Fun

Quarantine declutter: a list of places to declutter while social distancing

It’s been a crazy year so far, wouldn’t you agree?

I know I’m not the only here who is 1000% over this self isolation, Covid-19 situation. We all want to be back to life as it normally is. Unfortunately there are mandates in place in some areas, mine included, that are threatening fines or jail for those who violate. Now as much as I have my own opinion on it all, my family and I are complying as much as we can and trying to make the best of an absolute disaster of a situation. But to be honest there is only so much TV and movies I can watch. So since we are stuck at home, I thought what a great time do some spring cleaning and get to places I never have the time for, since obviously I have tons of it now.

I’ve noticed since being at home I have too much stuff. I have an abundance of things that simply don’t have a proper place in my home. We had these beautiful built ins installed last spring and I’ve just been utilizing them as a spot to place ‘things’. It has also become a ‘drop off’ spot. Everything piles here. Clothes, mail, toys, books, random things that no one knows where to put it. So I’m going to take one day to tackle this spot and completely revamp this area. But not just this area, I have a bunch of “junk” that piles either in drawers, cabinets, or closets.

I’m sure I’m not the only one. We could all use some real minimizing/ organizing in our homes if we are honest with ourselves. So I’ve compiled a list of places and guidelines I want to try and clean out as we head into spring.

Kitchen

Spice cabinet- Toss out anything expired. Also if you are trying to eat healthier, now is the time to get rid of anything you don’t want to eat or feed to your family.

Pantry- Again throw anything expired out. Also here is your chance to make an inventory of what you have and what meals you plan on making with these items. You could start a meal planning schedule by writing out what you plan on cooking/eating for the next week or 2.

Medicine Cabinet- Expired medicine isn’t effective, and could possibly be harmful, so it’s very important to throw those out. If you have multiples of something, organize it in a way that you will use the ones that have a closer expiration date sooner.

Refrigerator & Freezer- Does it have mold or smell weird? THROW IT OUT! Freezer burn is also something to toss. I usually start with the top shelf of my fridge and work my way down, cleaning the shelves and inside walls as I go, then I reorganize so that way it makes sense to me when I’m looking for something. Again, here is where you can make a list of what you have and what you may need for your next meals.

“Junk” cabinet/drawer- Ask yourself “do I need this or do I use this?” If the answer is no, then toss it. Another question to ask is, “does this belong here?” If the answer is no, put it where it does belong.

Bedroom

Closet/drawers- Be honest. If you haven’t used it in the last year, are you sure you’ll use it in the next? Does it have a hole or tear you can’t/won’t/haven’t repaired? Unless you plan to fix it right away, just get rid of it. Is it stained and you can’t clean it? Or you don’t wear because of this? Probably best you take it out. Things that are either too big or too small should be gone, of course there are exceptions, but if you know you won’t fit in it ever again, just clear up space. Also, single socks that don’t have a twin after you’ve washed all you clothes can be gotten rid of.

Toys- Is it broken? Does it get played with? I think you know where I’m going with this. Also ask your child if they can fill up a bag/box with toys they are willing to get rid of, that way they 1. Help you out, and 2. Know where their toys went.

Bathroom

Under sink- Expired items, as well as products that you don’t use, can go. Consolidate travel size toiletries as well. Do you really need all those travel toothbrush holders?

Towels- I know we don’t think about tossing our towels, but sometimes we just accumulate so much! I suggest 2 for every person in your home. It decreases the amount of laundry, and increase the space in your linen closet or cabinet. I do also have “play towels” which I keep separate, this is for outside water play, pool or the beach, and that is just 1 per person.

Shower- Empty bottles? Toss them! Old sponge/loofah? Throw it out! Rusted razor? Get rid of it! Remember that the moisture in your shower means more chance of bacterial growth, so try and keep it minimal and clean as much as possible.

Office/Paperwork

Desk- Make your workspace functional for you. If there is trash, get rid of it. Eliminate all distractions from the space. If there is something that doesn’t belong, put it the right spot.

School papers- I know you want to hang on to all that cute artwork and spelling tests your child brings home, but it just isn’t realistic to hold on to EVERYTHING! I know I struggle with this too. What I’ve been trying to implement is 2-3 papers for each subject for every year. As a homeschool mom, I do have to keep more papers for longer period of time, but once the time frame has past, most go out. I use 3 ring binders, 1 for each child and save it for them. It’s a great way to stay organized and not be overwhelmed by mounds of papers.

Bills- Have you paid it? Do you have proof? If yes, then chuck it! I’m guilty of holding on to stuff like this, I think because of my accounting background and sometimes having to go back and verify payments. But on a residential scale we don’t need to hoard these. If it is something you are going to need proof of later, yes hold on to it. Try an accordion folder for keeping it all organized.

Medical papers- Unpaid bills, and important medical information should be hung on to. It really is judgment on your part as to what to keep.

Important Documents- Social security cards, birth certificates, death certificates, insurance information, wills, passports, deeds, etc. need to be held onto and placed in a safe spot. I keep our stuff in an accordion file folder as well as allergy and important medical information. You want it to be accessible incase of an emergency. DO NOT THROW IT AWAY IF IT CONTAINS ANYTHING VITAL!!

Linen closet

Blankets- How many blankets does one family need? I leave that up to your discretion. I personally have waaay to many small character throws my kids have collected. 1 per person for those chilly fireside nights, and an extra 1-2 for a guest sounds like it will work out for us.

Sheets- 1-2 sets will save you your space and sanity. Less laundry is an additional benefit. Mismatched sheets and pillowcases can be eliminated as well.

Garage

Camping gear- Think about the essentials. Keep all camping gear together and ready for your next adventure. If it has holes or is broken, it’s time to replace it, or eliminate it.

Tools- Place most used tools in an easy accessible place. If it is broken and beyond repair, or you don’t have the time or ability to fix it, maybe it’s time to get rid of it.

Cleaning Products- If you have any products that you simply do not use to clean your house or car, get rid of it. It just takes up vital space, and can become a hazard.

Home Improvement- Old paint cans that you aren’t going to use in your home should be disposed of. Any excess paint that you have on your walls save for touch ups. Excess tile should be saved incase of cracks, unless you plan on changing that style soon. That applies to any extra flooring as well. Old light fixtures or items you don’t plan on using in your home can be donated to a restore if it’s in working condition.

Storage- Ask yourself, do I really need this? Luggage should be kept as long as it isn’t broken or ripped. Holiday decorations should be in working and good condition, otherwise get rid of it. Any sports gear that is broken, bent, or ripped can be tossed. If it is taking up space and not being used, it’s best to just eliminate it.

Are there any places you plan to tackle and organize? Comment down below and let me know if I missed any crucial places in the home that needs organizing! And share your spring cleaning with us over on Instagram tag us @jen_and_jenn and use the hashtag #quarentinedeclutter

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