Weekend Projects

4 Small Efforts That Will Make You Feel In Control of Your Home

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Liang)

Clutter is an ever-present nemesis that we battle both daily and in larger, strategic attacks. We laud the merits of one-thing-in-one-thing-out principles. Talk (often from a privileged standpoint) about “simple” lifestyles in which we attempt to choose to have only what we need. And we toss around all kinds of tips, tricks, and lists for getting junk out of our homes.

But there’s a special kind of clutter at home that’s not so easy to see, and this weekend we’re going to do something about it.

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

There is emotional labor involved in many decluttering projects. The good news is that this decluttering weekend project doesn’t involve any saying of goodbyes or thank yous. It just involves actually dealing with things that are sitting around, blocking our good vibes and making us feel less than on-top-of-it when we see them.

(Image credit: Diana Liang)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This Weekend’s Assignment:

Make the return, mail the package…. just check the thing off your list (for good).

These are the things that require more work than dropping off at the donation center or tossing in the trash or recycling. Because there’s a mental hurdle involved with taking care of these items, they often sit around in our entry ways, mud rooms, or rooms, becoming almost invisible as they languish.

This weekend, we’re giving you the nudge you need to take care of any or all of the following that apply to you:

1. Return borrowed items

Things that you can return right away, do. Like the dishes from the casserole the neighbor dropped off. For the rest, text the friends they belong to, letting them know you’ll be returning them soon (with an apology, if applicable, for how long it’s been) so that you make yourself accountable.

2. Drop things off that need to get fixed

These could be things like leather bags or boots, etc. If you can’t actually go quite yet or the repair shops are closed, make a note on your calendar and treat it as an appointment. Also included are paintings or photographs that need to get framed. Drop them off to be professionally done, or go out and find the right frames (and hang them).

3. Make your returns

Do you have a pile of things you need to return? I usually do. If you can run out and make them this weekend, that’s the best. Otherwise, again, block out a time next week that you’ll knock them out (and get your money back to boot).

4. Mail the packages

These could be returns, like from a few over-exuberant Prime Day purchases perhaps? I don’t know what it is about by-mail returns, but they are one of my biggest procrastinations. Print the labels, wrap them up (if you don’t have a box and it’s not a delicate item, an inside-out brown paper bag makes a strong package covering), and drop them off in the mail. Again, you can look forward to money back in your account!

What clutter will you take care of this weekend?