Tuesday, November 10, 2009

beat clutter forever

Most people assume that my home is perfectly organized all the time. However, that's not entirely true! Yes, my house usually looks presentable because I keep my kitchen and living areas picked up. And I don't think I could sleep in a messy bedroom, so I don't let clutter pile up in there either. But just like you, I have clutter. Why? Because clutter happens. It's a natural byproduct of our busy, productive lives. Luckily, you don't have to stop everything to get organized. You just have to start somewhere.

Here are a few things I do to keep my home free from clutter.
  1. Start with the easy stuff first: Walk through each room in your home and get rid of any trash and/or recycling. Then do a second walk-through and fill as many bags as you can with items to donate. You don't need to organize anything yet, just get rid of the stuff you don't want, need, use, love, etc.
  2. Set small goals: do one cabinet, drawer, file at a time. Give yourself 15 minutes and see how much you get done. I honestly don't organize for hours on end (I don't have that kind of time either!) But I do have 15 minutes here and there...and I get a lot accomplished in those few moments.
  3. Give everything a home: if an item does not have a home, it is clutter...period. If you can't find or create a home for a particular item, get rid of it, or get rid of something else to make space!
  4. Give yourself permission to let go: If you only had 10 minutes to grab your most precious belongings...what would you grab? Think about this as you look around your house. Make the decision to only surround yourself with items you love. Let the rest go!
  5. Pay special attention to clutter hot-spots: You can't hide all your clutter, but you can contain it. Figure out where your clutter seems to collect and set up attractive ways to deal with it (large baskets for shoes, nice bowls for key, etc)
  6. De-clutter daily: It is always easier to keep up than to catch up. Get in the habit of spending 15 to 20 minutes at the beginning or end of each day doing some daily de-cluttering. Quickly walk through your kitchen and living areas and your clutter hot-spots and clear the clutter. Your home will always look presentable and you won't have massive organizing projects later on.
  7. Don't let it come into your home: Think twice before you let something come into your home. Conciously think of where this item will go, where will you store it, do you really need it? If you never take it into your house, you will never need to organize or clean it later on!
Follow these simple steps and your house will be clutter free year round!

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