If you find yourself dreading to go home, waking up feeling grumpy, easily distracted or often frustrated with your family, CLUTTER might be the underlying cause.
“Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives,” Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter wrote in an article for Psychology Today.
The good news is, REDUCING CLUTTER is an easy task you can conquer. Don’t let the project overwhelm you; simply tackle it step-by-step. Find a method that works best for you to slowly reduce stress-trigging items in your life.
REDUCING CLUTTER will help you create a more organized life when you eliminate the items that are not important in your life so that you can easily organize and find what IS important.
Here are 101 ways to begin organizing your life… PICK ONE or TWO a week to conquer! Bookmark this page and come back to choose another task!
Organize Your Health
1. Get a Fitness Tracker
It can provide helpful data about your health like your sleep patterns, the number of steps you take each day, your resting heart rate and other information.
2. Schedule Your Dental Cleanings
While a trip to the dentist may not be fun, it’s important. Your dentist might be the first one to spot gum disease, oral cancer, GERD, or even diabetes.
3. Plan Your Meals in Advance
Taking just one day to plan, grocery shop, and prepare your meals can make your week much simpler. Plus, you’ll be able to make healthy eating choices no matter how late you’re running or how chaotic your day has been.
(Tip: Spend time finding healthy recipes that are super easy to make!)
4. Set Up a Personal Health Record
5. Plan Your Workouts
Instead of trying to “fit in” your daily gym session, add it as a priority to your day planner like you would any other appointment. When you commit an activity in your planner, you’re more likely to do it (instead of going home to binge-watch your favorite shows!).
6. Create a Living Will
You probably don’t want to think about this but if you end up incapacitated, what would you want done? Don’t make your family or friends agonize over this during an already stressful time. Spell it all out in your living will.
Tip: Check out Freewill.com
7. Make Grab-N-Go Snacks
Vending machines are popular because they’re convenient. But often, the choices are unhealthy and ultimately, unsatisfying. Try to pack healthy snacks in grab and go containers so you always have a good alternative to the vending machine.
8. Sign Up for a Fitness Class
It’s fun to try new things and you might discover that you love other activities such as tennis or rock-climbing. Plus, you get to meet new people while you’re sweating it out.
9. Carry a Medication List
If you’re on any medication, you need to make a list and keep it in your wallet. In the event of an emergency, a hospital will need to know this information. If you care for anyone else, such as an aging parent or young child, make sure you have a list of their medications, too.
10. Break One Bad Habit
It can be tempting to try and overhaul your life all at once, but that method is rarely successful. Instead, focus on one bad habit that you could change. For example, give up eating sugar or cut dairy out of your diet. Try conquering one and not both at the same time.
11. Try Grocery Shopping Online
I haven’t tried this one yet, but I do buy most of my supplements online and other health items. You’ll save time because you won’t have to shop in a crowded market. Plus, you’ll find it’s easier to avoid the usual temptations that make you overspend.
12. Purge Your Pantry
If you’ve been waiting to start eating healthier, start by going through your pantry. Toss or give away junk food and any food that’s too old to be eaten.
13. Get a Physical
Seeing your doctor at least once a year is wise. It can allow him/her to spot potential health problems before they become life-threatening.
14. Use a Nutrition Tracker
A nutrition tracker can help you slim your waistline. It can also be helpful if you suffer from food sensitivities. Using one makes it easy to see how the various foods you eat are affecting your body. Two nutrition trackers that are free include Spark People and My Fitness Pal.
Organize Your Finances
15. Attend a Budgeting Webinar
Learning how to manage your money is a life-long process, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Attend online classes or webinars so you can make educated financial decisions.
16. Create a Birthday Category in Your Budget
It’s easy to overlook expenses like birthday gifts, cake, decorations, and parties. These expenses can really eat into your budget if you don’t plan for them. If you create a category now, you’ll be able to enjoy the celebrations during the year without it being a financial setback.
17. Keep Track of Important Receipts
Some items that you purchase for work might be tax deductible like work clothes or uniforms, on-going education classes, or membership fees to professional organizations.
