the big, bad house decluttering series. part two.

Oh hey, week two.

How did everyone do with part one of the big, bad (in a good way) house decluttering series?

To be brutally honest–I checked every item off the list last week, except Under the Bed. Mine is bad, so so bad–it’s really an entire week’s work in itself and I was worn-out. Plus we’re in the market for a new mattress–so I think I’ll just wait and tackle it later when we move out the old and move in the new.

This week we’re going to declutter and deep-clean all your drawers. Each area in part two of the series may take a little longer than each area in part one, but none should take more than 30 minutes.

And more brutal honesty for your Monday? I got all jacked-up on the good coffee at Art Mart Friday morning and decluttered and deep-cleaned every area mentioned in this post in one afternoon (so you can definitely do a little bit each evening). But I was overly caffeinated and overly excited–and I forgot to take pictures until I was almost done. So this post contains very few pics (mostly after-shots). Whoops, sorry.

Mark Waldhoff–Licensed Realtor with Waldhoff Gard & Associates is back this week with more expert realtor tips too. In case you missed his introduction last week, Mark is a licensed broker with Keller Williams Realty in Champaign. He’s been selling real estate in our area since 2004. Since then he’s built a business based on personal relationships–and providing excellent customer service to all his clients.

Mark and his wife Kacy (and their girls Tessa and Lauren Rae) are decluttering and deep-cleaning their house right along with me. We’re going to check in with them next week.

And remember–once your house is decluttered and deep-cleaned, you may start thinking you’d like to sell it. If so, you can call Mark for a free home market analysis. He’s happy to meet with you, answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home AND provide you with details about your current home’s value–which will obviously go up after you complete this blog series. Boom.

So let’s dive into week two.

Week Two–All the Drawers

Monday–The Bedroom Drawers (Plus Nightstands, Bedroom Vanities and Jewelry Boxes)

  • Start in your own bedroom. Remove every item from your chest of drawers–and wipe each drawer with a damp cloth. Do the same with your nightstands, bedroom vanity and jewelry box if you have them. I also wiped down the fronts and tops of all these drawers too–so much dust, yuck.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your drawers and ask yourself the following questions: Have I worn/used this item in the past year? Will I wear/use this item in the coming year? Does this item still fit me? Does this item have sentimental value? Is this item stained or damaged (like those holy underwear we all have, come on now. time to buy a new pack!)?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together. And place items back into your drawers. If you have tons of t-shirts check out this this genius way to fold and store them. If you’re really into organization, check out these do-it-yourself drawer organizers and jewelry organization hacks. I’ll be honest, this time around I’m just patting myself on the back for getting rid of my old socks with holes–and my socks without matches. And for detangling the necklaces that have been knotted in my jewelry box for over a year. I’ll make my own drawer organizers out of shoeboxes next time around.
  • Repeat these steps on every chest of bedroom drawers, nightstand, bedroom vanity and jewelry box in your house. Ask your hubby, wife or kids to help you with their drawers. Or–who are we kidding–just do it without their help–sometimes that’s easier.

Mark says, “Personal furniture is off-limits for potential buyers viewing a home. Closets and cabinets are fair-game because they stay with the home, but my team and I always advise clients to stay out of the “furniture”. While we have never had a problem, we do advise homeowners to securely store any jewelry and personal items of value before a home-showing.”

Tuesday–The Bathroom Drawers

  • Start in your master bath. Remove every item from every drawer–and wipe each drawer with a damp cloth. You may need to use some cleaning spray if your drawers are gunky–mine were. Also remove everything from your sink and counter–and give those surface areas a good scrubbing, especially the sink faucets and drains. I also wiped down the fronts of my drawers and the fronts of the cabinets we organized last week–and all the hardware. So go ahead and do that while you’re down there.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your drawers and off your sink and counter and ask yourself the following questions: Is this item old, icky and/or expired? Here’s a link to the shelf lives of some popular beauty products. Have I used this item in the past year? Will I use this item in the coming year? Can I combine any items to save room? For items on your sink or counter–is this an item I use every single day?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Find some containers (Rubbermaid, old baskets, shoeboxes, whatever) and group the items you’re keeping into those containers. The Dollar Store has a huge selection of little containers. I stocked up–and it only set me back $9. Only keep items you use daily on your sink and counter–store everything else in your drawers and cabinets.
  • Repeat these steps on every bathroom drawer in your house. Again, you can ask for help–or just knock it out yourself.
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BEFORE (total chaos)

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AFTER (I can actually find my Tweezers!)

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BEFORE (I spy some shower caps)

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AFTER (I found alllllll my hair bands, BOOM!)

Mark says, “When selling your home, you’ll want the bathroom (and the kitchen!) to look like no one has ever used it. Hide your trash can under your sink, clean items from the sinks and counters as much as possible and don’t keep a stack of old magazines next to the toilet. The week-old (or longer) dried toothpaste hanging out in your sinks has to go too. Another very simple but important piece of advice would be to keep the toilet seat down for showings.”

