Never before have we had so much stuff! With the rise of American Consumerism, we’ve been advertised to and conditioned to buy the latest, greatest, grandest, most improved and newest version of the latest gadget or product only to relinquish the old outdated one into the basement, attic and garage or crammed into the closet to become clutter.
The need to de-clutter has left many home owners overwhelmed with the prospect on how to manage all their stuff.
The most common challenges can be addressed with some simple processes and principles that will help to keep your home organized, clean, neat and tidy.
Before you can clear clutter out, you have to stop it from coming in
Many people think they’re disorganized because they don’t have all the proper containers and organizing products. Before running out to buy bins and baskets, containers and hooks, first assess your needs and sort through your stuff. Determine what and where you’re going to store it, then measure your spaces and buy only what you need.
All those new products and containers you’re not using just end up adding to your clutter.
A common complaint from all my clients… Too much paper
Whatever happened to the digital revolution and the prospect of a paperless society? With more and more people using digital and electronic media, you’d think paper would have gone the way of the Dodo bird. It’s not that they’re unfamiliar on how to use technology, but the tangent feeling of paper makes them feel secure and their afraid to get rid of it. Most likely 90 percent of the papers you keep, you don’t need. And if someday down the road you need it, it’s available digitally and electronically. To control clutter, it’s essential to keep weeding out paper every single day, whether its magazines, catalogs, junk mail, receipts, or anything else that’s paper based.
Holding on to the past is akin to an anchor holding you down
It’s common to keep certain things for sentimental reasons, but, if you really love that collection from your Grandma or that handmade heirloom quilt, don’t let them get ruined, mistreated or moldy resting in cardboard box somewhere in the basement or attic! Honor your memories and favorite keepsakes by getting them out and using them. You’ll enjoy them more when you can cherish them in a manner they deserve. Also recognize it’s the memory you cherish, not the item and if space is a limitation, then you can take a digital picture of it and donate it to someone who actually has the space for it and who will love it as much as you.
If you don’t love it or use it, loose it!
The greatest way to get more time in your day? Schedule everything onto your calendar
Maximize your time and get more things done. Scheduling events and activities onto your calendar is common, but if you really want to get more done in less time, use your planner or calendar for every task and appointment you need to accomplish. Even the most mundane things like errands, shopping and picking up the dry cleaning should be scheduled. When you take the time to prioritize these things, the more important they become and the more prone you are to act on them in a timely manner. If it’s not on your schedule, it becomes clutter.
What about your need for extra storage space? You can always rent a storage unit
You need to question yourself on why you’re keeping all the things you’re never using? Is it because you might need it someday? Or you paid good money for it? We’ll, the reality is you’ve got your money’s worth from it. And if you need it someday into the future, most likely what you have today in the present time, will no longer be applicable to tomorrow. For the price of the annual rental fee on a storage unit you can afford to buy it if you need it!
Your goal should be to remove the clutter, not create more storage space for it.
My biggest secret?
Do it now! Don’t procrastinate! If you consistently postpone doing things now, it eventually adds up and you’re now looking at several hours to clear away your clutter, which would have only taken a couple of minutes before. It’s common to set things aside and say to yourself “I’ll get to it later”. And when does “later usually arrive?” Next week? Next month? Or perhaps next year? The busier you are the less time you’ll have later and that’s how clutter builds up. Develop a habit of doing things right away and putting things away as soon as you’re done using them.
Last but not least keep it simple! Practice the K.I.S.S. principle and do what works for you. Naturally.
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Be sure to check back next month for another invaluable tip to help you live with less stress and more success!