Transitions can be hard. Sometimes they are scary, and sometimes they are cathartic. Transitions can inspire us to clean up, get organized, and declutter. For some people, the beginning of nice weather after a long winter inspires spring cleaning. A pending new year and a soon-to-be-filled calendar motivates a fresh start for others.
For me, however, the beginning of the school year is when I’m ready for a refresh at home. With three elementary school-aged children, our year is very much centered around the school calendar.
No matter if you decide to do this in the summer, spring, or fall, it always feels good to declutter and start anew.
I have a young toddler at home, so my time is very limited. I’m going to work on cleaning out and decluttering one space in our home every week in September (after the initial madness of back-to-school dies down), but my game plan can happen any time of year.
Taking bite-size chunks makes this super attainable. I’ve taken stock of the “pain points” in our home and the things that are highest priority for me to declutter. Spending one or two nap times each week, it will be easy to clean out these four areas of our house as I declutter one space each week.
>> RELATED READ :: Is Your Stuff Serving You? Reflections from My Annual House Purge <<
Week 1: Pantry
During the school year, our pantry is functioning in a different way. Our days are no longer filled with constant snacking. However, my oldest kids need to bring a snack with them to school every day. I need healthy, easy snacks accessible and ready for them to grab every morning.
The rest of my pantry is a bit of a mess, so my plan is to take everything out, throw out expired items, donate anything we won’t eat, and reorganize the shelves to better suit the way we’re eating right now.
Week 2: Playroom/Toy Closet
I don’t know about you, but I feel like our playroom constantly needs to be organized. Once the kids are gone for a bit, I have time to go through and sort.
I plan to throw away anything that is broken or missing essential pieces. I will remove toys that we have outgrown. Anything that hasn’t been played with in a while will get moved to the garage.
The garage is my testing zone. I leave toys there for a few weeks. If no one notices they’re missing, they get donated. Since I am doing this clean out for my kids and not with them, I think it’s only fair they get a chance to recover toys they will really miss.
Week 3: Bathroom
For bathroom week, I’m going to clean out everything on my bathroom counter and under the sink. I will throw out anything old and expired. Then, I will donate anything that’s unused and might be used by someone else (this Buy Nothing group on Facebook is great for donating and repurposing).
On that note, a couple of my favorite IG accounts to follow for decluttering are @thelazygenius and @naptimekitchen. There’s so much inspiration and ideas! Feel free to follow along and keep me accountable on Instagram @villa_villebartula as I declutter one space a week.
I also plan to take this opportunity to go through the kids’ bath toys and toss, use, or re-home anything that’s been hiding for awhile.
Week 4: Countertops
I think most of us have a “landing zone” problem. You know, the space where things go until you can deal with them? Well, ours happens to be on our kitchen counter. It’s not ideal, but it really is the only space.
Since I know the landing zone will be in full use all school year long, I’m going to make an effort to declutter my other countertops so that the whole kitchen is not overwhelmed by stuff.
>> RELATED READ :: 7 Items to Declutter <<
After I’m finished with this month of decluttering, I’m hopeful our home will feel a little more orderly. Remember, you don’t have to buy the entire Container Store to get some order at home!