Clean Sweep: Overview

Simplify your life by getting rid of clutter. “Getting rid of” means just that—you need it out of your house.

The next six weeks, I’ll share with you what worked and what didn’t work for me as I eliminate lots of stuff, organize, rearrange, and pack up my entire house to move across country.

Ready to embark on Operation: Clean Sweep with me?

Step One: Make a plan.

I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed really easily. At least when it comes to cleaning and organizing. If you are as much of a clutterbug as I am, then you know things have to get worse before they can get better. Making a plan will help you tackle things in smaller pieces.

My Plan

  • Decide themes/color schemes for each room. Here’s an idea of my colors (Warning: Pinterest Board!). This post on Young House Love is a great read about picking colors that create a sense of continuity in your home.
  • One room at a time—wall to wall—separate EVERYTHING into toss, recycle, give/sell, keep, store. If you want to make the process simpler, make three distinctions: Keep, toss, sell.
  • Gather books and separate by hardcover (for display), paperback, business/professional books, research, non-fiction, inspirational, etc. See if any paperback books are free for e-readers.
  • Magazines: highlight the good stuff, rip out ads, document/index, put in pretty boxes (tutorial coming in a few days!)
  • Decor: divide into spring, summer, fall, winter. Eliminate anything that doesn’t match each room or isn’t completely loved. I rotate decor between my bedroom and the living room so 75% isn’t in storage all the time.
  • Toys: Give away obnoxious toys, divide by age and season.
  • Photos: Divide by subject (artsy versus personal, family pics), divide by season. Frame.
  • Clothes: Get rid of everything not absolutely loved. Shoes, too. Divide by season, formality, and age (for kids). Recycle old T-shirts into a gigantic quilt. (Tutorials herehere, and here.)
  • Crafts: divide by medium, divide supplies and tools, get rid of crap.
  • Collect all containers/storage: Decide in which room to store them and what to put in each.
  • PAPERS: Recycle, shred, digitalize, or file. Organize notes into binders.
  • Furniture: Decide what to get rid of.

YOU

Next week (or later this week) I’ll update you on how the office Clean Sweep went. Until then, what’s your plan for getting rid of clutter?

2 thoughts on “Clean Sweep: Overview

  1. When I was getting ready for our PCS, I tried to be organized about our possessions and sort them into a Covet, Chuck, Cover (keep, throw out, storage) piles.
    Sadly, when you’re the only one packing…lots of stuff gets thrown out or donated. I think I may have hauled a good 3/4 of our possessions to Good Will. Great tips, next time we move, I’ll cyber stalk this article!

    • Thanks, Angela! Yeah, I’m really glad we are moving this summer, since last summer my husband was deployed. The two moves since we’ve been married I’ve had the flu or been pregnant. Either way, I wasn’t much help to my husband! I’m trying to get started now, since I’m not very good at organizing (as you can tell, since I haven’t posted about how the office is coming—I’m still sorting through books!)
      :)

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