18. Trim Your Budget
Cut unnecessary expenses like the magazine subscription you never read or the grocery store membership you don’t use. Keeping these expenses is like throwing money into your trash basket each month.
19. Put the Expenses to Better Use
Don’t just let your budget absorb your new savings. Be intentional with your money! An extra $20 a month toward your child’s college fund may not seem like much now but it will add up by the time they’re grown.
20. Use a Retirement Calculator
A retirement calculator can help you take a hard look at your money and to see if you’re truly prepared. You don’t want to have to skimp and live like a beggar during your golden years. So click the free retirement calculator here and start crunching the numbers.
21. Update Your Life Insurance
It’s important that you keep your information updated. In the unfortunate event something happens to you, you’ll want to know that your loved ones will be taken care of.
22. Consolidate Your Important Paperwork
Put all the important paperwork in one place. Many people have important papers like their house deed or car loan scattered throughout the house. Organize it all in one binder and it’ll be easier to find what you need.
23. Set Up Auto-Pay
Auto-pay saves you money because you’ll no longer have to pay late fees for the utilities or the water bill. You’ll also have one less task to complete each month.
24. Keep a List of Monthly Bills
Not every bill can be set up automatically. Create a list of the remaining ones and make sure a loved one knows where it is. They can keep the bills paid if there’s an emergency.
25. Have a Weekly Coupon Meeting with Your Family
Clip coupons and use the time to catch up with each other. You can clip them from newspaper. Let others know you’ll be doing this, and ask them to save the newspaper for you. (Or you can go online and print out coupons.)
26. Consider Buying Used Items
Ask yourself what you wouldn’t mind getting second-hand. For example, you may decide to buy a dining room set that’s been gently used and put the savings toward another goal, like going on vacation.
27. Consolidate Your Credit Cards
When you have multiple credit cards, you must keep up with many different balances, fees, and interest rates. Simplify your life by combining balances until you only have 1-2 credit cards.
28. Track Your Login Information
In case you need someone else to pay your bills, make sure you have the login information written down and easily accessible.
29. Break Down Annual Costs
Paying $600 per year in property taxes feels like a huge chunk of cash, especially if yours are due in January, just after the holidays. But when you divide the expense by twelve, you only need to set aside an extra $50 in your budget each month.
Organize Your Work
30. Create an Emergency Kit for Work
You’ll want to include things like a spare pair of glasses or contacts, painkillers, a lint roller, deodorant, travel toothbrush, mints, and hand sanitizer. These items can come in handy during your workday.
31. Clean Your Desk
If you have a lot of paperwork, file it away. If it’s no longer needed, toss it out. Then wipe down your desk with sanitizing spray to kill germs.
32. Make an Inbox
Now that your desk is clean, set up an inbox for all the loose papers and notes you may need later. Every Friday afternoon, review your inbox and make it neat again. Then you can start back on Monday feeling organized and in control.
33. Backup Your Data
If you work on a laptop or computer, make sure you have a backup system in place. You don’t want to lose all your projects in the event of a major disaster or computer virus. Two good options include Carbonite and BackBlaze.
34. Put a Trashcan Next to Your Desk
When you leave your workspace to throw something away, you’re breaking your flow of concentration and focus. Even worse, you risk getting distracted by a co-worker that needs help or a manager who wants a status report.
35. Organize Your Digital Desktop
Clutter isn’t just physical. It can also affect your digital workspace, too. Try to clean off your startup screen and keep only essential icons on your desktop.
36. Create an Archive
When it comes to digital files you no longer need, create an archives folder. Once a project is finished, move it into your archives. This lets you search for it later but keeps it out of sight so you aren’t distracted.
37. Clean Out Your Drawers
Drawers can quickly become a jumbled mess that makes it difficult to find what you need. Simplify yours by using a drawer organizer. If your drawers are deep, use small decorative baskets to keep them neat.
Tip for home: If you’re going to be chatting for awhile on the phone with a friend, pick a drawer and sort through it while you chat.
