The Intentional Clean-Out


New Year, Time to Clean!

It’s the beginning of a new year, which often comes with the intentional clean-out of different spaces in our homes. Now that the holidays have come and gone and we have the most stressful time of the year behind us, it’s time to get your home ready for a new year! It’s easy to forget how crucial it can be to start cleaning out and organizing your home with all your children’s new toys, clothing and belongings. Also, this time of year usually comes with additional off time, which allows for families to clean out, donate (tax deductions!) and throw away. (You have to admit, there is something refreshing about getting rid of extra clutter, and things you just don’t need.) I’ve included a few tips that helped me declutter, organize and simplify my home throughout this past Christmas break. 

Be Patient. It takes Time.

We all want to start the new year organized, but where do we start? An intentional clean out is not something that can be rushed. Here are a few tips that may be helpful as you begin your yearly 2022 clean out:

  • Make childcare arrangements if possible. If not, schedule your clean out sessions around nap times, after bed time, and on weekends.
  • Get organized. Gather trash bags or bins and label them for either donation or trash. Remember that donations are considered tax deductible and can be helpful for your 2022 tax returns. Also, cleaning out closets is a great time to get items ready for local consignment sales. This is a good way to sell smaller items and be able to purchase larger sizes for the future. These sales have been very beneficial for our family!
  • Clean one room at a time. Cleaning your whole home can be overwhelming, and taking your time in each room will help with the process.
  • Get your kids involved! I had my daughter clean out her stuffed animals, and she was able to come up with a whole trash bag full of items to get rid of! Giving them encouragement and independence allows them to make decisions. It really helps with the process of cleaning out old items.
  • Also, don’t be afraid to get rid of things. If you haven’t used it in six months or didn’t know you had it, then it’s time to go!
  • Don’t have enough storage? That’s no problem. Getting a storage unit that can hold the items you no longer need in your home is also an affordable option. This allows you to declutter your home while organizing your items at another location.

Get Someone Else’s Opinion

Get a friend or family member to help you decide on items if you are having a hard time getting rid of things. I recently helped my mother-in-law clean out her house, and they have lived there for over 35 years. Over time, we accumulate a massive amount of things that we really don’t need. Getting someone to give you that final nudge can be very beneficial.

It also helps to take before and after photos of each area. Take pictures of your counter tops, cabinets, closets, and drawers. Start by minimizing and only having what you truly need or will actually use in your space. A good before and after picture goes a long way!

One Last Thing

Try to stay ahead of the mess. I know, life is crazy and the nights are long. Aim to pick up items daily, which will allow for a less stressful morning, or you can tidy when you arrive home from work the next day. I don’t know about you, but it makes me anxious to have stuff everywhere. Whether it’s mine, my husband’s, or our kids’, it continues to multiply! It has been beneficial for our family to implement this routine, and I hope it helps yours as well. 

I hope that these tips will help as you begin your 2022 cleaning!