Super Easy Ways To Declutter After The Holidays

We all know Christmas can be a little chaotic, and with the addition of new toys, gadgets, and other goodies, your home can start to feel cluttered and disorganized. January is the perfect time to purge and make room for the new. Why not donate the things you no longer need or use? You can feel good about wrapping up the festivities and starting the year off right with these super easy ways to declutter after the holidays.  

1. Define Boundaries

One of the hardest parts about organizing any home is deciding where to begin. If you get easily distracted, you might want to enlist an organizing professional to help out. If hiring an expert is not in the budget, check out Peter Walsh’s 31 Days To  Get Organized Challenge. It’s free on Facebook and makes organizing fun. Wherever your clutter piles up, there are a few simple rules to follow.

Decide what you are going to declutter before you start. Is it an entire room or the kid’s toybox? Apartment Therapy’s Rebecca Blumhagen recommends starting with bulky items that take up a lot of space first. She says, “Large items can be really easy to purge in a short amount of time.” For example, extra towels and linens take up a lot of space in your linen closet and can be easily downsized and donated to pet shelters.

2. Lay it on the Line

To get rid of something useful, but outdated or worn, it helps to know what you are keeping in its place. Blumhagen suggests to donate coats or sweaters that are duplicated by color or fabric because these take up valuable real estate in your closet. Whether you decide to tackle the kid’s toybox or your closet, define it and take one step at a time so you don’t get sidetracked or overwhelmed. If you are going through a closet, for example, lay out all the items you’re working through then make four piles:

  • KEEP. If it’s useful and/or you love it, then by all means, keep it.
  • TOSS. If it’s broken or no longer useful, might as well get rid of it sooner rather than later.
  • DONATE. Hold it close and ask yourself, Does it make my heart sing? If no, then donate it.
      • RECYCLE. Old shoe boxes and shopping bags? Has it reached the end of its long useful life? If yes, recycle it.

 

3. Staging is Everything

Have you ever walked into a model home or apartment and fallen in love? There is a reason for that, and it’s called staging. Realtors frequently advise homeowners to declutter before selling their home and many claim staged homes bring in higher offers. However, why wait until you are moving to have someone tell you to declutter and make your home picture perfect? Instead, love where you live now.

Before you put everything back in its place, think about how you will organize it and make it look appealing. Determine if you need any organizational solutions.

4. Exception to the Rule

If you come to the end of your decluttering project and find you still don’t have enough room to store everything you own at home or park your car in the garage, then upsizing is a consideration. Renting a storage unit will come in handy either way.

Most people think of a storage unit as a place to store holiday decorations or other seasonal items, and they are correct but storage units are great for other uses too. For example, if you want to convert a craft room into a guest room, a short-term storage rental gives you that ability and costs less than you might think.

5. Declutter for Tax Deductions

It is never too early to get a head start on yearly tax deductions. Getting a deduction for the items you donate from the IRS is pretty easy, but even so, you’ll want to consult with a tax advisor in your state for specific rules.

If your decluttering results in a big pile of donations, it’s a win-win—for both you and your community. Green Drop converts donated items to help fund several types of charities, and if you live in one of their service areas, you can schedule a donation pick up or drive to a nearby drop-off center.

When you declutter and donate after the holidays, you will appreciate your new haven and might just avoid the post-holidays blues that January often brings. However, more importantly, you may have helped to make someone’s New Year a little brighter.

10 Tips to Declutter Your Home Before the Holidays

The holidays are a special time of year. It’s when we gather together with family and friends to celebrate the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. And while we all love the holidays, there’s no denying that it can be a hectic time of year, especially if your home is cluttered. That means before the sleigh bells ring and the snow starts to glisten, you need to get organized and declutter. Continue reading “10 Tips to Declutter Your Home Before the Holidays”

Utilize Self Storage During Your Home Improvement Project

There are lots of reasons why people decide to remodel rather than move. If the kids are in a great school, or you love your neighborhood, you might not want to give those things up. While spring and early summer are the best times of the year to put your house on the market, you might decide to undertake a home remodel instead. If you utilize self storage during your home improvement project, you can decrease the chaos of remodeling while increasing the value of your home. Continue reading “Utilize Self Storage During Your Home Improvement Project”

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle on Earth Day with Self Storage

Say, what? You are no doubt asking, “How is it possible to reduce, reuse, and recycle on Earth Day with self storage?” It’s a legitimate question because according to the media America has a serious problem with consumption. Even Slate weighed in to tell us how we have become a self storage nation. But the reality is that self storage is most often used to ease stress during life transitions like moving or relocating for a new job, an unexpected death of a beloved grandparent, or combining households. Continue reading “Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle on Earth Day with Self Storage”

Garage Storage Made Easy | Moving and Organizing Advice

 

Is your car ready to take back its rightful spot in the garage? Our garage storage tips can help you do just that. Every neighborhood has at least one garage that looks organized by someone suffering from OCD, a cross between a hospital operating room and a home improvement store ad. However, truth be told, deep down, we think, “If only I could have a garage that looked half as good as that!”

My garage looks like the stock room of the local Goodwill store. What’s in your garage? If you are ready to crush the clutter in your garage, here are some organizational tips and tools to help you get started.

 

Garages of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Do you ever wonder how garages came about? Me neither, but after a quick Google search, it all makes sense. Before automobiles, people had horses and buggies, which were kept in a carriage house usually located behind the property. Horses make odorous smells, so the further the way from the kitchens and bedrooms, the better.

