How-To: Five Steps to Decluttering – Beginner Edition

(Photo by Zelda Dominguez)

How-To: Five Steps to Decluttering – Beginner Edition

By Jehn Kubiak

Let’s face it: if you’re like me and have a messy room, chances are that “organized” isn’t even in your vocabulary––at least when it comes to your personal belongings. For example, I am very organized at work. As a lifeguard, I make sure all the chairs on the deck are perfectly aligned and the pool deck is spotless. However, my room is the exact opposite. You’ll see books leaning over on the bookshelf, clothes everywhere, and not many storage bins. Even so, organization is not impossible for the disorganized as long as we start with baby steps. Here are five simple ways to start the decluttering process.

1. Get storage bins

You know those cute little fabric cubes or transparent-hued boxes? Yeah, those are for putting things in that are alike. You can put anything in them, from supplements and protein powders to makeup or books. These are helpful if you have a lot of loose items that you want to keep together, and you can often store these in your closet or under a bed.

2. Fold your clothes neatly

If you’re like me and complain about not being able to find that one favorite shirt you like, then you probably have drawers with clothes spilling out of them. Finding that perfect shirt will be easier if everything is neatly folded. Even more, (I am not familiar with this phrase as an opening conjunction. However, in a previous article you used the phrase “On top of that,” which may be more definitive. Totally up to you.) you can organize your clothes by categories: colors, patterns, styles (e.g. sports or dressy), or even cut (short-sleeve, tank top, etc.).

3. Make the most of your closet

Closets are useful for hanging clothes, but they are also multi-purpose because you can use them for storage. For instance, you can put a shoe rack under dresses or even some floor-level shelves under shirts. Try putting command hooks on the walls where you can hang up hats, belts, scarves, and other accessories.

4. Keep taking the trash out

Wait, this is a step to organization? Yes, and here’s why: if you have trash that keeps piling up, your room seems that much more messy (or cluttered?). Plus, all that trash takes up more space if you have multiple bags sitting around. Taking out the trash consistently also allows for more floor space. It’s easy to forget about, but if you take it out before going to work or school, this will become easier to remember in time.

5. Get rid of all the old schoolwork

For those of you students, it’s possible that you have piles of notebooks, lecture handouts, and the like sitting around––possibly even on the floor or scattered on a desk. Throwing away what you don’t need and putting the things you want to keep in colored folders will clear up the clutter and make your personal space that much cleaner.