Spring is generally the ideal time to undertake a major home decluttering project. And considering we’ve all spent more time indoors in recent weeks, there’s never been a better time to devote to the task. But where do you start? From entryways and kitchens to home offices and basements, we go through, room-by-room, the best ways to declutter each space.
It’s easy to overlook the front hallway, even though it often accumulates the most clutter thanks to jackets, shoes and junk mail. Grab a large box and neatly pack away any winter gear, like coats to boots – and toss anything you no longer wear or want in a donation bin. If you have a spot for mail, make sure that going forward you open each piece immediately so it does’t collect in a pile on the desk. Before you know it, your space will look like this pristine beauty from the Property Brothers in no time. Find more tips and tricks with our ultimate spring cleaning checklist.
One of the easiest ways to declutter and organize a living room, especially one that serves a dual purpose, is to create separate mini zones. If you’ve got kids, create a small “toy zone” on one side of the room or a tiny home office for schoolwork and a more adult-centric space on the other side. Donate any old DVD (or VHS tapes!) that you no longer watch and are only collecting dust. Recycle piles of old magazines and limit the amount of decor pieces and knick-knacks you have spread out over the space. They ultimately make the room more difficult to dust and clean. Ditto to cushions – we love a pretty print on a throw pillow, but too many is impractical, especially if you have to move them or put them on the floor every time you want to sit down.
You might need to tag-team the kitchen as it’s often one of the most daunting rooms to declutter. Start by grabbing three boxes or bins and labelling them Recycle, Donate and Trash. Pull a Marie Kondo and eliminate appliances or objects you no longer use and make sure everything has an assigned space if they have to be on counters or islands. From appliances to fabrics, find out how often you should clean these things in your home.
If you’ve always dreamed of a dining room that resembles this well-organized gem by the Property Brothers, it’s not as far out of reach as you might think. Keep it simple: eliminate old or stained tablecloths, bent or duplicated flatware, single-use appliances and donate any specialty dishware you don’t use. In a rush? Find out how to make every room in your house look clean and organized in less than 10 minutes.
Picture it: waking up every morning in a clutter-free bedroom. Start by making your bed – you’ll already feel more organized. (Avoid making these mistakes when buying bedding). Next, tackle your nightstands and remove items that need to be trashed, recycled or stored away. Place all dirty cloths and linens in the hamper and go through your shelves – what can you donate, recycle or toss? Avoid too many knick-knacks that you will dread having to move and dust every week. To avoid closet clutter, regularly clean it out using the 80/20 rule – if you wear only 20 per cent of your clothes 80 per cent of the time, donate the rest.
Start with the medicine cabinet, tossing any expired medication and cosmetics. Stock up on creative budget-friendly storage baskets and organize according to product type and frequency of use. Next, review all your towels – toss any with stains or rips. Need more storage? Invest in the mounted variety or add simple pegs to the wall to hang towels. Pro tips: think vertical with narrow open shelving. You’d be surprised how much you can fit! For more tips, check out these ways to stylishly store and organize your toiletries.
Whether your home office is an entirely separate room or a designated corner in another space, invest in storage options (complete with label organizers) and floating shelves. To cut down on the amount of clutter that piles up, digitize all your documents and bills while recycling or shredding papers you no longer need. Keep desktop objects to a minimum – while it’s lovely to have a family photo or two, avoid too many items that will ultimately just collect dust and take up space. Soon, your office will resemble this beauty from the Save My Reno team.
If possible, consider investing in a stacked washer-dryer combo to open up your laundry room. If that’s not possible, proper shelving and labelled storage bins are key. Ensure the essentials – detergents, irons – are within reach. Toss socks that have been mismatched for awhile and create a folding station. Check out these laundry room organization tips from The Home Edit founders.
When it comes to decluttering the basement, start by purging seldom-used items. Basements can, unfortunately, become the most cluttered space in the house simply because it’s more out-of-sight, out-of-mind. To counter that, organize everything you have down there and purchase storage bins and shelving for the items you want to keep. Avoid storing anything that is liable to collect mildew in a damp basement. If you have seasonal items stored down there, keep them all in one place separated from the rest of the basement. Eliminate toolboxes by introducing a wall storage system. If you’re looking for basement renovation ideas, these home gym designs will inspire you to work out.
Depending on the size of your garage, you might need to devote an entire weekend to decluttering the space. Much like with the kitchen, sort every single item and appliance into different piles or bins – Keep, Sell, Donate, Trash. A good question to ask yourself is: did I use this in the last 12 months? If the answer is no, you can part ways with it. Ensure the most frequently used items – lawnmowers, bicycles, tools – are front and centre and store other odds and ends away in labelled storage bins. Don’t be afraid of investing in wall storage and shelving to reduce floor clutter. For more inspiration, check out these garage doors that are anything but ordinary.