Several times a year, I like to organize and de-clutter my house to maintain my sanity! The weeks right before Ramadan are usually one of those times. There is so much that comes with the beautiful month of fasting and having a clean house makes it easier to manage. We cook a meal almost every night and eat dinner as a family so it’s important that my kitchen is in order; we pray at the mosque as often as possible so it’s important that we know where our clothes are; and we strive to be better versions of ourself so it’s important that we have a peaceful place to do that and what’s more peaceful than clean?!
But of course, organizing takes time, effort, and sometimes, money! So here are my best tips and tricks to minimize the stress of de-cluttering your home!
Start with the room that gives you the most anxiety
If you’re like me, you probably have the urge to start with the bedrooms but I have found that starting with the kitchen gives me the foundation I need to get the rest of the house done. The kitchen is the place that is the most visible in the house, so if it’s messy, I stress.
Here’s my cleaning process for the kitchen:
- Pull everything out of the cabinets. This allows me to see what I have and what I don’t need. You’ll be surprised what you find in the back of your cabinets.
- Pair like items with like items. This will allow you to see which pieces still have a complete set and which ones you’ve broken or lost over the years. Once you get down to sets with only one or two pieces left, you can decide if they need to go or if they’re valuable enough to keep. This is true for plates, silverware, and pots and pans. I have found myself having to buy a silverware set for example if all of my silverware is mismatched.
- Check the expiration on your seasonings! You’ll be surprised how much you find that you either don’t use or can’t use anymore. Just get rid of it. Your cabinets and your health will thank you for it.
- Clean out your fridge! This may seem like a given but sometimes when we’re organizing, we don’t think of the fridge as something to organize. If you feel the urge to, there are even organizing containers you can use to organize your fridge. I list some of my favorite places to buy those supplies at the bottom of this post.
Get rid of the clothes that no longer bring you joy or function
I’m guilty of looking at clothes and saying “hmm, maybe I’ll wear this when I…(insert excuse here)” but the reality is, you probably won’t. If you haven’t worn it in over a year, even if it has a price tag on it, give it away.
- Getting rid of clothes and shoes that do not fit to make space in your closet. This will allow you to see the clothes you do have and to get new ones if you need them. You might have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. That’s because these clothes don’t suit you anymore. Some of the methods I like are Marie Kondo’s “does it bring you joy” and the buy one, get rid of one system.
- Donate to places other than Goodwill. I love Goodwill and I still donate there, but there are many places that need your gently used items even more. Find a local domestic violence shelter, a homeless shelter, or donate to children in the foster care system. Think outside the box with your donations.
- Organize your kids’ closets in a way that makes it easier to start the day. I arrange things and separate them by underwear, socks, tights etc. I hang the clothes they wear to school, even the jeans, so I can see everything. It’s easy for your kids to outgrow clothes simply because you never see them.
Clean out the garage to make space for a bigger pantry and excess kitchen items
- If you have a garage or storage, don’t limit it’s functions! We installed shelves on the walls in the garage around the cars. This allows me to stack pantry items like canned goods and spices and rice and other items I can buy in bulk. This is especially helpful so that you always have a supply of food on hand.
- You can also use your garage or storage to store clothes and shoes when the seasons change. This will allow you to keep winter clothes out of your closet during the warm months so that you can actually see the clothes you have to wear.
- Use vacuum seal storage bags to keep your clothes packed away. This is my favorite clothing storage tip! You can fill the bags and then use a vacuum hose to get all the air out. This flattens the bags and makes them so easy to pack away.
There are places to buy organizing supplies that are affordable
I know the Container Store can be out of budget. So here are some of my favorite places to shop for organization containers:
- Dollar tree
These are my key tips! Check out my YouTube video for this season’s clean with me and share some of your organizing, de-clutter, and cleaning tips!