Tiny living has become a trend of late. Personally, I don’t know that I could do it.  I LOVE the thought of “tiny living” and those houses on HGTV are very impressive.  Then, I remember…I have kids. Umm, no thank you! I can’t imagine trying to fit our entire lives into a tiny home at this point in our lives.  So, after a moment of delusional dreaming and visions of minimalistic living, gazing out of our tiny home into the beautiful picturesque mountains somewhere in Colorado, I realize that my current reality is sitting in an overstuffed recliner peering over a mountain of laundry in front of me waiting to be folded.  At that moment, I am slapped back to reality by the dog’s tail as he jumps over me being chased by two of our 4 children. So, yeah…perhaps when we retire we’ll revisit the idea of a tiny home.

On that same note, I did begin to look around the house and wonder, how much of what we have do we really use? How many pairs of socks do three boys really need? That “catch-all” area on top of the countertop microwave….GRRR. Alright, what can I do?  After thought, Google (come on, you didn’t expect me to become Martha Stewart, did you?) and some creative thinking, I came up with a plan of action:  MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: DECLUTTER 2016

First of all, remember…it’s all about baby steps! One room at a time! If you consider your entire home, you’ll certainly get overwhelmed. I know I did.  Focus on one room and determine what you can do to declutter the area.

Perhaps we go into the kitchen first? Remember, this is decluttering so we have to focus on some things we CAN’T immediately see as well as those obvious eyesores!  The UFO, yep, you know what I’m talking about…the unidentified frozen objects we all have peering at us when we open the freezer door.  Chuck ‘em! I mean really?? If you can’t remember what it is, are you going to eat it? If it doesn’t even look like food anymore, pitch it! Make room so you can SEE what you have and reach for your favorite frozen yogurt without the fear of a frozen landslide!

Now, shut the freezer door.  Why do you have all of those magnets? If you’re going to tell me that they “mean something” to you.  Name five of the magnets on your fridge without looking and why they are special.  Bet ya can’t do it.  Oh, and look…aww, and that cute little “Grocery List” that magnets to the side of the fridge.  Get real people!  You know you never use it…you jot it down on the envelope on the counter or the back of a receipt in your purse and then…you STILL forget the list when you go to the store.  Your final argument, the pizza shop magnet???  Pssh! You know you just tell your Smartphone to “Call Donatos” when you have a hankerin’ for some pizza.  Declutter.  Clean off your fridge.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Now you turn and look at the pantry doors. What lies behind those doors? You’ve entered the EXPIRED ZONE. Some of that salad dressing is older than your kindergartener! That cereal that seemed like a good start to your New Year’s Resolution of 2000, can probably be pitched.  Declutter.

I bet you’re feeling freer already, aren’t you? Breathe in that decluttered air!  You deserve it.  You’re on a roll! Don’t stop. Go to that “one drawer” and that “one cupboard”.  You know which one.  The “throw it in the junk drawer” and the cupboard that has everything from your mom’s Tupperware container to the margarita pitcher that you’ve never used.  If you don’t use it, donate it, recycle or pitch it!

Okay…we’re well on the way.  Let’s go to the LAUNDRY ROOM. Scary, I know.  You can do it! See that basket of socks longing for a SOLEmate? Yep, it’s time.  Admit it, they are loners.  You’ve searched, you’ve done all of the laundry 3 times and you’ve still not found a good match for them. It’s time to let them go.  What about those piles of clothes that constantly come down from the kids’ rooms…still FOLDED???!!!  I know, that gets me good every time!  If the only thing wearing the kids’ clothes is the floor and the chair, then those clothes need to find a new home.  Bag ‘em up and donate them.  There are kids out there that will ROCK that purple Nike hoodie.  Declutter.

Alright, next on our agenda: the bathroom.  Let me ask you, just how long are you going to hang onto that blue mascara and green eyeshadow? For the love of God, how many brushes does one person need?? Stop storing it in a “cute bag under the sink” or worse, in a perfectly functional vanity drawer. Feeeeed the trash can. Makeup expires too.  1980 called, Cyndi Lauper wants her eyeshadow back.

You’re doing great!  I know that was tough. Now, look around.  Just how many people live in your house?  In my house, on a full week, there are six of us.  Why in the world are there no less than 18 toothbrushes??  For as much as they hate to brush their teeth, they certainly have more than enough tools with which to accomplish this dreaded task.  Call the kiddos in and make them claim their toothbrush and commit to memory the color, then throw the rest away.

Alright, now back to the living room.  Those shelves from IKEA are fabulous and functional, but you’ve got too much on them.  All those hours of Tetris in college certainly paid off! I mean, the way those Disney VHS video tapes and books you’ve never read fit perfectly against the photo frames, is magnificent. Wait, what? VHS…are you kidding me.  Declutter and then go NETFLIX and chill!  My research shows that the VCR is very outdated.  Get rid of those tapes and toss the VCR while you’re at it.  It’ll be nice to have that blinking 12:00 on the clock out of the room once and for all.  After all, if you haven’t learned to program the thing by now, I think it’s safe to assume you’ve moved on to bigger and better things like a Smart TV and video on demand!  Live like it’s 2016! Declutter.

Those are just a few tips for decluttering your home.  With the colder weather upon us, decluttering can help fight against those wintertime blues.  Make more room for you and your family to enjoy the space. You’ll be surprised what a difference a little organization and decluttering can have on your emotional wellbeing! If you don’t believe me, look what researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute said.

“The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other physiological measurement tools to map the brain’s responses to organized and disorganized stimuli and to monitor task performance. The conclusions were strong — if you want to focus to the best of your ability and process information as effectively as possible, you need to clear the clutter from your home and work environment. This research shows that you will be less irritable, more productive, distracted less often, and able to process information better with an uncluttered and organized home and office.”

So, let DECLUTTER 2016 commence!