Automobiles continued to gain popularity in the US, and home builders soon realized around the 1950s that houses sold better with attached garages. Carrying in the groceries sheltered from snow and rain is a luxury suburbanites take for granted because big-city garages are hard to come by.

Today’s garages are used as flexible space and serve many purposes. Some of your neighbors may take a creative approach and turn their garages into man caves, music studios, or a garage-based business start-up. Others have a place to park their cars as well as space for garage storage. 

What will tomorrow’s garage look like? That mostly depends on what the cars of the future will look like, and who better to ask that Jay Leno, a world-renowned car aficionado whose new CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage, airs on CNBC Prime Time.

 

Crush the Clutter in Your Garage

ClutteredGarage

The first step in any decluttering project towards garage storage is deciding what stays and what goes. The general rule of thumb for closets is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. However, for garages, the timeframe is longer.

Professional home organizers recommend that if you haven’t used an item housed in your garage for three years, then it is time to either donate it or toss it. If you have items with significant sentimental or financial value, then consider placing them into a secure, convenient self storage facility.

 

Working Walls Make Great Garage Storage Solutions

hanging bike and accessory rack for garage storage solutions

Create more usable square footage in your garage by using easy-to-install shelving. Pictured here is steel shelving by Monkey Bars, which is a combined hook-and-bar system to create customized garage storage spaces. Depths range from 16-inches to 32-inches deep, allowing you to customize the storage system based on the size of your garage.

The hooks come in a variety of sizes and weight capacities that enable you to hang even heavier items like bikes and golf clubs or lighter things such as strollers, miscellaneous yard tools, tennis rackets, and helmets.

 

Upgrade the Floor to Keep Your House Cleaner

Antique car stored in garage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

Chemical-, oil-, and water-resistant, epoxy-based garage floor coatings have come a long way thanks to improved materials and not a moment too soon since the garage is fast becoming more than a place to park your car. This type of flooring does double-duty, durable enough to handle hot tires and de-icing salts and beautiful enough to create a hang-out space.

Not only does a floor coating look beautiful, but it’s also much easier to keep clean. Regular concrete garage floors attract and then kick up dirt and grime, which is tracked into your home. A coated garage floor gets rid of that nuisance and also brightens up the garage space because it is very light-reflective.

 

Garage Floor Tiles Give Garages a Polished Look

Motorcycle stored in garage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

If you have limited time, or you are a DIY kind of guy or gal, then you may want to consider garage floor tiles. Tile installation doesn’t require prepping your garage floor for adhesion to a paint or epoxy coating and is less expensive than having a professional do the installation. Price and quality vary, and, depending on where you live, melting snow and subzero temperatures may dictate a high-quality, rigid tile. These types of tiles are advisable if you use kickstands or floor jacks. They are easy to clean and come in perforated versions that drain spills and snowmelt, making slippery spots less of an issue.

 

Overhead Bins Require Owning a Ladder

Overhead garage storage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

After making the painful decision of what stays and what goes, it’s time to look up for storage. If you have seasonal ski gear or sentimental items that don’t need climate controlled storage and with which you can’t bear to part—such as your grandfather’s toolbox, toys, or holiday decorations—then, consider installing overhead bins for garage organization. These are ideally suited for the long-term storage of items that you don’t plan to access frequently. Unless you opt for a pulley system like the ones you can find at Home Depot, reaching these items will require a ladder. Also, remember to choose storage containers that are not too large or too heavy.

 

Conceal Clutter to Create an Enviable Garage 

Garage Storage Cupboards
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

If you, like that neighbor down the street we mentioned earlier, suffer from a touch of OCD, then a behind-closed-doors solution may be the focus of your garage organization project. Free-standing cabinets are easy to install, protect items from dust, and can be designed to accommodate different heights and features to meet your specific storage needs. The interiors are configured with shelving for stacking boxes or with bars and hooks to hide a bag full of soccer balls and sports equipment or garden tools and bikes.

 

Whether your inspiration for a garage storage comes from the desire to create a man cave or a game center boasting a ping-pong table for family fun night, remember your newly organized space will require maintenance. Just like you take your car in every 5,000 miles for an oil change, your garage will need periodic maintenance too.

Clutter is essentially deferred decision making and what better way to help you remember to declutter your garage than the “National Clean Out Your Garage Day.” Celebrating its 8th year, this relatively new holiday is celebrated the first weekend after Labor Day. Add it to your calendar now to keep your garage looking as good in 2017 as it will in 2016.

3 Time Saving Post-Holiday Tips to Declutter Any Home

 

The decorations are put away, and the new diet has begun. With a renewed commitment to the gym and perhaps a few moments to reflect on the past 12 months, January is the time of year to make that infamous list called “New Year’s Resolutions.”

Even if you don’t believe in resetting your resolutions every year, clearing out the clutter is worth putting on your to-do list. Maybe you got some really cool presents you want to show off. Perhaps you have a tortured relationship with “stuff.” Maybe you’re married to the King or Queen of Clutter.

It’s not too late to get a head start on the New Year and begin clearing out the untidiness that might otherwise undermine your best efforts to begin anew. Here are three timesaving tips to help declutter your home.

Continue reading “3 Time Saving Post-Holiday Tips to Declutter Any Home”