Spring Cleaning Tips

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{image via Pinterest}

My mom is a saver and because God has a great sense of humor, I’m an avid purger.

Growing up I’d have to sneak trash bags down the hall of stuff I was trying to get rid of and my mom would go through the bag with me and explain why I needed to keep my 2nd grade math test.

I still love to over decorate and have 50 different lipsticks in one drawer, but there is a method I try to keep to all of it. I get a lot of e-mails referencing how I stay organized and my first response is by keeping my home decluttered.

I love the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

I’m sure you all have already started your spring cleaning, but I wanted to share my little tips for purging/closet cleaning! The less “stuff” that fills up your space, the more room you have to be organized.

Step 1: Clean The Closet

Clean Closet

You go in your closet every morning and normally every evening. When it is bursting at the seams, you’re just adding extra stress and giving yourself a negative environment. I always start here and once I’ve donated or sold pieces I always feel like I can take on the rest of the house. Here is my method for clearing out!

1. Remove Duplicates

Do you know how many $15 white v neck tees I had? You don’t want to know…It’s absurd. They’d lose their shape and get really baggy within a few washes so I chunked all of those and just invested in two Monrow tees. These last forever and are so much more slimming than any others I had. So if you have 4 black tanks, remove two. Unnecessary additions to our closet keep us from seeing the special pieces we should be wearing!

2. Remove Pain

Shoes that give you blisters and dresses that itch have to go bye bye. The shoes that you keep and wear every 2 months to give them the benefit of the doubt will still give you blisters and they aren’t worth it. A sequin top that drives your skin crazy isn’t going to get worn, either. Be real with yourself.

3. Remove Extra Sizes

If you have clothing that is a different size than what you are 90% of the time toss it. I had so many pairs of jeans that didn’t fit and I had thought I might get them tailored. If you don’t get a piece tailored within 2 months, you didn’t want to really wear it anyways. Anytime I would wear pieces that were too big just so they got “worn” I also felt like I looked really frumpy, too. It seriously served no purpose to keep them around.

4. Keep Pieces that Make you Happy

I know we all have a million little printed blouses that we think we need to have, but I try to only keep the pieces that give me joy or make me happy. So if you’ve got Chevron in your closet that gave you joy 2 years ago and now you just wear when you have dirty clothes, toss it, too! Your wardrobe should make you feel calm and inspired, not like you “have to wear it.” You feel like you “have to” wave to your ex boyfriend when you see him, your clothes should not ignite the same feeling as the ex…

My biggest tip: Don’t stop until your closet is really easy to shop in.

Ever wonder why Forever 21 stresses you out and Neiman Marcus seems like an oasis? Because Neimans keeps the right amount of items out and it isn’t this cluster of tank tops. If you are still iffy on a piece but your closet seems like it is about to burst, donate! I can’t wear my clothes if I don’t see them anyways and would rather them go to someone else. Be sure to keep your handbags in their dust bags [if you didn’t keep those just stock up on ebay!] and I stuff mine with tissue paper so they always keep their shape and are ready for use! Nothing is more stressful when you are trying to switch purses quickly and open yours up to find old gum and receipts!

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Step 2: Deep Clean with the Rule of Five

Before I purge anything else I deep clean my apartment. In each room I enlist the rule of 5: get rid of five things in each room. Maybe it is a piece of trash, a stained water bottle from college or an old magazine. By deep cleaning everything from the cabinets to base boards and “searching” for items to trash I find things like old batteries and cords I don’t need. The rule of 5 turns into the rule of 15 and I’m able to get so much more cleared out!

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Step 3: Tackle the Vanity

If you are anything like me the most clutter you have is in the beauty/jewelry department! My girlfriend who works at Sephora is constantly saying, “Katey, if it didn’t work for you return it!” But I hate returning beauty products, I feel so bad! I know they are a huge company that takes returns, but I always think, “It isn’t Sephora’s fault that serum didn’t work for me.” As if Sephora is going to be phased by my $30 return…

So needless to say, my serums, lotions and hair potions tend to clutter up! In reality each month I’m really only into one or two products, so I like to make a bag of products that didn’t work for me or I’m not in love with. Then my girlfriends do the same and we swap a few we want to try and donate the rest to our other girlfriends/sisters! It’s a great way to try face products for free, too! 😉

In terms of makeup, check when yours expired so that you aren’t adding to a break out! Toss those!

I do the same with jewelry! I have some bangles I wore religiously a year ago and now I’m sick of it. I’ll feel guilty getting rid of it, so I just give it to a friend so I know she will use it! Try to get rid of 2 pieces per 1 you keep, and your bag will be full in no time!

