Our lives are busy. Between work, children, managing households and the other seemingly endless demands on our time, we have to prioritize. This articles will give you 8 ideas to declutter your home.

Often, decluttering (or even cleaning) our home falls off the “to-do” list. Meanwhile, the clutter builds: piles of mail, clothes, toys, old or duplicate appliances, extra kitchenware, bins of blankets, pet toys, shoes, all of the brilliant crafts and homework of children, starting at age 1.

Getting rid of clutter is more important than it might seem. According to WebMD: Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control.

But how do you find the time and energy? Experts suggest that instead of trying to tackle your entire home at once, spend just 5-minutes a day and concentrate your decluttering efforts in one, confined space. In other word, conquer clutter in small chunks at a time.

5-minute decluttering exercises

Here are some 5-minute decluttering exercises that could be quick, fun and rewarding… bite-sized efforts that will help make a huge difference over time.

  • Container clutter. Open your cupboards where you store containers…empty containers. Pull out duplicates, partials (what
    was that top for?) and things you just don’t need (paper food boxes from the sushi you ate two months
    ago. Toss or recycle.
  • Expired pantry items. This is an easy one. Toss packets of molding chocolate chips, soggy crackers and other things with expired use dates. Keeping them is unhealthy and takes up room.
  • Shoes.  Americans spend more than $400 per person each year on shoes. Many of them either sit in a closet unused or are worn out, but still take up space on the floor. Use one 5-minute declutter session to toss (or donate) all shoes not worn regularly.
  • Medicine cabinet. Spend 5 minutes culling through and tossing medicine that is expired (or duplicate). Nearly half of all
    Americans have expired prescription drugs that could be inadvertently misused by their children. Most pharmacies or health systems have prescription disposal bins. (Don’t throw prescriptions in the trash.) Also toss last season’s sunblock.
  • Paper trash. Spend 5 minutes tossing paper trash—old newspapers, magazines, unopened junk mail, last year’s calendars, expired coupons, greeting cards, product manuals for items you’ve long discarded, and receipts for items you’ll never take back. While you’re at it, send piles of old books to donation sites.
  • Old clothing. Salvation Army, Goodwill and other donation sites will find a happy home for clothes from your closet (or in stacks on closet floors) that either you don’t plan to wear or that don’t fit you anymore. Households with children usually have bins of outgrown clothes. Save one or two items per child for memory’s sake. Recycle the rest.
  • Broken things. Put aside emotional bonds with old, broken things, and spend 5 minutes collecting them in a bin and tossing them. You’ll find many in your “junk drawer.” But don’t forget pens with no ink, bent or broken sunglasses, computers that don’t boot up, old remote controls, old chargers, old VHS or cassette tapes (convert cherished ones to digital format first).
  • Old bedding and towels. If you can’t part with that Power Ranger bedspread you bought 20 years ago for your child, send it to the garage for use as rags. Same with cherished towels that are unraveling, and bedsheets that are stained. Usually, half of all items in a linen closet are never used. Take 5 minutes to recycle unused linens.

Don’t forget professional cleaning

It’s one thing to accomplish a decluttered home. It’s yet another to make the newfound spaces clean and available for other uses. All that space created by decluttering can be in need of professional cleaning, by either a home cleaning service or rug cleaning service, such as are available at Details & Dixon’s.

Companies that offer multiple services, like house cleaning, carpet cleaning, window cleaning and gutter cleaning are your preferred partners in home maintenance. This consolidated approach simplifies maintenance, allows the company to take a personal interest in the overall well-being of your home, and enables you to become a priority customer. Many “one call does it all” companies also offer multiple-service discounts.

Look for third-party endorsements for house cleaning companies from AngiBetter Business Bureau and Home Advisor.

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