Do you live amidst chaos? Are you not able to actually see your table because of paper clutter? Do you always run late because you can’t find your keys, homework, or cell phone? Is life turning you into one big stress case? The following tips on how to control your clutter in 10 easy steps may just be for you!
These quick and easy steps will guide you toward the big goal of a clutter free environment! By implementing them as often as possible, the day-to-day chaos that you live with will evaporate.
Control Your Clutter In 10 Easy Steps
1. Tray on the Entry Table
This is a really easy thing that is often overlooked. Put a tray, platter, basket, whatever is relatively flat and you find attractive on your entry table, to collect your stuff (keys, mail, wallet) as you enter your house.
2. Clean out your inbox in your computer
Empty, file, and delete your inbox on a weekly basis. If you haven’t found a home for that email in a week, then you probably do not need it.
3. Collect all of your mail in one spot
Collect all the piles of mail and put them in that decorative box on your entry table! Of course, junk mail should go in the garbage without ever being set down. Set aside one day per week and sort, shred, and toss.
4. Unsubscribe from email lists
Clean up your inbox by unsubscribing from companies’ emailings list that you no longer what to receive. It will decrease your emails that you don’t read by a lot!
5. Greeting Cards
Send out greeting, birthday, and anniversary cards at the beginning of the month that the date occurs. This frees up so much time, and people are thrilled to be remembered, even if it is early. Buy extra and store them then send out, and you will not miss the date. You can even buy greeting cards for the entire year and then they will always be on hand.
6. School mail, email, and correspondence
Keep a multi-pocket folder in your junk drawer. Each family member has a pocket as well as miscellaneous folders for takeout menus, maps, invitations, and phone directories/lists. These pockets are for papers that need to be kept, but not dealt with on a daily basis. You can also keep one on your computer for all the emails you get for each child.
7. Seven Days to less Clutter
You will need 14 garbage bags and a week where you can stroll through your house each day for about 10 minutes per bag. Try this as it really works! Each day, grab 2 garbage bags and off you go. One bag is for garbage – do not cheat- this is garbage that is not in your garbage containers. Look behind bureaus and desks, sort through expired beauty products, sun tan lotions, anything that needs to go to the garbage. The second garbage bag is for donations. Sort through shoes one day, out of season clothing, old paperbacks. Things that you have wanted to donate and just never had. Each day, either throw out the garbage bag, or set the donate bag by the back door to go with you. Now, it’s been a week and you have rid your house of 14 bags of “stuff”.
8. Move (not literally)
You, of course, do not need to sell your house to rid yourself of clutter, just act like you are going to! Pick a moving date on the calendar and start sorting through your things. If you do not want to “pack” it, it should be tossed or donated. This really pares down what is important to you.
9. Separate gathering baskets for each family member
Set aside 10 minutes each day to pick up. Each family member gets their own container and needs to pick up their own items to declutter. Designate specific containers for everyone! A beautiful basket for you, a sandbox pail for the toddler, a backpack for a school-age child, and a toolbox for dad.
10. Buying in bulk
Buy in bulk to save a bit of money only if you have a place to store the excess. The few cents that you save is not worth the stress of storing 20 rolls of paper towels, or having to move it to get to something else.
These are tried and true “secrets” that busy and organized people already do. Make them a part of your routine, and actually regain some precious time in your schedule! Time to do what YOU want…isn’t that what we all crave?