More Time at Home Means More Clutter

The #quarantines and #lockdowns of COVID-19 have most people spending more time at home, says Apartment Therapy — and more time at home means more household #clutter. Not only have you stocked up on canned goods and work-from-home supplies, but there may also be school projects, toys and games laying around. To maintain a sense of order, do the little necessities such as taking out the trash and doing the dishes. If you find time in your schedule, tackle a larger #organization project you’d been putting off.

Hygge: Cozy Without Clutter

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”) is a concept celebrated mostly in Denmark that heralds the creation of a cozy, welcoming living space. Originally, the concept is thought to be the indoorsy, affirming answer to Scandinavia’s long, bleak winter nights.

Since English-speakers don’t have a word for the concept, picture yourself relaxing in a warm ski lodge after a long day of skiing or snowshoeing, with cup of tea or hot chocolate in hand, a crackling fire in the hearth, and a wooly blanket in your lap.

Nice, huh? Now bring that feeling home.

What’s missing from that picture is all of the #junk, papers and #clutter you’ve collected over the years. Because at the core of the #hygge concept is #simplicity — cognizant of the fact that extra #stuff is #anxiety-producing, hygge takes a #minimalist approach.

#Minimalism gets a bad rap as stark or cold, says Simple Lionheart Life, a minimalist blog, and Scandinavia’s penchant for modern design might underline that misconception. But hygge is a different kind of minimalism that’s all cozy blankets, candles and #calm.

To embrace it (and survive the long, socially distanced winter), you’ll need to get rid of the #clutter that’s overrunning your space; it’s distracting from what’s really important and may actually be getting in the way of your sense of inner peace.

“Hygge isn’t about ‘things’ at all,” the blog says. “It’s more about slowing down and being present to appreciate and enjoy your life. And finding ways to celebrate ordinary moments and make them special.”

To embrace it, figure out what you value and what makes you feel good about your home. Then, get rid of everything that isn’t contributing to that feeling. Throw the stuff somebody might still want into boxes and bags, and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup.

Keep your favorite blanket, a candle, and a couple of good books or board games, of course, because once you #declutter your home, you’ll want to relax and enjoy how #clean and #cozy it is mindfully — hyyge-style — by yourself and with family and friends.

Make Boxing Day Into Boxing Week

In the major countries of the former British Empire, the day after #Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day. A legal holiday, the event grew out of a custom for wealthy landowners to offer their servants and workers a box of edible goodies, gifts or a monetary tip during the Christmas season.

Stateside, many make the erroneous assumption that “Boxing Day” is on the calendar as a day people might set aside to box and store their Christmas #decorations for another year. In #quarantine times, however, the Organizing Blog would like to propose a modest compromise:

Let’s celebrate Boxing Day as a way to #declutter and #donate to a good cause. And since we have plenty of time at home due to pandemic travel restrictions, let’s take the whole week to do it.

The first step is to declutter. Start with the stacks and stacks of shipping boxes you’ve likely accumulated buying gifts from Amazon and other outlets. With online shopping up 40% from 2019, households are drowning in cardboard. Break down and #recycle any box that can’t be repurposed.

Next, conduct an organized destaging of all of your household holiday trappings, including wrapping paper, decorations, tree, lights, ornaments, and tchotchkes. Take your time and store everything in dedicated, labeled bins and boxes for easy access next year, or use these clever suggestions from HGTV.

As you pack up, toss anything that’s damaged or dingy. Dead light strands, cracked ornaments and worn fabrics aren’t worth saving or storing. Then, set aside any items that don’t provide a Kondoesque “joy.” These items may still be of good use to someone — just not you.

Finally, gather those unwanted and orphaned items together in extra boxes and bags and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup. Consider it a tax-deductible gift to the nation’s veterans, made in the true spirit of Boxing Day. You may not be landed gentry, but every little bit you give helps veterans access health care, housing and other resources.

Take advantage of a pandemic-era “Boxing Week” to get rid of the things you don’t want and show your appreciation for those who served. Happy New Year from the Organizing Blog!

Use March to Declutter Like a Lion

March: It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, or so they say. Whether or not there’s any truth to the old saying weather-wise in your part of the country, you can take a cue from it as you begin #decluttering for the spring season ahead.

Instead of approaching decluttering slowly this season, roar through your house to make the first crucial dent in what needs to be done. Every little bit you can accomplish can help make your home more organized and comfortable, so attack the trouble spots as fast as you can.

Pick a room and “start by tossing the obvious trash,” More Than Organized says. “Look for packaging and the broken bits first. Get them out of the way. Expired coupons, empty used envelopes, bottles and dried-up glue can also go.”

As you get rid of the trash, you’ll reduce the overall volume of stuff and likely uncover lots of other items that are out of place, unnecessary or unwanted. And just as quickly as you trashed the unusable stuff, you can reshelve or remove these things.

Other things you can declutter quickly include duplicate items, decorative items you don’t love enough to display, clothing that doesn’t fit, inactive files and paperwork, and basically any practical item you haven’t used in a year, Home Storage Solutions says.

Deciding what to keep and what to trash or donate isn’t easy, we know. Given enough time, you can probably find some sentimental attachment or dream up some future plan for every little thing that’s cluttering up your space.

That’s why you have attack task fiercely, like a lion. “Be as ruthless as possible with your decluttering decisions,” says the Simple Lionheart Life blog. “The more you get rid of during each decluttering session, the quicker you’ll clear the clutter.”

If you find any still-useful items such as clothing, toys, books and household items that you no longer need or want, bag them up and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free donation pickup. This will get that extra junk out of your sight fast.

Decluttering isn’t really “done” until the clutter has left your home completely. Once it has, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief — and March can go out like a lamb.

Sort and Declutter Winter Clothing Before You Store It

Winter clothing tends to accumulate over the years. If your closet needs a thorough #decluttering, says organization guru Ashley Joy Orfe, start by taking everything out of it. Sort it into “keep,” “donate” and “maybe” piles quickly, she says, “without second-guessing yourself.” Ask yourself a few hard questions such as “Do these even fit?” to eliminate all of the maybes, reorganize the keepers and put them back in your (now-spacious) closet. Anything that winds up in the “donate” pile can go into boxes and bags — and be picked up from your doorstep as part of a #donation to ClothingDonations.org.