Is your house overflowing with clutter?

Are you stressed out by the mess that surrounds you?

Do you want to get organized but not know where to start?

The trick is to get rid of clutter…FIRST!

Now is a perfect time to get started, so here are a few guidelines to do it quickly!

What you will need:

You will need these 4 things in each area that you plan on purging.  3 garbage bags and 1 space for a keep pile.

Your garbage bags will be labeled “GARBAGE”, “DONATE”, “MOVE”

“GARBAGE” will be for anything broken or unusable and will go straight to the dumpster.

“DONATE” is for anything that is still in good condition but no longer used by you or your family.  These will go straight to Goodwill or to the people you hand down to.

“MOVE” is for those items that you know your kid’s love but they don’t seem to use anymore. So you just put them in a bag and move them to the basement or a closet for a few months.  If nothing is said about them, then they can be donated.

Kid’s Toys

Since a lot of us are buried under mounds of toys, toys is a good place to start purging. 🙂

Let’s face it, all of our kids have too much stuff.  You and I both know that they only play with a fraction of the things they have.  So it is time to start purging before they move that new set toys into their rooms.

I would not recommend doing this with your child home!  You will wind up not throwing anything out!

And there may be a lot of tears.cry

Get Started

Pick one child’s room to start in.

Go through each toy and remember if you have seen them playing with it.  Trust me, you will know.

If they love it and play with it all the time, then it goes in the KEEP pile.  If they haven’t played with it in a year or more, then it is time to take action…

Step 1

Look at the condition of the toy…does it still do what it is supposed to do? Does it still function the way it is supposed to?  Does it still look the way it is supposed to? ( for instance, can you tell it is Superman?)

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then put it in the garbage bag.

Move on to the next set of questions if you answered “yes” to all of those questions.

Step 2

Now ask yourself…Is this a toy that my child will start playing with again at some point? Was it at one time one of their favorites?

If you said “No” to these questions, then put it in the DONATE bag and let another child find joy from this toy.

If you answered “yes” to these two questions, then I would say put it into the MOVE bag.  Put it out of sight for about a month to a year.

If it is something like a basketball, they may use it in the future and you don’t want to have to buy a new one.  If it is a stuffed animal that they slept with for a long time then you may want to give it a few months before getting rid of it.  If they don’t realize it is gone, then donate it.

Clothes

Clothes get the same bags (GARBAGE, DONATE, MOVE) and get asked the same questions, just in reference to clothes instead of toys.

Get Started

Pick one drawer or closet to begin.  If you chose all of the drawers, this will get really overwhelming really fast.

Go through each clothing item and remember if you have seen them wearing it.  Again, trust me, you will know.

If they wear it and it still fits, then it goes in the KEEP pile.  If they haven’t worn it within a year or more, then it is time to take action…

Step 1

Look at the condition of the item…Is it completely torn up with holes and tears everywhere?  Does it cover and function the way that it should or is it missing buttons and have zippers that don’t work?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then put it in the garbage bag.

If you answered “no” to all of these questions, then don’t put it in the GARBAGE bag, but move on to the next set of questions.

Step 2

Now ask yourself…does this item still fit?  Is this one of their favorite things to wear?  Do they like it?

If you said “No” to these questions, then put it in the DONATE bag and let another child find joy and warmth from this clothing.

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then I would say put it into the KEEP pile or the MOVE bag and put it out of sight for about a month.  If they ask you where that particular item is, then you can pull it back out.  If not you can donate it.

In some cases, you may have an item that does not fit your child any longer, but they love wearing it and don’t want to give it up.

My suggestion would be to either move it for a while and see if they forget about it.  Or see if you can find something similar that they will love wearing just as much to replace the original item.  Then donate the one that doesn’t fit!

Makeup

Around this time, I always get some new lip gloss and I normally will go and get matched for my winter foundation color.  So I like to go through and throw out my old makeup.

If you don’t know the rules for how long to keep your items, it is time to learn because old makeup can cause serious infections, breakouts, and rashes.

Also!!  Don’t donate any of your used or expired makeup.  If you happen to have an unopened bottle of lotion that you are not going to use, then yes, that is fine.  But use common sense.  If you wouldn’t use it, then other’s don’t want it.

Some quick guidelines are …

Mascara

Throw out and buy new every 3 months

Lipstick

Throw out after 1 year

Foundation/Powder/Concealer/Blush

Throw out after 2 years

Eyeliner

Throw out after 1 year

Another few rules of thumb with makeup:

  • smells funny? throw it out
  • start breaking out from it?… throw it out
  • If you recently had an eye infection while using your makeup, throw out your eye makeup and start with new.

Electronics

We are always getting new games, consoles, headphones, and all kinds of other electronic gadgets for Christmas.

So I like to consolidate some and get rid of others!

CD’s

If you haven’t done this yet, it is time to do it!  Consolidate all of your old CD’s by turning them into an MP3 file on your computer.  Then you can put all the music you love into itunes and listen to it whereever you go!

AND…you can throw out all of the CD’s and their cases because you will not need them anymore!

DVD’s

Same goes for DVD’s.  Al of those movies you love and don’t want to pay for again!  You can get an external hard drive and put all of your movies on the hard drive.

An external hard drive has about 4 terabytes of storage (which is way bigger than your normal USB stick) so you can store everything there.  You could even put your CD’s on there if you want and then you can listen to them on your TV!

Old Players

Most of us probably don’t have these anymore, but believe it or not, my mom does…wink  Sorry Mom!

My mom actually still has a VHS player in her house AND she has old VHS tapes!

If you still have these things, throw them away, donate them, or sell them to people who will pay for parts.  Move all of your old VHS movies onto a DVD or better yet, store them on an external hard drive.

Other things you can throw away are CD players, because we just turned them all into MP3’s right?

DVD players because we just put all of our DVD’s on our external hard drive right?

Cassette players, pretty much anything that you NEVER use anymore!

Shoes

Bring out the bags again!

KEEP if you wear them, love them, and they are serving a purpose for you.

GARBAGE if the shoes are worn through and not able to wear anymore.

DONATE if the shoes don’t fit, are out of style, or you haven’t worn them in years.

MOVE to a different closet or part of the house if you are not sure.  Give it a month.  If you don’t miss them, DONATE them.

I hope these tips help you get rid of clutter fast so you can start getting organized!

And if you are ready to take the plunge, here are some additional posts you may like:

5 Super Easy Steps For Getting Organized

Get Out The Door Faster With Kids

35 Tips To Stop Wasting Time

Happy Organizing!

As a Stay At Home Mom... parenting, organization, kid's activities and blogging have all become my passion and I want to share what I have learned with you! Browse my site or follow me on social media!