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Step 4: Remove Paper

Memorabilia, magazines and extra papers create a hectic work environment and fill up our storage space. Here are my little tips for removing extra paper:

1. Go Through Magazines

If you aren’t using them for decoration [I do!], donate them! While I was packing for the move I noticed I had 67 Us Weekly Magazines. [embarrassing…] Those are not for decor! Ever! Ever! Ever! Who needs 67 tabloids?! Not even a nail salon… Donate those to your local library or Half Price Books and be gone with them. If there are articles you want to keep just gently tear them out and put them in a file folder of inspiration.

2.  Donate Books

I do the same for books. Unless you are on The Real Housewives and have a built in library, chances are books take up a ton of storage! I keep a few that Paul gave me or that I love reading over and over [Hello, Pride & Prejudice] and donate the rest. Chances are I’m not going to read Twilight again after high school, so I don’t exactly need that out and about.

3. Go through Memorabilia 

Stickers from kids you babysat or tickets from concerts are sweet, but be methodical about what you allow to stay. I keep two boxes, an Hermes box of all the love notes Paul has ever given me and another box of my memorabilia from friends and family. A great option is to go on ebay and buy a little Chanel shoe box or something you don’t mind leaving out to keep that paper in there! That way it serves a decor purpose, but also hides the clutter. If it doesn’t fit in the box, remember you have your memories, you don’t have to have that paper!

4. Container Store, Home, Organize, Repeat

If you are on your own and have to keep lots of receipts and contracts for work purposes, go to the container store, get a clear box and fill it with pink file organizers. I keep all my receipts and documents in that box and tuck it away in a piece of furniture. It isn’t seen. It’s kept organized. And Container Store always has a special going on in their office pieces. Win. Win. Situation!

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Step 5: Bedroom

Keep the bedroom the least cluttered. You may be a minimalist or you may be a maximist, but regardless, your bedroom should be your little getaway. If you can’t bear to part with pieces, keep those in your living room or kitchen. Your bedroom should be clutter free so you can relax, sleep easy and not remember, “Oh that frame is from Aunt Sarah and I have to call her tomorrow I should probably just get up and text her now.”

I think the easiest way to achieve that look is by having white linens and clean night stands! Keep your nightstand functional. It’s probably the first thing you see when you wake up and it is the last thing you see before you go to bed. You don’t need to have 47 lip balms and 14 chargers staring back at you. Keep a lamp, your charger, a frame, a candle and a book. Everything else can find another home.

This is my favorite way to de-stress and I find it so therapeutic! I probably purge way too often, but the cycle allows me to make room for pieces I truly want and allows me to see everything I have and what I need to do. Let me know if you try this method and how it worked for you!

{all images found via Pinterest}

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6 Comments

  1. Tessa wrote:

    Loved this post Katey!!! This is so true. I am getting ready to make a big move and I really need to get rid of all the clutter i have! I don’t want that to transfer into my new home! I am starting to get rid of all the things I have from college, all the old cheerleading pom poms and uniforms I now don’t need, and all the other random trinkets that have somehow made a little home of their own! This was really helpful to remind me that I need to keep a clear space for a clear mind!

    xx,
    Tessa

    Published 04 May 15Reply
  2. Holly wrote:

    I had to comment because my mom and I are the EXACT same way so I know what you mean. I love your blog. God bless your new home and journey ahead!

    Xo
    Holly

    Published 04 May 15Reply
  3. Kim wrote:

    As brilliant as ever, Katey! I’ve been told I’m a little OCD when it comes to purging & organizing but your tips are taking my obsession to a whole new level.

    Thank you!
    Cheers,
    KMC

    Published 05 May 15Reply
  4. Hannah wrote:

    Me and my mom are the same way! I feel the need to clean out my closet every month and she still has stuff from like 2003. So glad that there’s other compulsive purgers out there.. 🙂 I’ll be forwarding this post to her… LOL

    Published 05 May 15Reply
  5. I am constantly doing my craft room as I learn better ways. thanks for this help.

    Published 18 Jun 15Reply
  6. Amanda wrote:

    I just started following your blog not to long ago so I’ve been reading some back posts. This post is so right on. I literally cannot function with total clutter and chaos. I feel like a bird flying when I clean out and get rid of things. My husband give to Goodwill if it’s nice and still usable and it’s tax deductible. It’s a win-win!! I totally agree with you, if you aren’t seeing it, you aren’t wearing it. When I sleep I want things peaceful in the bedroom. We just got a tv in there for occasional watching but it’s in an entertainment center that I can close off for bed. I love reading all your posts. I’m a third grade teacher and love what I do. I know good writing when I read it and you are a wonderful writer. Thank you for all the research you do and the fashion ideas. I’m a blonde so it’s a big help there color-wise. Many Blessings for your delivery and new little girl.

    Published 13 Jan 17Reply