Do you spend significant time in your home looking for missing items? Then you buy a replacement and several months later find the item in a pile on a chair in the dining room or stuffed in a cabinet? If you answered yes, then you have too much stuff and it is time to declutter! How much time and money are you wasting by procrastinating? The answer is; many hours of your precious time and significant amounts of money replacing what you cannot find. This doesn’t even count the frustration you experience every time you run into this situation.
Start with 5 easy tips that will make you happier as well as declutter and organize your space.
- Mail, Newspapers, Magazines – Sort then Purge, or File! Go through every pile and sort important mail (bills, letters etc.), toss junk mail, magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. In less than 60 seconds decide whether to keep or toss each item you sort. Put the keepers in one central area; important mail in an easily accessible place, magazines where you do your reading and when next month’s copy arrives remove the old one. Newspapers should be recycled daily or at least once a week.
- Clothing and stuff on chairs – Go chair to chair and take everything off. Sort, purge or put away! If it is no good, too small, or trash, throw it away or donate it. Have a bin designated for donations and put the item in the bin. Once a month make the donation. Put away good clean items in a closet, drawer or shelf. Hats and gloves go in a basket and boots placed on a mat or tray. This eliminates dumping on chairs throughout the house.
- Laundry piles – Eliminate piles of laundry by sorting, folding, and putting everything away as you take them out of the dryer. If space permits, have a counter or table in the laundry area for folding and sorting. If no space, bring the laundry to your bedroom, fold and sort then put folded items in a basket and on hangers (tied with a twisty) for each family member for pick up or delivery.
- Jewelry, pocket change – Collect jewelry, loose change, lipstick and makeup from depositories around the house. Jewelry should be kept in one designated area, usually a box or drawer. If you have one ear ring, find the match and pair them together. Find a spot and container for pocket change and always put your change there. Become a creature of habit and faithfully deposit your jewelry and pocket change in the designated areas and you’ll always know where to find your favorite pair of ear rings or change to tip the delivery person.
- Makeup, perfume, and lipstick – Keep cosmetics wherever you put them on in the morning. You might want to keep a lipstick in the kitchen or the downstairs bath for a quick touch up, but that should be it. Purge any open makeup and lipstick containers have not been used in six months. Make a habit of tossing old makeup when you buy new. Nail polish and manicure kits should be kept in a spot that is convenient and accessible and put away when finished.
These are few things that when left around day after day without putting them away, will pile up, and drive you crazy with clutter. The longer we leave them piling up the more overwhelmed we become and eventually we are paralyzed and don’t know where to begin. Let’s nip this in the bud before it becomes a huge problem.