I know it can be a challenge if you have others in your household that insist on collecting “stuff”… LOTS of “stuff”. 🙂
Personally, the change had to start with me. Example speaks louder than words. I began purposely creating clean spaces around me and enjoying the pure “serenity” of my clutter-free zones. I think and focus better. (Ahhh… I just took a nice sip of my tea… things even taste better while sitting at a clean, clear organized desk.) 😉
This journey has been (and IS… since I’m still working on it) joyful to me… as I learn to become more of “minimalist” in my lifestyle. I no longer want to fall prey to the commercial ploy that MORE means BETTER.
LESS is now becoming MORE. I’ve recently given away over half of my clothes. Now, I’m enjoying all of my FAVORITE clothes every day because those are the ones I’ve kept. Choosing what to wear every day is now a cinch.
My kitchen thanks me too. It no longer harbors multiple items to dig through every time I want to find something. Of course, I’ve always kept a pretty organized kitchen…but now there’s a NEW improved version. Hurray! 🙂
CLUTTER has a way of taking over a home.
If you don’t address it and create a system to keep it controlled, it can become OVERWHELMING. (That’s why there’s so many home organization experts these days.) Well, you won’t need to watch a television show or buy more organization books to get control.
Here’s five tips and strategies for getting rid of the clutter:
1. Start fresh using the four container method. The four container method helps you clean any room and eliminate clutter. Start with an easy task like a closet. Create four containers. Label them: [keep] [toss] [donate] [sell]
NOTE: Be totally honest. Decide if you REALLY need that item. How useful is it? Is it worthy of taking space in your home?
*If you’re not interested in having a garage sale or consignment then use a three container system and eliminate “sell.” Make sure you have a place to put everything you keep.
2. Use a Three-Tiered system. A tiered system is a good way to organize rooms. It embraces the concept that the only thing that should be in sight are things you need often.
For example, in your living room you might need to keep the television remotes handy. Other things like DVDs can be second tier items which can be placed in a cabinet.
Use a three tier system…
First tier items should be within arm’s reach.
Second tier items can be in the same room but in organized cabinets or drawers.
Third tier items are items you don’t need often. For example, the warranty on your television or the operating instructions. These items don’t have to be in your living room. You can store them in a file cabinet in your home office or basement closet.
3. Assign labels. When organizing groups of items, it’s helpful to use labels. Label by category, date, or item. Use labels in your closet, refrigerator/freezer, pantry, and of course in your home office files. *Make sure your family understands your organizing routine and puts things back where they belong. (I know. That part can be a HUGE challenge, right? But it would take another whole entire blog post to cover that topic.) 😉
4. Use a Catch All Basket. To quickly clean a room, you can use a laundry basket to collect items that don’t belong in that room. For example, if you find a pair of socks or a book in the living room they can get tossed in the basket, and then you can easily carry your basket around to put things away.
Note: If the items belong to your kids, simply ask them to come get it and put their own things up. Don’t let them play and do other fun things if they haven’t picked up after themselves.
Making a good HABIT of putting things back where they belong prevents clutter from accumulating. (I do realize that life happens. It’s not always possible to have time to clear and organize DAILY. But, creating good habits of picking up after yourself and teaching your children to do so goes a long way in keeping your house in decent order.
5. Create Cleaning Maintenance Routines. Finally, consider creating cleaning routines. For example, make your bed first thing in the morning. Clear the kitchen of stray items before you go to bed. Wipe out your bathroom sink quickly after getting ready in the morning (makeup and hair may fall around the sink area, but it only takes 1 minute to quickly wipe and clean your sink.) To share a personal example: On Thursdays, I have a routine of cleaning old items out of my fridge and wiping up any crumbs or spills. It only takes about 15 min. each week to maintain a clean fridge.
Getting rid of the clutter is only the first step to an orderly house. Once clutter is cleared, create a system to keep it maintained. Designate specific storage areas. Create storage systems that make sense for your own household. Don’t buy more unless you’re willing to get rid of more. Make sure that everyone in your home is on board with your clutter elimination plan.
To your clutter-free success! Let me know how it’s going! I’m here to listen. 🙂