tell you why.
- Somehow our family of 4 had accumulated 17 ( yes, 17) travel mugs! I guess I was thinking that if we each had 4 hands, we’d have 1 spare in case one broke? Don’t know. In any case, we picked out the best 6 and sent the other 11 to find good homes elsewhere.
- I had some items that I just never used and can’t imagine ever using.
- How many baking dishes does a family of 4 need? I had 4 of those white Corning casserole bakers, 3 of those clear Pyrex bakers, several Pampered Chef baking dishes as well as a couple other more decorative bakers. In laying them all out, I was easily able to realize which ones I use on a regular basis and which ones haven’t been out of the cabinet for years.
- I RECYCLED all plastic containers and jars for who I couldn’t find lids and vice versa. (You cannot recycle Pyrex or similar heat resistant glass)
- Everything else was DONATED, except for the few things I put away for my daughter’s upcoming apartment.
- I researched several sites to figure out which knives I need in my kitchen. The general consensus (from sources such as Epicurious, Real Simple and Huffington Post) is that they are 4 basic knives you need:
- And you know that ‘Christmas’ feeling you get when you discover some long lost item? Well, I was recently reminded that I needed another shield for my KitchenAid Mixer to prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl because I had lost half of the one I had, probably when we moved ten years ago. So in this decluttering process, I threw out the ½ of the shield that I still had and wrote down on my ‘gift ideas’ list that I needed a new shield. Well, when I went digging into cabinets later that day, you’ll never guess what I found? The missing half!!
Luckily I hadn’t thrown out the trash containing the half I knew I had and so was thrilled to reunite these two pieces and happily removed it from my wishlist. Christmas in January!?
Home Decluttering Tips: Office and Craft Room
OK, so we’ve tackled our kitchens, let’s take our home decluttering tips to our offices and craft rooms.
When you think about how to declutter your home, these rooms are full of paper. Paper is one of those things that comes in so frequently and we don’t know quite what to do with it, so we file it away. Because you need to lay your hands on every sheet of paper, the office takes a good amount of time.
It may be that you put all the papers you need to go through in a box as you work through your office with the intent of ‘processing’ some of them this week and the rest over the next week or couple of weeks. Just make sure you stay on it.
Once I’m done with this Boot Camp…I really want to move our home to be as paperless as possible.
Office Decluttering – RECYCLE:
Through this process decluttering the office, we’ve recycled 315 pounds of paper that we just didn’t need to have because it was outdated or otherwise unnecessary. Let me say that again…315 pounds of paper!!
Most of the 315 pounds of paper were professional documents from my husband’s business, but we all hold on to documents in case we need them for taxes or other purposes.
There are some statute of limitations after which you can safely discard your documents. Suze Orman has detailed what should be kept for how long here.
- We had tax documents and returns going 20 back years. We discarded 13 years worth of them. Because of the personal financial nature of these documents, we shredded or burned these documents. Love this shredder as it also shreds credit cards!
- We had canceled checks going back many years as well. We burned or shredded them.
- Non-sensitive papers were put in our recycle bin. I’m feeling for the trashmen when they come this week.
- RECYCLE THESE ITEMS AFTER YOU’VE DIGITIZED THEM:
- Instruction Books and Manuals. I used to have 2 big binders of all the manuals & warranties of all the appliances in my home until I realized that these manuals were available online as PDFs. On my computer, I created a ‘Manuals and Warranties’ file and then downloaded a PDF for each appliance and scanned the warranties and saved them to the ‘Manuals and Warranties’ file.
- Scan all your old photos and save them to disk or flash drive/USB drive/thumb drive. Then, and here’s the hard part, recycle your photos.
If you are like me I know this will cause you to panic a bit, but you have the digital versions now and can access them anytime. I made duplicate copies and put an extra set in our safe deposit box at the bank just in case.
This will take some time and you may not get it all done this week, but if you plan to do a little bit a day, you can work through it.
Once again, put them all in a box and spend an hour a day weeding through them. I have an HP Envy 7645 which is a printer/scanner/fax machine/copier and it works perfectly for this. I would imagine most machines with a scanning capability would accomplish this task.
I made a file for each year and saved each photo to the appropriate year.
As an update to this…we just recently had to evacuate our home due to Hurricane Florence. When we were packing up, trying to figure out what we needed to take with us, I didn’t even give my photos a second thought as I knew that we had the CDs with all our memories safely in our bank’s safe deposit box.
- Scan your child’s school documents that you might need or want later. I set up a file for each child on my computer and then saved all pertinent date to their file.
- Scan all your receipts. My goal for this year is to scan my receipts weekly and then trash them to eliminate that paper clutter.
While my Pixma would have worked just fine, I got a Fujitsu ScanSnap for Christmas which is the BOMB. It makes scanning receipts, and other documents, so effortless that there really is no excuse for me to not do this regularly.
The software that comes with the scanner is well integrated such that when you scan a receipt or document, you are immediately prompted as to how and where you want to save the document/receipt.
When we think about how to declutter the craft room, I would imagine most crafters have a drawer (or 2), a box (or 2), a cubby (or 2) or a bag (or 3) of ‘best-laid plans’ craft supplies. You know what I’m talking about..don’t you? I hope you do. Please tell me what you do.
I once purchased ALL the fabric necessary to make a queen size quilt, although I had never ever quilted before. I had great plans, but they never got off the ground and that fabric found a home somewhere else along the way, though I don’t quite remember where.
- In addition to my kitchen gadget obsession, it’s fair to say I’ve collected way too much yarn over the years. Last year I went through my yarn stash and easily gave away 50 skeins of yarn to my local Senior Center. They use the yarn to knit blankets for newborns and stocking caps for the homeless in our area and were so very grateful for the donation of my yarn. ( I try very hard not to dwell on how much I’ve spent on all my best-laid plans. UGH!)
- Scrapbooking Supplies: I also tried my hand at scrapbooking several years ago, but have rather fallen off lately. I packaged up all my unused scrapbook paper, pages and stickers, put them in a clear bag and sent them to Goodwill and to a friend of mine who teaches Kindergarten.
- Fabric and sewing supplies: I donated boxes and bags of fabric swatches, polyfil, trim and other sewing paraphernalia to our local high school for use in their sewing class.
- Our local library will always accept our unwanted books for their semi-annual book sale. I will be taking 151 pounds of books (or about 100) to my library tomorrow.
So here’s our home decluttering tally thus far:
Bedroom declutter 191
Bathroom declutter 15
Kitchen declutter 117
Office/Craft Room declutter 485
Our journey to discover how to declutter our home has thus far resulted in 808 pounds of stuff that has been taken out of our home (and I have 2 weeks to go!) Holy Cow!
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Interested in More Home Decluttering Tips & Organizing Posts?
During this 4-week Decluttering Challenge, we will tackle all of the areas of our homes. In Week 1, we will begin to unclutter our nest in the Bathrooms and Bedrooms. Week 2 share decluttering tips for our kitchens, offices, and craft rooms. We will lighten the load in our den, living rooms, playrooms, coat closets, and laundry rooms during Week 3. Our busy 4 weeks of decluttering will end in the Attic and Garage.
I’ll be back next weekend with home decluttering tips and suggestions for your laundry room, den and linen/coat closet. Until then, enjoy your lighter home.
We’re starting the second week of our Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp and decluttering home journey. Isn’t your home breathing easier with X pounds of stuff taken out of it? Aren’t you breathing easier just knowing that you have fewer things to tend?
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