Here are 5 Tips for Decluttering Your Home Before the Start of Summer
Stephanie Pace, owner of Neat Method Pittsburgh, shares some of her best tips for spring cleaning.
Ah, spring cleaning: the task everybody wants to do, but might take some motivation to complete. With summer just around the corner, though, it’s time to buckle down and get organized.
Stephanie Pace, owner of Neat Method Pittsburgh — a local lifestyle service that specializes in organizing homes and offices — says decluttering your space isn’t so daunting if you take it one step at a time.
She shared her best five tips that break down the art of tidying up — so that you can enjoy your organized living space to the fullest this summer.
Do a little bit at a time
There’s no need to revisit your entire wardrobe from 2010 by emptying all your drawers and closets at once.
“It can get really overwhelming if you decide that you’re gonna tear apart your whole closet today. You’ll get about halfway through, and by the time you’ve pulled everything out, you’re exhausted,” Pace says.
Instead, set aside a little time each day to tackle one section of your closet.
“I would say start with your shoes first, sort them, purge them, figure out which ones you need to take to the cobbler, and the next day, maybe do your blouses,” she adds. “Just take it step by step — don’t beat up on yourself if you’re not done within the expected time that you want to be done, because real life comes into play.”
Figure out what you really use
To get your home in better shape, go through your things and figure out what’s collecting dust.
“We try to tell our clients, if it seems like they’re wanting to keep something that maybe they’re not using a lot, ‘OK, so we’re here on this date. In three months or in six months, if you still haven’t touched this item, maybe it’s time for you to give it up,’” Pace says.
When something that holds sentimental value is taking up too much space, invest in memory bins.
“A lot of things, if it holds sentimental value but you’re not physically wearing it anymore, it doesn’t really need to take up space in your closet,” she says. “You can put it in a memory bin and stick it in the garage or up in the attic.”
Take everything off your countertop
Even if you don’t want to spend oodles of time going through old drawers and dressers, your space can still look arranged pretty quickly — just take everything off the flat surfaces in your home. This is the fastest way to make a home look less cluttered.
“If you’ve ever looked at homes [for sale] on the internet, the worst thing you could see is if the house is just full of stuff on the cabinets and countertops. You can’t really get a feel for what the space looks like,” Pace says.
Making the outside of your storage space look organized is a step in the right direction for your own peace of mind.
“So even if you’re putting in a cupboard and it’s not really neat inside, as long as you can come home and feel the spaces that your eyes are looking at constantly are clean, that’s a good starting point,” she adds.
Baskets, baskets, baskets
Baskets are a go-to for decluttering with styles. Neat Method Pittsburgh often uses baskets to help clients get organized because they work in any room.
“Baskets are your best friends. You can get them of all shapes and sizes,” Pace says. “If you just keep them categorized, they can be amazing for staying organized. There’s not a single space in anyone’s house that I wouldn’t use lifestyle baskets in.”
When in doubt, focus on the kitchen
If decluttering your entire house seems overwhelming, prioritize the kitchen. Pittsburgh’s older homes are notorious for their cramped kitchens, so Pace says a tidied cooking space can do wonders for homeowners.
“Pittsburgh kitchens are so tiny, because back in the day, it was just one person in the kitchen, but everybody wants to open up their space now and have an island and have everybody living in that area,” she says. “Especially with COVID, a lot of people are working from home, and you’re eating from home.”
Tidying up just one area of your home can help ease stress.
“I think it’s really important, with everybody’s mental anguish lately with staring at the same four walls during COVID, to try to have a relaxing, clear space,” Pace says. “Try to keep it minimal as much as you can, even if it’s just one space in your house that makes you happy and feels uncluttered.”