Clutter is a common problem amongst us moms. You’ve got the toys, the clothing, and other miscellaneous junk lying around the house that just seems to pile up. Then the kids come along, mess it up and spread it all around the house in which you end up picking up and and putting it back in its place (because no one else will). No matter how much you pick up and tidy up, in a matter of minutes, it’s a big mess again and the cycle continues. Does this sound familiar? Well that’s how it was over at my house until I decided enough is enough and I was going to end clutter once and for all!
Continue reading if you want to know what to consider before buying ANOTHER storage container.
In that past, I had a different approach to clutter. I thought the solution was to buy MORE storage containers. I’ve been to Ikea, and Canadian Tire, HomeSense and other home goods stores to buy all sorts of storage containers in a variety of shapes, colours, materials and sizes. But did it solve my clutter problem? Nope! There was still tons of clutter and tons of mess to clean up.
Decluttering Tip No. 1- Get rid of all that excess stuff!
We basically had too much stuff! My girls are so spoiled on their birthdays because we usually have pretty big parties for them in which they receive a ton of gifts. I have no complaints about that! They are so lucky to get all the wonderful gifts they receive on their birthdays. But over time, they do get sick of their toys like any kid would. As the months and years go by, they just disregard that old toy they once loved and it just sits there. We had stuffed animals, old baby toys, odds an ends of toys, a gazillion barbies and mismatched barbie clothes and accessories. We had old jewelry boxes, play jewelry and other toys that just weren’t of interest to my kids anymore.
So what did I do? I rolled up my sleeves and decided it was time to get rid of a bunch of stuff. I grabbed a bunch of black garbage bags and started getting rid of stuff that I haven’t seen my kids play with. But first I asked them this question, “What do you guys play with?” They said, Lego, Pokemon cards, iblock, Monster High Dolls and their iPads. Perfect! I had an idea of what they liked and went off on my decluttering mission. I also kept a bunch of baby toys for my toddler and for baby no. 4 on the way. But I also kept in mind that we will always be buying more toys in the future. I also kept in mind that these toys will go to another child out there who will actually appreciate it so I had no hard feelings giving them away.
At then end of my decluttering mission I was able to collect about 4 1/2 large black garbage bags worth of old toys. I let the bags sit in my hallway, actually, for a couple weeks just to see if my kid would miss anything, and nope, they didn’t. So basically, I was given the ok to dispose of all that clutter! Man, did it feel good to get rid of all that stuff! It was so liberating! It freed up so much space in all the bedrooms and did I need those storage containers? Nope! I’m actually getting rid of those storage containers because, there is nothing store!
Decluttering Tip No. 2- open all your drawers/cabinets and see how you can use that space better!
Go to your bathroom. Open all the cabinets and drawers and see what junk is in there that has just been sitting there without being used. Toss it. Old toiletries aren’t good for us to use anyways. Better to have fresh products all the time. I used to put my daughters’ hair supplies (headbands and hair ties) in a storage container on the bathroom counter. But since I freed up space in my bathroom cabinets, I now store that stuff there!
Go to the kitchen and do the exact same thing. Open all the drawers and cabinets and toss out all the old stuff/clutter. You’ll see you won’t be needing to buy storage containers because you will be freeing up a lot of space in the drawers. I used to put diaper changing supplies in a storage container on the counter in the kitchen. But now, I put a bunch of diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream in a drawer. It’s still easily accessible but still out of site!
I even store my kids stuff in unlikely places like my china cabinet! Before, I used to store some seasonal decorations in there but then I found I was storing things that I don’t even like or use. So, I got rid of that stuff and put some of my kid’s arts supplies in there which they use all the time! Our dining room is actually my kid’s art room. Instead of me buying more storage for kid’s supplies, I used the storage space I already had and used it more effectively.
I also went through a storage drawer under my bed. I found I was storing a bunch of old binders and notebooks that I haven’t looked at in years! Why should I be keeping it? So I tossed it. Now I use it to store my daughter’s diapers! Using space more effectively feels GOOD!
I have diaper changing stations all over my house! I used to keep diaper changing supplies on my bedside dresser in a storage container. I emptied out a drawer in my bedside dresser and now I place all my diaper changing supplies there. My counter space is cleared and now the stuff is neatly put away! Love it!
I used to store my pens and pencils in a holder on the kitchen counter which looked a bit messy. I emptied out a drawer in my kitchen and now those items are placed neatly in a drawer and out of site. Talk about decluttering and making better use of space!
Well there you have it my fellow Mamas! Consider these 2 decluttering tips before you buy another storage container!
It will save you money! Some of these storage containers are not cheap!
You’ll find you already have the space you need, you just may not be using it effectively.
Carefully go through all your stuff and toss whatever is old, unloved and unused to make room for the stuff you actually love and use on a regular basis!
Trust me, you will be left with a very satisfying feeling after this exercise! Happy cleaning and sorting, Mamas!