The clutter in your home can be doing more damage than you think. Studies show that home clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on. It inhibits creativity and productivity by invading the open spaces that allow most people to think, brainstorm, and problem solve. Clutter frustrates us by preventing us from locating what we need quickly.
Fortunately, unlike more commonly recognized sources of stress, such as our finances or jobs, clutter is one of the most manageable life stressors to fix. Here are some of my favorite tips:
Stay out of the stores!
Whenever you’re shopping out of boredom or as recreation with a friend, you may be influencing impulsive buying. Often our clutter is stuff we never needed in the first place.
Create A Pending Folder.
A pending folder helps you clear off your space while at the same provides you with a readily accessible folder to centralize and quickly locate pending projects.
Create A Home For Essentials
Everyone needs a place to set their keys, wallet, purse, backpack, and phone when they walk in the door. Storage essentials at every entry point to the home will keep us on time for work because these items will no longer get misplaced in your home.
Don’t buy things you’ll only use once.
Many things can get rented or borrowed if they are only needed once or temporarily. Kitchen gadgets, party tables, party chairs, tools, formal wear, and some appliances fall into this category.
Buy organizers and belongings with multiple functions.
A blender that doubles as a food processor take up less space than two separate appliances. A message station with hooks for keys and a shelf for miscellaneous items serves more than one function, which saves space.
Refrain from collecting an abundance of promotional material from events.
T-shirts, water bottles, keychains, pens, and so on are popular giveaway items that many companies use. These can be unnecessary clutter we unknowingly bring into the house.
Be mindful not to keep comforters, curtains, shower curtains, and rugs after you redecorate. Your linen closets are busting at the seams already! The same goes for the old toaster you’ve kept after you replaced it with the one you wanted. The base cabinet shelf is not meant to store your old toaster for eternity!
Devise ongoing exit strategies to prevent clutter formation.
- A donation bag on the floor of your closet will help you take off the stained shirt or out-of-style vest from the hanger. Don’t wait until your hanging rod snaps in half before you declutter your clothes!
- Every month, go through the house with a trash bag and get rid of garbage. Some of the best items to search for are expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, old make-up, magazines, ripped towels, expired foods, and burnt out light bulbs.
- Return things immediately by taping the receipt to the item and place it in the passenger seat of the car.
- Put things back right after you use them and make sure they have a logical home. It may seem easy in theory to tidy up at the end of the day, but it takes discipline.
Get rid of old music & movies
If you have an instant movie streaming account, you can probably watch any movie you also happen to own on DVD. Collections of hard copy movies and music are space hogs along with the machines used to play them.
If clutter has invaded your house, don’t tackle the job alone. Everyone in the house can be responsible for their things to declutter. You can also hire a professional home organizer. NAPO (The National Association of Productivity Organizers) is a professional group of home organizers that are trained to do the job for you. Look for a chapter in your area.