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Clear the Clutter: Creating a Plan

So, you’ve decided to embark on the Invitation Homes Clear the Clutter Challenge. Knowing where to start can be intimidating and might even prevent you from accomplishing your goals. That’s why we want to help you create a plan to declutter and simplify your home, and your life, so you can dive into the challenge without hesitation. Below, we’ll walk you through the different planning stages for before and after the decluttering process, so you’ll be fully prepared every step of the way.

As a reminder, it is the resident’s responsibility to remove anything that is hung on the wall, and repair and repaint any holes at move out. You can find a full list of resident maintenance responsibilities on our Maintaining Your Home page, found here.

Before: Strategy Phase

This is a very important step, as it can make or break your entire operation. What you do in this phase will set you up for success and make your decluttering journey a lot easier. First, you want to determine where in your home you’re going to start. Once you’ve determined that, start looking around the space and determine why it’s a problem area. Is it a central hub in your home that everyone passes through regularly? Has it become a designated junk area? Is there not enough storage in the area?

After you’ve figured that out, you can start to problem solve for what you can do to improve the functionality of the space. In some areas of your home, you may find items that you’ll want to donate or throw away. Create three designated piles for things you want to keep, things you want to donate or sell, and things you want to throw away.

You’ll also want to create a budget in order to figure out how much you can reasonably invest into organization upgrades. Don’t break the bank with fancy and expensive organization system. There are inexpensive ways to accomplish your goals, so you just need to get a little creative. Check out these dollar store organization hacks for ideas.

As far as storage/organization solutions go, it might benefit you to do some research about different varieties and options before you start, just to get an idea of what’s available and what would work best for you. Two great places to find many of these items and discover even more ideas are Home Depot and the Container Store. Read below for a few ideas for each space in your home and check back each week for a new blog going in depth for each area in your home:

Kitchen                                                                                                                                                    Spice rack on modern kitchen countertop

  1. Kitchen drawer organizers
  2. Spice racks
  3. Over-the-door plastic pockets
  4. Plastic bins for under sink storage
  5. Cabinet pan organizers such as this

Closets

  1. Hanging shoe organizers
  2. Adding a double hanging rod for your clothes.
  3. Create a categorical system for your clothing. For example, you could sort them by season and keep off season clothes in storage, or you could organize by article of clothing (all dress pants together, casual wear, nice blouses/button-down shirts, etc.)

Living Spaces

  1. Ottomans that double as storage
  2. Coffee and side tables that have drawers
  3. Use a cardboard wrapping paper roll to hide your electronics cords

Bathrooms

  1. Use small, clear containers for all your little odds and ends such as cotton balls, ear swabs, and bobby pins/hair ties
  2. Adhesive hooks hung on the inside of cabinet doors to hang hair styling tools
  3. If there’s nothing above your toilet, consider investing in a stand-alone wire, shelving unit for that space.

Garage

  1. Industrial stand-alone shelving units with labeled, clear storage bins
  2. Reuse food cans for all your nuts, bolts and other small tools

After: Follow-Through Phase

So, you’ve decluttered and cleaned, but what now? You have piles of clothes, books, and toys that you’d like to donate or sell, but don’t know where to take it all or which items you should sell and which you should donate or simply throw it out. Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you. Below are great places where you can either donate or sell your items.

Selling vs. Donating

Selling: There are a few things to remember when considering selling your unwanted items. Many resell places have a pretty high standard for items they accept. If you’re going to sell something, make sure it’s in good condition and/or in full working order.

  • You can bring in media to Half Price Books and sell it for cash. This can range from books to movies and video games.
  • Plato’s Closet will buy your gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories.
  • There are plenty of apps where you can post and sell your items. Check out Letgo, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, and 5Miles.

Donate: This is a great solution for a lot of what you will decide to part with. It’s a good way to make sure you’re not creating unnecessary waste while also helping those in need.

  • Your local public library might accept books in good condition.
  • Salvation Army accepts goods and clothing donations.
  • Donate goods and materials to Habitat for Humanity.
  • Give your old towels, blankets, and sheets to animal shelters.
  • Goodwill accepts pretty much anything as long as it’s in good/working condition.

You are now fully prepared to start your decluttering adventure. Remember, it’s okay to do a little at a time or a lot at a time. The most important thing to remember is this challenge is to help you improve the flow of your home. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for weekly tips and hints to declutter each room of your home!

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