38. Take Everything off Your Desk
If you’re having trouble organizing your workspace, remove everything from it but the essentials like your laptop or fan. Put these non-essentials in a bin beside you. At the end of the day, look at the items that are back on your desk. These are usually the ones that are truly important. The other ones can be stored or moved elsewhere.
39. Use a Monitor Stand
If you’re having difficulty keeping your desk neat, you can add some extra space by purchasing a monitor stand. Look for one that comes with little drawers for storing pens, scissors, and other office supplies.
40. Try a Wall File Holder
If you don’t have a lot of space in your office, you can use a wall file holder. This is a simple way to create an inbox that won’t take over your desk.
41. Simplify Your Bulletin Board
Bulletin boards can be a handy way to store reminders, important policies, and other information you may need in the future. WARNING: Bulletin boards can easily become cluttered if you don’t remove outdated materials on a regular basis.
42. Let Go of Knick-Knacks
It’s natural to want to personalize your space. So, you add a picture of your kids, a mug your friend bought you, or a collection of cute, stuffed animals. But, adding too many personal effects can make your desk look cluttered, which can be a big distraction while trying to work. What if you displayed just one or two meaningful items instead?
43. Scan Your Records
Depending on the industry you’re in, you may be able to go paperless. You can do this by scanning documents and storing them on your computer or in the cloud.
44. Sort the Cords
Cords can cause an otherwise clean and tidy workspace to look disorganized and chaotic. You can take the cord madness by using a desktop cable organizer like this one (my referral link) on Amazon.
Organize Your Home
45. Write a Monthly Cleaning Schedule
It’s easier to keep your home clean when you have a schedule. This makes it easy to get tasks like washing your sheets or mopping the kitchen done regularly.
46. Sort Your Wardrobe
Donate items that don’t fit you anymore. You should also get rid of any clothes that you don’t use anymore (be honest…go through each piece). You want to stock your closet with pieces that make you feel fabulous inside and out.
47. Store Clothes that Aren’t in Season
Finding your cute sundress or favorite summer blouse is much easier when you don’t have four coats in the way. You can vacuum seal your out-of-season clothes so they’re easy to store and take up less space.
48. Designate a Special Area for Paperwork
Set up a small desk in a corner of the kitchen or living room. Reserve this area for paperwork you need to fill out like your Christmas shopping list, or that insurance form you need to mail.
49. Stock Your First Aid Kit
The last thing you need to be doing during an emergency is scrambling for medical supplies. If you don’t have an emergency kit for your home, this one (my referral link) on Amazon would be a good starter kit.
50. Create a Cleaning Caddy
Store all your cleaning supplies in it. Then when it’s time to clean a room in your house, you can simply grab your caddy and get started.
51. Make a Charging Station
Pick one area of your house for your charging station. Store all the cords to the various electronics in this area. You’ll never have to hunt for a charger again.
52. Get Rid of Old Cookbooks
Cookbooks often clutter kitchens and can take away your counter workspace. If you don’t want to throw them out, consider donating them to a charitable organization.
53. Design a Maintenance Calendar
A household maintenance calendar can keep you organized. Set reminders for a week in advance to know when it’s time to change the air conditioning filter or power-wash the siding.
54. Trash Old Makeup
Old makeup can harbor bacteria, which can give you a serious skin infection. Not only will your skin be safer, you’ll be able to find the products you use faster.
55. Hang Coffee Hooks
If you’re always losing your keys, install coffee hooks in your foyer. Store your keys on the hook so they’re always in easy reach.
56. Cull the Lids
If you have a cabinet filled with lids, you’re not alone. It’s easy to end up with extra lids that have no use. Throw them out or give them to your kids to use as cheap paint palettes.
57. Add a Basket to the Coffee Table
Tired of losing your remotes in the couch? Just store them in a shallow basket on your coffee table. You’ll never have to hunt for them again!
58. Use the Space under Your Bed
When it comes to items that go under your bed, store them in clear plastic containers. Make sure these containers are labeled and you’ll eliminate wasted time spent searching.
59. Add Extra Space in the Living Room
Get a few ottomans with built-in storage. Put board games, books, and other entertainment inside them. When you’re done, the fun and games can be neatly hidden away out of sight. (Another handy tip is to use a cedar chest for a coffee table so that you can tuck blankets or other items inside.)
