Winter is coming, and so is the clutter. Yes, you read that right – winter can be a time of year when it's more important than ever to get your house in order. Here are eight areas of your home that you should focus on when you decide to declutter before winter.
Winter clothing is the easiest to declutter. You only need a few sweaters, coats, and jackets to keep you warm through winter. If you are still unsure of how many items you need, consider these factors:
Where do you live? If it's cold enough for snow, it's probably cold enough to wear bulky sweaters and heavy coats
How active are you in winter? If your job requires an outdoorsy lifestyle (i.e., skiing instructor) or if your hobbies include hiking and snowshoeing, then feel free to stock up on more winter gear than just three pairs of jeans
What type of weather will you experience in your area during the cold season? Think about which clothes you’ll need to declutter before winter and store away
If you have plenty of your belongings in the basement, this room is what you should declutter before winter, too. The basement is usually that room in our homes that we overcrowd with various items. Before winter comes, it’s a good idea to clean and organize your basement. While sorting out your belongings, you can clean furniture and get rid of pieces you don’t need. This will free up a lot of space in your basement.
Shoes and accessories
Shoes and accessories are a significant source of clutter, so it's vital to declutter this area of your home, and here’s how:
Pick a few pairs of shoes to keep and donate the rest. If you have five pairs that you wear regularly and two pairs that sit in their boxes but never get worn, donate the latter (make sure they're in good condition)
Don't keep accessories that don't get used anymore. You can donate them or recycle them if they can't be donated. If you have an old necklace or earrings from your grandmother's wedding set, consider giving them away so someone else can love them as much as she did!
Keep accessories that are useful for everyday life—scarves and gloves are great examples. Also, keep any special occasion-specific accessories like formal dress shoes or a fancy clutch purse for when you need something fancier than your everyday bag!
Winter is the best time to take out the holiday decorations and declutter them. Once you clean and make your home feel new, you should sort out all of your holiday decorations. When you need them for decorating your home, it will be easier to find the pieces you’re looking for. Here are some things to consider:
Take out your Christmas tree and clean it
Find all of the holiday lights and check if they work. Old lights and cables should be thrown away
Take out Christmas ornaments and other decorations before they get damaged. You can sort them out and get ready for the holiday season
Toys and games
If you have a pile of toys that your kids haven’t touched in months, it may be time to look at doing some toy decluttering. If you have a home full of children’s toys, you might want to get your home ready for winter and minimize the mess. The first thing to do is determine what toys your kids are actually playing with and which ones they just have lying around. Do they still play with the toy? If so, put it back into their room or somewhere else where they can easily access it when needed. If not, donate it!
Another thing you should consider is using a toy rotation system. If you have more than one child and don't have enough space for all of their toys in their rooms (which is likely), then consider using a toy rotation system. This is a situation where each child gets access to certain toys on different days/weeks/months, depending on how often the kids use those particular items. For example, one of your kids can use their dollhouse while another can play with a car. Next week they can rotate so that both of your kids get equal amounts of time with either item.
Most people have too many of these in their homes. Here are some tips to help you declutter your linens:
Give away or donate. Even if you don't have any friends or family who could use them, there's no reason to let these items go unused! You can give linens to places like Goodwill, which will sell them in their stores and online.
Recycle. Some stores offer free recycling services for clothes, but if yours doesn't, you can always take them to a laundromat or place like Laundry Town that allows customers to drop off their laundry (for a fee).
Keep the good stuff! The rule of thumb for clothing is that anything that still fits you should stay; anything else should be donated. This rule is even more important with linens because your bedding must fit each person sleeping on it comfortably. If someone's sheets are too small for them (or too big), they'll never get comfortable enough at night for a good night's sleep! A great way to make sure everyone has the right-sized sheets on their beds is by using fitted sheets instead of traditional flat ones. They're easier to fold away when not in use and come with elastic all around, so every sheet fits snugly onto its mattress pad.
Books, DVDs, CDs, and video games
If you have too many books, DVDs, CDs, or video games in your home, these are the items you should declutter before winter. Since it's approaching the holiday season and many people will be looking for inexpensive items as gifts for others (or themselves), now is a great time to sell unwanted items at a garage sale. For example, if your parents have old CDs or even records, you can help your parents out and sort their belongings out. These are just some of the decluttering tips that can be applied to seniors. Getting ready for winter is all about making your home feel cozy while spending time with your family, right?
If neither of these options appeals to you – or if there are just too many old books lying around your house – you can always recycle them by dropping off old electronics at one of the many recycling bins located throughout any major city.
Finally, if those options still don't seem like enough organization for your space-challenged living room floor. Well, the truth is that sometimes getting rid of things is just plain necessary!
Miscellaneous household items (lightbulbs, batteries, toiletries, etc.)
The most tiring part of your home decluttering is sorting out miscellaneous items. What you should do is try to organize them into categories:
Keep an inventory of everything you donate and when. That way, if later on, you need something you donated in the past, you can look back to see who gave it away and get it from them again without a hassle
Donate or recycle items you don't need or use anymore—like lightbulbs and batteries
Think about items that may be useful in future circumstances. For example, if your apartment is too small for the dining table right now but will be bigger soon enough, consider keeping the table rather than getting rid of it entirely because then you won't have anywhere to set up your laptop or work on crafts projects at home!
Staying active during the winter is easier when your house is clutter-free.
Clutter can make you feel stressed, which is the opposite of how you want to feel when trying to stay active during the winter. If your home is a mess, it's harder to get things done, and it can cause anxiety if there's nowhere for you to put your stuff away. In case you are moving into a new home, experts from vanexpressnj.com suggest making your home ready as soon as possible. If you declutter before winter, you will have an easier time handling your moving day.
If you have less clutter in your house, then getting exercise will be easier because there will be room for all of your equipment instead of just one or two pieces at a time. You'll have more space for activities like playing with the kids or doing yoga on the floor – and those extra steps add up!
When clutter-free months turn into years, people find themselves sleeping better as well as being generally happier about their living situation. They even say that decluttering helps them focus on what matters: family and friends!
It’s easy to let clutter accumulate over the years, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With these tips, you can efficiently declutter before winter and make your life simple and more enjoyable!
Eleanor Willis is a copywriter and blog creator with years of experience. She looks for inspiration in traveling and sharing experiences with friends and family.