Maria Menounos

Maria’s Tips for Decluttering Your Life

While Keven, Kelsey, and Elain were away for their east coast adventures, I took time to focus on my decluttering journey. It takes patience, but accumulating good habits like decluttering allows you the time and space to heal. From the office to the kitchen, makeup products to supplements, I give all the organization advice you need for decluttering your life!

1. The 3 Categories

In order to start organizing, you’ll need to start with the basics: a throw out bag, a donate bag, and a give away bag. Then for the things you’re keeping, you’ll need to make sure everything has a place to go. I talk a lot about these three (or four) packing categories in my first book, which has plenty of advice that is still useful today! It’s so important that everything has a home so that you can keep the clutter part of your life stress free. A give away bag is great for the different people in my life that I know would want certain things that I no longer need. With things you know no one close to you would take but they’re still in good condition, they can be designated for donation. Having places to put everything will help in the long run of the decluttering process!

2. Makeup Products

On top of products I already have, my years of being in this business have generously brought me a lot of stuff that people send. It’s amazing and I’m always so grateful, but I don’t have enough time to process it all. For awhile, I would put things into designated places in tupperware drawers that quickly got racked up, so I gave stuff away to friends when they came over, but I couldn’t give it to them fast enough. After going through everything, I realized most of the stuff had expired, which is something I’m sure most of us forget about or don’t realize when it comes to makeup and skincare products, especially since things are so expensive. A great tool to use when it comes to this is the Cosmetic Calculator, which said all the brands available that I had were three years old or more. So I threw out so much stuff guys, nearly everything is gone! It’d be super helpful for makeup and skin stuff to have expiration dates when we buy it, but until then, we should start labeling stuff ourselves so that when we do buy it, we know how long we have with that item. It’s a great way to keep track of things you already have and may need in a timely fashion. Don’t be scared to throw things away and get rid of expired stuff despite expenses, as the toxicity on your skin is not helping regardless. It can be so easy to forget to check in on your personal care products when decluttering clothes and your office, but it’s just as important!

3. Kitchen Reorganization

The kitchen is such an easy place to create a mess, so starting fresh with new basic organization space has been so helpful to maintain simple essentials. For instance, I wiped out a shelf in the cabinet and created a basket system for all the supplements I currently use. It was such an eyesore keeping it out on the counter, so this keeps everything organized and tucked away for easy accessibility every day and night. As the collection has grown, I’ve also placed them into small baggies, which is especially helpful for upcoming travel. Once everything starts to fit into a groove, things will get a lot easier. I know I personally need a completely efficient system to work at my best capacity, so putting focus towards this really makes all the difference. Something I’m so grateful for that one of my assistants put together was a binder with clear plastic inserts filled with manuals for everything in the kitchen. Any appliance from the trash compactor to the oven to the dishwasher, you can just open it up and check. You can do this easy-to-grab binder system with anything — my mom did one with paint swatches and I have two for Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. There’s a manual for the entire house and a medical one, basically anything you’d need for emergencies. Now with all these binders in the kitchen, I’m building a new shelf specifically for them. It’ll save you so much time when you have to go searching for stuff!  Of course, if you can make a great kitchen wallpaper with some great mural design. It will make you very happy!

4. Misc. Tips

While starting the decluttering process can be daunting, especially if you’re new, don’t stress! Trust me when I say the after effects are worth every minute of the journey. Just like if you’re on a healing journey, you have to have patience as you work it out. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend to ask for help, it could make it a fun experience! Doing an end of year cleanup regimen — by yourself, with your family, or with a friend — is so good to do during the winter new year season while you’re stuck inside. Treat yourself and go the extra mile with repainting closets and shelves, and building new ones to streamline more of your belongings; it’ll set you up for success years down the line.

Book shelves can be full of stuff, so perhaps consider digitizing your physical photo albums to free up space and in case anything goes wrong, there’s more copies of your pictures. For your office space, think of things that constantly pile up on your desk that you need to find a home for. Do you need a box labeled for things like “Incoming Mail” or “Thank You Cards”? I know I’m a card lover who likes to have some on hand in case, so I have a box for those, as well as billing stuff.

And if you’re a fellow pet owner, it’s good to keep a healthy living space for them as well. Clean everything out by getting rid of all those old leashes and toys that are no good, ripped to shreds. Seriously, you don’t realize how much the littlest things like this are weighing you down, so much so that you feel stressed to be in you own car or house. Take the time to go through that spare room in your house that’s filled with things, you’ll feel so liberated once you’re able to clear everything out. And finally, remembering to put everything back is crucial to keeping the desk or counter space clear.

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