Organize Your Car
60. Pack an Essentials Kit in Your Car
Staples that you’ll want to include: flashlights, an umbrella, paper towels, a warm blanket, sunscreen, bug spray, and feminine products.
61. Schedule an Oil Change
If you want to save more time, schedule all your oil changes for the year in advance. Add reminders to your calendar then you don’t have to think about it again.
62. Clean out Your Glove Box
Use a file organizer for those loose papers you keep in the glove compartment. This will make it much easier to find your information when you need it.
63. Add an Air Freshener
Pick a scent that makes you happy so you’ll smile when you get into your car. If you’d rather use essential oils over the many chemical-laden fresheners, you can shop for a car diffuser.
64. Use a Drop Stop
If you’re always dropping your phone, fries, or loose change beside your car seat, consider getting a Drop Stop (my referral link). This little invention has a low price point and prevents you from losing small items in your car.
65. Try a Shower Caddy
If you have kids in the backseat, you can easily create a storage system for them by getting shower caddies. Look for the ones that have suction cups. You can use these suction cups to attach the caddy to the car window.
66. Add Hand Sanitizer
Make a habit of keeping hand sanitizer in the car. Use it between running errands. It cuts down on the spread of germs, which makes you less likely to get sick.
67. Put Silicone Cupcake Liners in Your Cup Holders
This hack prevents your cup holders from becoming grimy. When the liners get dirty or sticky, take them out and wipe them down.
68. Make a Cereal Container into a Trash Can
All you need to do is add a plastic bag and put the lid on. Not only will your car by cleaner, but you’ll also cut down on bad smells from trash that you forgot to remove.
69. Stow Laundry Baskets in Your Trunk
When you’re done grocery shopping, put your bags in them. Then carry in the basket instead of making multiple trips.
70. Add Hooks to the Headrest
Hooks on the back of the front seat can be a lifesaver. Use these hooks to hang toys, purses, bags, and other items that need to be kept upright.
71. Use Empty Gum Containers
Slip a gum container in one of your drink holders. Fill it with loose change and you never have to worry about not having money for the toll booth.
72. Position a Purse Organizer in the Console
Use this area to store items you may need on the go like your smartphone charger, sunglasses, or earbuds. Best of all, you can easily grab it and take your item with you if you need to.
73. Hide a Mini Vacuum under Your Seat
To quickly and easily clean up small messes, hide a mini vac under your seat. Make sure to grab a vacuum that comes with a vehicle DC adapter so you don’t have to find socket. (I personally like keeping baby wipes to clean up messes or wipe my steering wheel clean.)
Organize Your Day
74. Read your Bible and Pray
I believe the most important way to start the day right is through reading our Bible and praying. If you’ll make this a daily habit, your day will go much better. We all have lousy days, but even those bad days will still be better than they would have been when you start the day off right.
75. Start a Gratitude Journal
Make it a habit to list 3 things you’re grateful for each morning. Not only will this practice make you happier, it can help you keep small irritants like slow traffic in perspective.
76. Know Your Top Three
Every morning, start out the day by listing the top three tasks that must be done no matter what. Then list the 3 tasks you’d like to finish next if time permits.
77. Plan Your Day Based on Energy
Traditionally you plan your day by time slots. But when you budget your energy instead of your time it’s easier to get things done. That’s because you’re leaning into your own natural rhythm.
78. Drink a Glass of Water
When you first wake in the mornings, you’re dehydrated from a night of fasting. To boost your energy and replenish your body, guzzle eight ounces of water first. (Tip: Adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice in your water will help detox your body in the morning.)
79. Get Completely Ready
If you work at home or spend your time caring for children, it’s easy to wander around in your PJs for most of the day. But getting dressed and ready for the day can make you feel motivated and energized.
When you’re feeling blue, take the time to journal. Sometimes, writing about your feelings can help you sort through them and come up with an action plan.