Wednesday–Kitchen and Bar Drawers

  • Pull everything out of each kitchen drawer–and wipe the empty drawers with a damp cloth–use some cleaning spray if they need it. I also wiped down the fronts of my drawers and the fronts of the cabinets (we’ll get to those next week)–and all the hardware. So go ahead and do that now too.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your kitchen drawers and ask yourself the following questions: Is it old or icky? Is it broken? Have I used this item in the past year? Will I use this item in the coming year? Is there a better place to store this item? And finally, will I ever find the container that goes with this rogue Tupperware lid–the answer is no–so get rid of it.
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Find some containers (Rubbermaid, old baskets, shoeboxes, whatever) and group the smaller items you’re keeping into those containers.
  • If you store kitchen towels in your kitchen drawers, look for the bad ones (stinky, stained, old, holes) and donate or toss. Refold the good towels. Do the same with your aprons and hot pads.
  • Repeat these steps for each kitchen drawer and bar drawer in your house.
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Where are all my spoons? How do you lose EIGHT spoons?

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I can actually find my mushroom cleaner.

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My pots and pans. And Grandma’s Magnalites.

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Pitched a few sippy cup lids who were missing their mates.

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I threw away six rogue Tupperware lids too. Good riddens.

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Dishtowels and aprons. I collect both.

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I organized all of these under the influence of Art Mart Intelligentsia Coffee. So I forgot the before pics, but dang they look good, right?!

Thursday–Home Office and Desk

  • Pull everything out of each drawer of your desk or home office–and wipe the empty drawers with a damp cloth–use some cleaning spray if they need it. I also wiped down the fronts of my drawers and the top of my desk–and all the hardware. So go ahead and do that now too.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your desk drawers and ask yourself the following questions: Have I used this item in the past year? Will I use this item in the coming year? If it’s paperwork or documents–do I need to keep it and/or is it stored electronically somewhere else? Is there a better place to store this item–does it need to go in a lockbox or safe?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Use a shredder before recycling any paperwork or document to destroy any personal information.
  • Find some containers (Rubbermaid, old baskets, shoeboxes, whatever) and group the smaller items you’re keeping in those containers. Invest in some cheap filing folders for paperwork and documents–again Dollar Store for the win.
  • Repeat these steps for each desk in your house–including the kids’ homework station. We don’t have one of those yet, but I hear they can get messy.
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Danny actually organized this desk of ours on Super Bowl Sunday. We shredded and shredded and shredded. Every drawer is empty now, except what you see here. When I asked if he had anything to add to this caption he said, “Decluttering this desk made me feel like a Champion.” Haaaaa, OK Peyton Manning. I get it though.

Mark says, “You should use the same strategy we used in your bathrooms and kitchen for your home office. Make your desk look like it’s never been used. Keep the desktop as empty as possible. Again, the idea is to show a potential buyer how great the office would feel if they were living in the home and working from that home office.

Friday–Laundry Room Drawer (Plus The Washer, The Dryer and The Dryer Vent)

  • Last week, we cleaned under the laundry sink. This week we need to clean and organize any drawers and/or shelves you may have in your laundry room.
  • Pull everything out of every drawer and off every shelf–and wipe the drawers, shelves and counters. Also wipe the fronts of your drawers and cabinets and your counter. You can scrub your laundry sink now too if you have one.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out from each drawer or off each shelf and ask yourself the following questions: Is this item old, icky and/or expired? Have I used it in the past year? Will I use it in the coming year? Is there a better place to store this item? Can I combine any items to save room?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together-detergent, fabric softeners, stain-removal, starches, etc.
  • Find some containers (Rubbermaid, old baskets, shoeboxes, whatever) and group the items you’re keeping in those containers. Really, one big basket should be enough.
  • If you have a front loading washing machine, now’s a good time to clean it. Here’s what I did–it was pretty disgusting and now it’s fresh and sparkling clean. Clean your dryer vent inside the dryer, but also clean your dryer vent on the outside of your house. I had never done this, and mine was full of lint. You should really check this exterior vent a few times each year.

Mark says, “Declutter! Do you really need all those almost empty detergents and cleaning bottles sitting on your laundry room shelf. Combine what you can, and get rid of the rest. This is an important space to declutter, especially if your laundry room is small.

. . .

OK. That’s week two. Not too bad, right? Again, sorry about the lack of pictures. Just use your imagination.

If you don’t finish all these areas during the week, just catch-up on the weekend. I built in two days off again, just in case.

Let me know how your week goes in the comments. And thanks to Mark Waldhoff for all the good tips. We’ll see you back here next Monday for the third post in the series. Happy Organizing!

4 thoughts on “the big, bad house decluttering series. part two.

  1. Debbie says:

    I tried that new fold for my t-shirt drawer and sweater drawer. It is awesome! You can fit a lot more in your drawers and you can see “at-a-glance” everything you’ve got to work with!

    Liked by 1 person

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