A Guide to Purging Your Clutter Properly


Guest blog by Alex DeMarzo

Decluttering your home is the first step to a cleaner and more organized house. But decluttering can quickly turn into a disaster if you aren’t prepared. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure the task of decluttering turns your house into the home of your dreams instead of your nightmares. This guide to purging your clutter properly will ensure you tackle the task of decluttering the right way.

1. Make a Plan

The first step to any project is to make a plan, and decluttering is no different. Before you start clearing out your rooms, take a few minutes to sit down and set some goals for yourself. Outlining specific goals of the decluttering process will give you a sense of accomplishment and help guide you through each step of the process. So, start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • What do you hope to accomplish from decluttering?
  • How much time do you have to devote to decluttering?
  • Which rooms need the most decluttering? Which rooms need the least amount of work?
  • What do you plan to do with the items you want to get rid of? If you plan to donate them, where will you take them?

The answers to these questions will help you create a detailed plan for decluttering, including a map of the rooms you want to declutter, how long you will spend on decluttering each room (as well as how long you’ll spend on the process as a whole), and how you plan to clear the clutter out of your house as you work to declutter each room.

2. Create a System

As part of your decluttering plan, it’s also a good idea to create a system for organizing each room of your house. One simple way to stay organized as you declutter a room is the three-pile method. Using this method, you will sort items in each room into three piles: keep, throw away, and donate. As you sort through the items in your room, declutter one item at a time – asking yourself whether you want to keep, throw away or donate that particular item.

  • Keep items you use often, are a necessity, or have great sentimental value. However, keep in mind that everything you keep will need a designated home. So, be sure you have the space for each item you keep before placing it in this pile!
  • Throw away items that are broken, clothing that is ripped, paper clutter you don’t need anymore, etc.
  • Donate items that you don’t want or need but are still in good condition.

3. Take Your Time

Decluttering your home is a long process, which means it’s not something you can accomplish in a day. Taking your time to declutter your house will make the process less stressful, ensuring you actually complete it instead of giving up halfway through! It’s best to plan your decluttering schedule based on the amount of time you estimate it will take to declutter the space. Leave rooms with more clutter, like the basement, kitchen, or garage, for times when you have an extended time period available to work on the space, like the weekends. Less cluttered areas can be tackled in the evenings or whenever you have spare time to complete the project.

4. Give Everything a Home

The end goal of decluttering is a more organized home. So, taking the time to organize the items you keep as you declutter will help make your organizational dreams a reality. One of the best ways to ensure your house stays organized and orderly after you’re finished decluttering is to make sure everything has a home. As you sort through your items and decide which ones to keep, you also need to make a plan for where each item will go when you’re finished decluttering.

As soon as you’re finished cleaning out a room, take the time to move your piles to their designated areas. That means all the items you plan to throw away will go to the trash bin outside, and each item you plan to donate will go to your car so it can be dropped off at your favorite charity. Finally, you should place everything you plan to keep in its designated spot and make sure it stays there.

5. Don’t Add More Clutter

The second you begin the decluttering process, you should also be sure to be mindful of the amount of clutter you bring into your home. That means making sure the time you spent decluttering isn’t wasted by adding more clutter to your home. Before buying new items for yourself and your house, take a few minutes to ask yourself if you need it and where you will put it when you bring it home. This simple exercise will ensure your home stays organized and decluttered for good!

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Back to School: The Dorm Room Checklist


Are you sending your kiddo off to college? Make sure they pack everything they need for an extended time away from home with this dorm-room checklist! From furniture to electronics, make sure your college student has everything they need to study hard this semester!

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Backpack Safety Tips


More than 20,000 backpack related injuries occur each year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Although many factors may lead to back pain – increased participation in sports or exercise, poor posture while sitting, and long periods of inactivity – some children have backaches because they’re lugging around all of their books, school supplies, and assorted personal items all day long. Most doctors and physical therapists recommend that kids carry no more than 10% to 15% of their body weight in their backpacks.

When a backpack filled with heavy books, is incorrectly placed on your child’s shoulders, the weight’s force can pull your child backward. To compensate, your child may bend forward at the hips or arch his or her back, which can cause the spine to compress unnaturally. Because of the heavy weight, your child might begin to develop shoulder, neck, and back pain.

Kids who wear their backpacks over just one shoulder may end up leaning to one side to offset the extra weight. They could also develop lower and upper back pain and strain their shoulders and neck. In addition to back pain, improper backpack use can also lead to poor posture. Smaller children may be at a heightened risk for backpack-related injuries. These children may carry loads that are heavier in proportion to their body weight.

You may need to adjust your child’s backpack and/or reduce how much your child is carrying if he or she struggles to get the backpack on or off, has back pain, or leans forward to carry the backpack. In order to help avoid these problems, keep the following steps in mind when selecting and using backpacks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends

  1. A lightweight pack that doesn’t add a lot of weight to your child’s load. For example, even though leather packs look cool, they weigh more than traditional canvas backpacks.
  2. Two wide, padded shoulder straps. Backpacks with tight, narrow straps can dig into the shoulders and interfere with a child’s circulation and nerves. This can contribute to tingling, numbness, and weakness in the child’s arms and hands.
  3. A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on objects (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.
  4. A waist belt and multiple compartments help to distribute the weight more evenly across the body.

10 Backpack Safety Tips

  1. Never carry more than 15 percent of child’s body weight.
  2. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
  3. Lighten the load; carry only essential items.
  4. Always wear both shoulder straps.
  5. A backpack should fit over mid-back muscles and the bottom should rest in the curve of the lower back, never more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
  6. Wear a backpack with well-padded shoulder, hip and chest straps.
  7. Wear a backpack with multiple compartments to distribute weight evenly.
  8. Wear a backpack with reflective material to enhance visibility.
  9. If the backpack is too heavy, consider a backpack on wheels.
  10. If a child is experiencing back pain or neck soreness, consult your doctor or physical therapist.

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