81. Skip the Smart Device
Checking your phone or tablet first thing in the morning isn’t very productive. It can cause you to run late getting to work and it can distract you from your goals for the day.
82. Do What You Love
Spend a few minutes each morning (or in the evening if you can’t squeeze the time in the morning) doing something you love. This can help you feel more balanced and motivated to be your best self. It’s easy to get burned out when life is all work and no play.
83. Straighten Your Home
Coming into a messy home after a long day isn’t fun or relaxing. Even small activities like stacking your dishes in the dishwasher or starting a load of laundry can keep things looking tidy. Tiny 5-10 minute projects can really add up over the day.
84. Create a Cleaning Playlist
Fill it with your favorite songs that make you feel encouraged and happy. This can make your housework feel fun and help the time spent cleaning pass quickly.
85. Make Your Bed
When your bed is made, your room looks cleaner. Plus, you’ll enjoy the feeling of crawling under the sheets when you go to bed at night.
86. Create a Morning Checklist
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the mornings, especially if it isn’t your best time of day. But the day can seem just a bit more manageable when you have a checklist that shows you exactly what to do next.
87. Organize a Hygiene Bin
Grab a cheap bin to store your personal care items such as your hairbrush, face cream, floss, and toothpaste. In the mornings, just grab your bin and get ready.
88. Review Your Long-Term Goals
Every morning, take time to review your long-term goals. Then glance at your to do list. Are the tasks on it getting you closer to achieving those goals?
Organize Your Digital Life
89. Unsubscribe from Non-useful Newsletters
If you’re subscribed to dozens of newsletters, they can really fill up your inbox. Make it a habit to unsubscribe from any newsletters that you haven’t opened and read in the last six months.
90. Unfollow Others on Social Media
If there’s a Facebook friend who can’t go five seconds without making a negative post on Facebook or sharing a dramatic post, you can choose to hide their posts from view — or unfriend them if this suits your situation better. You’ll be much happier without that drama queen clogging up your feed.
91. Follow Encouraging Voices
When you run across someone who inspires you, take a few minutes to look them up on social media. If they’re posting uplifting content, follow them so you can see that positivity in your feed!
92. Limit the News
You don’t have to live under a rock but you also don’t need to hear about every single disaster that’s happening around the world. Try to limit your news consumption to just a few minutes each day.
93. Use a Password Manager
Password managers simplify your life in a big way. You don’t have to remember dozens of accounts or waste time entering your login information on your various websites.
94. Delete Apps from Your Phone
If you haven’t used an app in a while, move it to a special folder. If it stays untouched for longer than three months, you can safely delete it.
95. Back up the Pictures on Your Phone
96. Turn off Notifications on Your Phone
Notifications are rarely productive and tend to interrupt you when you’re in the middle of important tasks. It can take you up to 23 minutes to get back on track after an interruption so just 3 notifications can cost you over an hour of your time.
97. Remove Old Friends
If you have friends on social media that you never talk to, don’t be afraid to remove them. Pruning your friends list periodically can help you identify who you truly want to engage with online.
98. Install a Clean Up App
Use an app like Magic Phone Cleaner to clear your cache, remove data you no longer need, and organize your files and folders. It only takes minutes to run and it’s free in the app store.
99. Sort Your Email
Before you leave work for the evening, take time to sort your inbox. Delete anything you don’t need and archive the ones that you do.
100. Clean out Your Bookmarks
It’s easy to have hundreds of websites bookmarked. While it’s not necessarily bad to have bookmarks, having too many can slow down your web browsing experience. Try to keep it simple by only keeping the bookmarks to sites that are important to you.
101. Delete Old Notes
It’s easy to add notes on your phone. A grocery list, a great quote you heard, an idea you want to use later… The problem is that it’s easy to forget about your notes until you have hundreds staring at you. Sort through your notes and delete the ones you don’t need anymore. (A great time to do this is while you’re stuck in traffic or waiting for an appointment at the doctors office.)
Removing unnecessary items from your life is one of the best ways to remove stress and find more time for the things you enjoy most. Once you get organized, staying that way is easy. Just spend a few minutes every day tidying things up and enjoy your newfound freedom.