It’s the most wonderful time of the year–time to send the kids back to school and reclaim your household! But after a summer of camps and goofing around inside, your house may need a little tough love to get back into shape for the fall. Research shows that the average American home has 300,000 items in it, and back-to-school is the perfect time to get rid of the ones that you don’t need anymore.
1. Before the onslaught of this school year’s crush of homework and artwork, make sure you have decluttered last year’s!
2. After a summer of “I’m bored” you’ll have a great idea of what toys your kids really play with. Time to donate (or toss if they are broken) toys that didn’t get touched. And don’t forget the holidays (more stuff) are just around the corner. 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally.
3. Did summer reading lists create a glut of books in your home? Time to do a purge of the books that won’t get read again or won’t ever be read. Also, return the overdue library books!
4. Running around in bathing suits and sprouting up like weeds means your kids have outgrown a lot of last year’s clothes. Time to do a deep dive on their clothes and donate the clothes they don’t wear or can’t fit into any more. Plus you’ll then have plenty of room for back-to-school clothes shopping.
5. Most kids get new backpacks for the each school year. If last year’s pack is still in good shape, think about donating to a local nonprofit that works with foster kids. Use this an opportunity to declutter backpacks, duffle bags and suitcases.
6. Everyone is back at or has moved on to a new sport so back to school is a great time to get rid of old sports equipment. Oftentimes, teams collectively donate used equipment to teams and schools that don’t have big budgets so maybe put together a cleat drive?!
7. The pool, river, lake or ocean has wreaked havoc on your towels. Once everyone is settled in their new schedules, pull all the towels out and see which ones can go. Donate to local animal rescue.
8. Tackle your garage. 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and after a summer of everyone home, the garage has become the dumping ground. Tackle this before winter comes! And remember, this is probably one of the biggest jobs on the list.
9. Constant snacking has probably turned the kitchen upside down. It’s time to return order and systems back to the kitchen. And maybe a purge?! Sort through food storage, top but not bottom…out! Broken or cracked plates…gone.
10. Next year think about doing this decluttering while the kids are at sleep-away camp!
Tracy McCubbin, founder of dClutterfly