One of the best ways you can ease stress is to take time to do some winter decluttering. I know, traditionally, that people do a “spring cleaning”. But for me the wintertime is perfect for decluttering, organizing and getting rid of items we don’t need or use anymore.
First I want to share some general organization tips on winter decluttering; really these can be used anytime to help you do a home clean out. So brew a strong coffee and don’t let the cold weather tell you that you can’t clean!
Winter Decluttering Tips
Take it one room at a time!
The number one way to make yourself crazy is to look at the whole house as a project. When it comes to decluttering it is best to take one room at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Set a goal!
What is your goal for that particular space? Why do you need to get rid of junk in there? What do you plan to do with the room once your decluttering job is complete? Write down your plan and goals – this will help you stick to your task when you feel like quitting.
Write a list of jobs!
I love love love lists. These are great ways to see progress as you check of the jobs or tasks that have been completed.
Take a 10 – 15 minute break in regular intervals during your decluttering time. Set a timer to keep you focused during cleaning and set it again so you don’t go over your break time.
Know where your declutter discards are going!
The worse thing you can do it bag and box up a bunch of stuff and have no where to take it. Make sure you know what to do with your donation and garbage items. You may want to invest in a good shredder when you are cleaning out your office or desk.
Don’t do it alone if you don’t have to!
Get your family involved – especially if it is their room! If you’re single, it is still ok to ask a friend or family member to come and help you. Organized people often enjoy getting disorganized friends on the right path. You can offer a free dinner or something enticing, if that helps.
You’ll need a keep zone, donate zone, garbage zone and possibly a maybe zone. When you’re winter decluttering you want to get organized with what is staying and going. So the zones will help you with that fast! And let’s be honest, if it ends up in the maybe zone you probably need to chuck it.
Consider having a yard or garage sale!
Winter decluttering could make you a little Christmas cash too! Consider having a sale at your house or if they weather won’t permit sell the items online. I love Facebook marketplace for online selling (they don’t take a cut!). Be sure to check out How to Have the Best Garage Sale Ever!
Winter Decluttering – What to Toss & What to Keep
In Your Kitchen:
- Get rid of extra pans, baking dishes, or anything you have multiples of that you are really not using.
- Old spices. Yes, spices expire and lose their flavor over time. Look at the dates on your spices and toss the old ones you aren’t using anymore.
- Pantry items – look at your canned and boxed foods. Donate what you know you are not going to eat in the next 3 weeks. Get rid of anything expired now too. For example, if you have a can of pumpkin left from Thanksgiving, ask yourself if you’re going to really use it before next fall…
- Excessive coffee mugs. Ok, this one might just be for me but I swear we seem to add more mugs into our collection and I have made a promise for every new mug that comes in, 2 have to go.
- Don’t forget to check your freezer and refrigerator for outdated or freezer burnt items.
In Your Living & Family Rooms:
- Look at old games and puzzles. Toss the ones you know are missing pieces. Donate the ones you haven’t played or used in more than 3 months. Also a great time to donate the ones that are not the right age range for your kiddos (does your teen really still play Chutes & Ladders?).
- Dusty decor, candles, or seasonal stuff. This is a good time to evaluate what you love and what is just a dust collector. Put away or get rid of seasonal items you won’t be needing during the winter.
- Recycle old magazines that are piling up.
- You can make a space look cleaner by having less out out counters, tables, etc. Also decorative pillows are nice but too many just looks messy.
In Your Bedroom:
- Go through your off-season clothes. If you didn’t really wear it or it hasn’t fit in months / years, it is time to get rid of it.
- Do you have multiples of items you don’t really need? Keep only the items you really love and wear regularly.
- Shoes – get rid of shoes that are worn out, no traction, beyond repair. Donate the ones you don’t wear but have plenty of life left in them.
- Do you need to purge some hangers? Donate them after your garage sale!
- Go through your dresser drawer and toss single socks, underwear with elastic gone, full of holes or just nasty (you know what I mean!).
- Are you holding on to linens you don’t use? Homeless shelters could really use those!
- Coats, mittens, scarves, boots and other winter coats and apparel your kids have outgrown or you don’t really love – these items could be very useful to families in need this winter.
In Your Office:
- Get rid of bills and paperwork that you really don’t need for the future or taxes.
- Create a filing system so you don’t have pile and piles of papers.
- Tax season will be here before you know it. Start assembling your most needed items for taxes.
- Get rid of paper statements – call your banks, credit cards, etc and ask to be on electronic statements only. This will cut don’t your paper clutter considerably.
10 Things to Toss Right Now During Winter Decluttering!
Now you may need to toss, donate, sell or recycle these items. I’m not suggesting everything should go in the garbage.
- Seasonal paper goods that are out of season.
- Cleaning products that you don’t use.
- Extra bottles, boxes, containers and stuff to hold stuff.
- Excessive plastic and paper grocery bags.
- Old make-up and personal products (ewww the bacteria).
- Expired cold medicine and vitamins.
- Old catalogs…assuming you still haven’t canceled those.
- Sports equipment you ever use (stationary bikes, skis, etc).
- Outdated paint – make sure to dispose of old paint properly.
- Multiples of tools – check your garage, storage units, etc.
I hope these tips and tricks for winter decluttering help you get a start on home organization and a stress-free holiday season!