Then Latinas Guide To Decluttering

Athena | Money Smart Latina
by Athena | Money Smart Latina

Recently this past winter, I moved out of my 600 sq foot apartment and into a 2,000 sq ft home with my BF. You would think I would have had an easy time moving and decluttering, but you would be sadly mistaken. I had lived in my cute tiny apartment for more than seven years with my cat Harrison George. Our cat lady oasis had seen the best of times and the worst of times, but it held our stuff through it all. Which I didn’t realize until then how much had accumulated.

Why is decluttering so important?

Your house is not a giant trash can!

Decluttering is so important when living anywhere. You want your home to be orderly and neat. If we have a hard time with our place looking this way, it’s usually because we have too much junk or stuff. When I bring a new knickknack home, I have to constantly ask this question when a room looks too much or is busy. I’ve got something new into my house without taking something out.

Excess garbage in our homes can also lead us to be more anxious and cost us more money in the long run. You can buy duplicate items if you’re unorganized. You can also spend more money on sheltering your things, such as getting a bigger home when you could live in a smaller one.

Unfortunately, I had not taken the time to declutter and go through everything before moving. I ended up moving in less than two weeks, but I wouldn’t still be decluttering my items if I had done the following tips below! If you are ready to declutter with the best of them, read on for more of my tips on how I’m making my casa more efficient and less cluttered.

First, make three piles: toss, donate, keep

Look at your items carefully. You will be putting them into one of three categories: toss, donate, keep.

Your toss items are anything broken, stained, or gross. Most items are donatable to charity shops, but sometimes we have to let stuff go in the landfill. Don’t feel guilty. If you fear that you’re creating more waste, you’re not. When that item was made, the waste was created, so feel free to leave that guilt at the door.

Your donated items are items that are still in good or usable condition that you are no longer wanting to hold onto. Most things that are still in good or usable condition can be donated to a charity shop for a tax credit. However, you have options with a few of your donated items. You can trade in tech to a company like Declutter, which will happily take it off your hands. You could also put things on Thredup (we both get $10 if you use that link) or places like Poshmark. You could also sell items at sites like Offerup or Facebook Marketplace.

Items you keep are helpful, have a fun memory associated, or something you have a plan for. You don’t need to keep everything that’s useful, and you don’t need duplicates, but one of each item, if you live by yourself, is sufficient. You can do what feels good to you and your household.

Ask yourself if you really want it.

Once you know where all your items will go, get started. Pick every item up and ask yourself if you want to keep it. Be honest. If the answer is yes, does it have a fun memory? Is it useful? Does it serve a purpose? Does it, as Marie Kondo says, spark joy? Your stuff is yours, so you call the shots on what you keep and what you don’t.

Go drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf. Nothing is safe. Take time and make a weekend of it.

Throw duplicates, yes, including clothes. Put clothes in hanging the same way and then turn the opposite way after you’ve worn them. After three months, see where you’re and if anything can be given. You can even consider a capsule wardrobe, which I love the idea of. When I had cancer, I stuck to a capsule wardrobe, and it helped so stinking much with one thing less to decide.

When You’re Done…

Celebrate! After you’ve made your piles, dust and clean before putting things back. This gives a sense of something being brand new, perfect for a decluttered start. I love getting my cleaning supplies at the dollar store or when they’re on sale at Target. I pretty much get all my cleaning items from these two places alone.

Other items I would grab from the dollar section or Target post a big purge would be some baskets, containers, and a planter.

Baskets aren’t just for shelves you can see. Use baskets in your cupboards, fridge, cabinets, etc. It’s easy to go to the dollar store and find a set of baskets in which you can organize beauty products. It also feels more uniform, and matching sets of products makes me feel more relaxed in my bathroom, like a spa! If you can’t find a basket at the Dollar Store, check Amazon for some cute ones or find containers.

Add a plant with the planter for a cleaner look. Plants and fresh paint help seal the deal and give a sense of home. You can always find them for ten bucks and under at Trader Joe’s. I won’t lie, I usually don’t pay more than ten bucks for any plant, and no one knows the difference!

Decluttering doesn’t have to be hard.

If anything, the more clutter you keep on hand, the more stressful your life will be. Take a day to declutter and see where your mind goes. I’m rooting for you!

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Athena | Money Smart Latina
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