- Put things in their proper place. Toys go into the toy box, paired socks go into the socks drawer, school supplies go into its own drawer, books go into the bookshelf, pens go into penholders. Designate a clear and logical place for everything. Put things back where they belong and ensure all family members follow this simple rule!
- Resist impulse buying, no matter how cheap the item is. Even if something is 90% off, if you do not really need it, it is not worth buying. It will only eventually add to the pile of clutter.
- If you have to buy toys for your kids, avoid those with many tiny pieces! They look great on the packaging: colorful, sealed and all. But once they’re disassembled and played with, they usually get scattered all over. You will have to find containers for them if you want to keep them organized, and before you know if you have too many containers for too many different kinds of toys. Then you will have to find places to store those containers. If the containers are the same shape and size they’re easier to stack. But if not then they look cluttered and soon too you’ll be running out of space!
- Do not pile clutter on top of a clutter. Too many times we find it extremely hard to unclutter because the pile has been so high or entangled! So as soon as you see a mess or clutter, put it away immediately, and instruct all family members to do the same thing.
- Less is better. Because if you have way too much you will feel suffocated! If you look at the magazines, the display closets and wardrobes look so beautiful and calm. Notice they all have one thing in common: there are only a few things in them! Therefore…keep only the clothes that you actually like and want to wear, and donate the rest to charity. You could also try bringing them to a consignment store to sell. This will free up your space, your closet will look beautiful and you will feel better!
- Open your mail daily, decide which actions to take on each one and get rid of the junk mail immediately. It’s better to spend a few minutes each day to tackle the mail rather than pile them up and spend hours trying to sort them out later. Paper clutter can really weigh you down and leave you anxious and exhausted. File them in clearly labeled folders. This way you can quickly find the documents you need later on.
- Before making a purchase, think first if this item is something you really need, or something you just want. Needs and wants are two totally different things. Ads, flyers, commercials all entice us to increase our wants, subconsciously letting us think we need them. Thus our collection of things become more and more. These things not only add to clutter later on, but we end up unnecessarily spending money. Therefore….before heading to the cashier to pay for something, think twice, think 3 times if you really need it or if you can live without it.
- When uncluttering, start small and give yourself time. For example, maybe you will want to clean up one drawer per night. Set small goals and stick to them. Congratulate yourself after each step. Just always remember that clutter doesn’t accumulate overnight, so it can not get eliminated overnight too. Break bigger piles into smaller piles to make it more manageable.
- Keep the knick-knacks to a bare minimum. Too many display knick knacks are distracting and overwhelming. You want calmness when you look around your home. For displays you can put few larger ones rather than many small ones.
- When you bring one thing home, try to take out one thing away. For example, when you buy a new piece of clothing, try and see if there’s one in your closet that you do not wear anymore. Or if you buy a beautiful new set of plates, see if you can donate your other set to charity.
- Get ideas by observing other people’s homes. Many of us know people who maintain very organized homes. The next time you go to their house, observe the things they have done to keep their home really neat. Observe how they store their things, or which type of organizers they use. Most of the time too you’ll notice that in these organized homes, all household members do their part.
- If you are subscribing magazines or catalogs but rarely have the time to read them all, consider unsubscribing. This will not only reduce clutter, but will also help you save you your hard-earned money.
- Consider selling your unwanted stuff on Ebay, Amazon, or Craigslist. I have sold clothing, toys, books, videos, and various stuff like sunglasses, wall clock, backpack, penholder, earrings, bags, CD player, games, etc. on EBay. I have also sold items through an EBay I-Sold-It drop off store. This saves me time from doing the actual listing and shipping myself. They will do everything for you and charge a certain percent commission of the sale. The I-Sold-It store near us charges about 30% of the sale. I think it’s fair considering all the work they do to sell the item.
- Assign a storage box for each category, like for example: manuals, important receipts, etc. and label them clearly. The idea is to be able to access these things at any moment you will need them, in the shortest time possible.
- Free up as much counter space as possible in your kitchen and bathroom. As you remove the clutter, wipe all the counters clean and watch them shine! All your hard work will pay off. It’s energizing to see clean counters and you will be inspired to keep them that way!
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