Piles everywhere! Despite our best efforts our clutter can get out of control until it seems as if it’s taking over our homes. A cluttered home can cause a lot of stress. How many times have you looked and looked and looked some more for something and not find it? Have you ever paid a bill late because you misplaced it? How about having to buy something you know you have but couldn’t find…only to find your original item weeks or months down the road? And sitting down with a glass of wine isn’t very relaxing if you’re kicking over stacks of magazines.
Tackling clutter and getting organized can seem like such an overwhelming feat that we don’t know where to start and keep pushing it off. Breaking down the process into smaller, more manageable steps can help you slowly – but surely – cut through your clutter and help you achieve the neat, organized home you’ve always dreamed of.
Tackle a Small Task First
Your home doesn’t become a cluttered mess overnight. It’s a newspaper here, a backpack there, some toys over there. It takes time to make the mess, so you need to accept that it will take some time to get through it, too.
When embarking on your de-cluttering mission, start with something small. Your kitchen might be making you crazy but what part of it is the worst? Did an overflowing drawer send you over the edge? Can you see your countertop under those piles? Start there and maintain your focus. De-cluttering something on a smaller scale will be easier to conquer and will give you a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to tackle the next task.
Set a Timer
You don’t need to spend 20 hours a day de-cluttering and organizing. You’ll be amazed at the progress you can make in 30 – or even 15 – minutes a day. Select a spot to work on and set a timer. From the second the timer starts until it ends, focus only on the task at hand. Don’t get distracted by the TV, phone calls, email, Facebook…you get the point. If you finish your task within that time move on to the next area and work on it until time runs out.
A Three-Pronged Plan
One of the easiest ways to sort through the clutter is to divide things into 3 categories: keep, toss, and give away. Have a garbage bag handy and put your trash right in. If you’re going to keep something, put it away immediately. For those things, you’re going to give away, put them into a box and out of sight. Not sure whether you should keep something? If you’re even debating it, is it really that important?
Give Everything a Place
Clearing through the clutter will make it easier to get organized, and one of the keys to organization is to ensure everything has a place. Make sure the storage spaces make sense and are convenient to where you’ll be using those things. If you need storage solutions, there are limitless ideas online. There are stores devoted to storage and organization, companies that can do it for you, and self-storage facilities that will be happy to rent you a space in which you can store your things.
Keep Clutter at Bay
Once your home is organized, you don’t want to slip into those old bad habits, and you don’t have to. After using something, put it away. And if you bring something new into your home, get rid of something old. Avoid the piles and enjoy your clutter-free home.