We all thrive to live in a neat and organized house – but decluttering a whole house seems to terrify all of us. Where do we even start? Some have solved this problem, by simply having fewer possessions – less to clean and organize means less stress. If you’re not sure how to begin, start sorting through items in a particular area and getting rid of stuff you don’t need when you start each room. That way, you will maybe get some new ideas on how to organize each room. The decluttering task doesn’t need to be as painful as some make it out to be. Actually, there are a variety of people who have come up with some pretty fun ways to get started.
Keep counters clear
Avoid leaving random items on top of counters and other flat surfaces. Clutter is like a magnet – as soon as you put one thing, it will only attract more. Dirty dishes piling up is a big no-no – as soon as you finish using them, they go right into the sink/dishwasher. Same goes for anything else. Unless that item is used every day – like a coffee maker – keep it a no-clutter zone.
There’s a place for everything
Forget about the “junk drawer” – it is a thing of the past. You need to create defined space for all the things. Most of the people who have clutter problems usually have it because they’re not sure how to find a clear place where something belongs. You need to assign specific places for every item, and if there’s no place for an item, then it’s doomed to turn into clutter. Find a specific place for loose change, keys, remote controls, office supplies, or even sunscreen. Do your children struggle with keeping their rooms clean? Help them find the right place for their toys/belongings as well.
Give away one item a day
Another solid advice is to try to find one item every day which you don’t need and give it away, throw it or donate it. You’d be surprised after a while how much clutter you’ve actually cleaned out, and your home organization will drastically improve after that. Strive to keep what you consider to be truly beautiful and/or useful in your home. Otherwise, it’s just using up space.
One in – one out
If you have limited storage it’s especially important to not consistently accumulate more than you can put away. Implement the ‘One In, One Out Rule’. When you purchase something new or when a family member is given gifts on special occasions; make an effort to remove a similar item you already own. Resolve to declutter the common living areas of your home every evening (perhaps a few times a day if you’re living with small children).
If you didn’t use it for 6 months…
Anything that hasn’t been used in over six months in your home needs to be gone. That includes all gadgets, sports gear, or anything you can accumulate in your garage (let’s face it, that room is the most likely to become a big clutter mess). Remember those skis and other gear you bought 6 years ago? Out. Self storage professionals point out that by decluttering your garage you’ll have more space for improvements in your own home because there will be more storage area available. Of course, if you don’t feel like giving away some of the seasonal things, you can put them in storage.
Fill one trash bag
Early in our journey towards simplicity, one of the simplest decluttering techniques is to grab a simple large trash bag and see how quickly you can fill it. Although much of what you collect may be trash, you can also use this strategy to fill the bag for charity, and donate some things to the less fortunate.
No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it’s the advice from here or something you’ve heard from a friend – the goal is to take your first step and finish the job. You too can have an organized home with a little effort and creativity. There is a beautiful world hiding behind that clutter. How you remove it is up to you.