How to Declutter the Messes You Overlook Every Day
Closets, cabinets and garages are clutter traps that you can’t miss…but ahead you’ll learn about the clutter collections that are often hidden in plain sight, and you’ll find out just how easy it is to organize them once and for all. Easy is also a word often used to describe Pickup Please’s free donation pickup service. To scheduled your own donation pickup ahead of your decluttering, CLICK HERE.
Piles of old sweaters stuffing a closet or outgrown toys strewn across a bedroom can’t be missed. It’s the clutter that you look at every day — often without even realising it’s there — that we’re here today to discuss.
Clutter can’t get more hidden in plain sight then on a kitchen countertop. Especially in the corners, which can be a little hard to reach so items get pushed back there, only to remain for months! Now’s the time to reach in there and pull out the mixer and its bowls and attachments, or the pottery crock containing your fourth spatula, fifth and six wooden mixing spoons and the weird strainer thingy. Run them through the dishwasher or better still, donate them so another family can put them to daily use!
Hidden-in-plain-sight clutter culprit No. 2 are bedside stands. They’re meant to hold maybe a phone charger, a TV remote and a book. But what they often hold are more and more books and their cousin, the magazine. Bottles of medications that belong in the bathroom cabinet (spoiler alert: that’s on the agenda) and a water glass often round out the clutter collection. Now that you’re motivated, take a moment and put everything away where it’s meant to be…especially if it means finally running those three empty coffee mugs down to the dishwasher.
The clutter of an entertainment center can be a matter of debate. What you consider to be a mess, your son might consider to be his prized collection of video game cartridges. Find neutral ground by storing them nearby in a pretty wicker basket. Don’t forget to also dust, and while you’re at it, edit the decor collection stored there on the shelves…donate the candlesticks or frames that are beginning to look a little stale to you. Better still, cut to the chase and just disconnect and donate the video game system if you know it hasn’t been used in months.
The landing zone around the back door or the keys-and-sunglasses spot near the front door are primary candidates for clutter. Pick up a key caddie at your favorite home goods store and you’ll get in the habit of storing your keys and sunglasses in an attractive place. Plus, you’ll never need to hunt everywhere for them again!
Your Car Cubby
Those keys unlock the location of our next hidden-in–plain-sight clutter collection: your car. Specifically, the cubby between the front seats. Head out there with a recycling bag, a garbage bag, an empty shoebox or something similar (like an Amazon box) and a Ziplock bag. Dive in and use the recycling bag for the receipts, coffee cups and other paper goods you don’t want to send to the dump, use the box to take back into the house the extra phone chords, the sunglasses, makeup, mail and other items you want to keep…and use the baggie to collect all the loose change. You’ll turn a profit by decluttering!
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Your Home Office Desk
The key to decluttering your desk is to make sure you’re not just moving a pile somewhere else. Start by removing EVERYTHING from the desktop…including the lamp and computer! After you give the desktop a good dusting, you’re ready to edit. Start with all the papers, tossing out what you know you don’t need any more, and filing away that which you do. Because you have a clean desktop, you’ll be motivated to put the clutter back where it belongs, in files or in the trash, and not just right back on top, where it came from.
Beneath the Baby’s Crib
Sure, this might not be a problem for you, but if it is… then it really is. Baby cribs are just high enough to store lots of toys and clothes and other items beneath them, but just low enough to make them tough to keep organized. Now’s the time to pull everything out from under it then decide what should go back, what should be stored elsewhere, and what toys, clothes and other baby items can be donated for use by another family.
We warned you earlier that the medicine cabinet was a clutter culprit. Open it up like you do every day, only this time take a moment to actually look at everything inside. You know what’s coming next: Pull everything out and place it on the counter, then give the cabinet a good scrub. Now, as you go to put each item back, take a close look at the expiration date on the medicine bottles — you’ll be surprised how quickly over-the-counter medications can expire. Be sure to dispose of them properly — don’t flush them down the toilet, but instead check with your community recycling center for details about medical waste disposal options near you. For the bottles you’re going to keep, be sure to double check their tops to make sure they are securely fastened…not just for safety sake, but also because bathrooms are often steamy, and the moisture can damage the pills.