How To Stem The Clutter Creep, Once And For All
You’ve finally moved into your new home. Everything is spick and span, and the surfaces on your prized furniture are bright, gleaming and clutter-free.
A few weeks later, you’re picking things up from the floor and shoving things away, when you suddenly realise one thing: the clutter monster has crept back into your life.
We’ve all been there. It just seems that despite our best efforts to cut the clutter, it always has some magical self-resurrecting power to re-establish itself in our homes. If you’re starting to feel defeated by the C word, fret not – there are ways to stay on top of household mess.
Get to the root of it.
Understand why clutter happens. Everybody’s clutter is different and what we accumulate depends on what we like to buy. If we keep buying something but no longer have space to store it, it becomes clutter.
Your clutter could also come gifted from other people. Holiday presents and gift exchanges can result in unwanted stuff just sitting around because you feel bad re-gifting them. When you know where your clutter comes from, you can then take targeted steps to curb it.
Process things timely.
A knick-knack here and there is not clutter. Things only become clutter when they accumulate and take up space in a way that doesn’t serve the people living there. So don’t leave it to the last minute. Process mail as soon as they come in. Do the dishes within the same day. Teach the kids to put away their toys every evening.
You can also schedule a fixed time to sort through your clutter, such as once a month. Just like doing laundry, having a routine keeps incoming clutter manageable. If you have something that you can’t decide yet what to do with it, have a box to store it temporarily. But don’t forget to come back to it; that’s the point of decluttering after all!
Give yourself a set space.
Often, the first thought that comes to mind when we see our possessions overflowing is that we need a bigger house. Try this instead: take a look at your stuff and think of how you can cut the number down. You might be surprised at how much you can let go and the resulting amount of space freed up.
Setting a fixed amount of space for storage also works wonders. Much like a spending budget, knowing how much space you are allowed to use provides a reminder and helps to control what you bring into your home.
Keep. Toss. Sell. Donate.
Many of us hold on to stuff because we feel that it’s a waste to get rid of them. However, our possessions should add value to our lives. If it’s not doing that, then it’s time to think about relegating it to one of three categories: toss, sell or donate.
When sorting through your stuff, prepare four boxes labelled “Keep”, “Toss”, “Sell” and “Donate” and throw things in them as you go. At the end, toss out the “Toss” box and deposit the “Donate” box at your local thrift store or charity of your choice. Easy peasy and it’s a more painless process.
Tip: If you still feel the twinge from throwing away stuff, here are some eco-friendly decluttering tips.
Successfully eliminating clutter often requires a lifestyle change. Think about it – what you did in the past didn’t work in keeping clutter at bay, so something needs to change. Have patience, the clutter monster is a tough one. Don’t lose heart if you still see lingering clutter. Just keep going and you’ll see results very soon!
What sort of clutter is your biggest headache? Do you have tips to share with fellow homeowners on staying clutter-free? Share them with us on our Facebook Fan Page!