Need some simple clutter-busting strategies for to improve your home organization? Home clutter can be stressful and counter-productive, even for the most devoted packrats. Yet random items seem to pile up all over the place. How can clutter and confusion be transformed into organization and efficiency? Try these 10 tips for clearing clutter at home, aiming for simplicity without sacrificing treasured items.
1. Start small, de-cluttering one area at a time.
Clutter busting may sound like an overwhelming task, unless the process is broken down into manageable steps. Begin with one storage shed, one kitchen cupboard or one bedroom closet.
Here’s a warning about clutter busting. De-cluttering a home is inherently distracting. Once you begin sorting through the items in one spot of the home, it can be tempting to stop mid-task and start picking through clutter in another room.
Imagine finding a wooden spoon in the tool chest (Don’t even ask.). That leads to the kitchen, where a brand-new toothbrush peeks out from the cooking utensil drawer. Now it is decision time. Do you return to organizing the tool chest, continue in the kitchen, or start digging through the bathroom cupboard now? This is why dealing with clutter is daunting. It takes a whopping amount of focus and determination to stay on task.
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2. Gather all clutter in one central spot.
Focusing intently on a single area of the home, start gathering all clutter and disorganized items in one place (such as a clear counter, table, bed, or floor space. Empty all of those overflowing drawers, baskets, pockets, and trays.
Now you are ready to begin sorting the clutter.
3. Make five piles from random clutter.
This part is simple and actually can be a bit of fun. Set out five big boxes, bins, baskets, or shopping bags. Tag each of these containers with one of these labels:
Start poking through the big pile of random stuff you have collected, putting each item into one of the five containers. After sorting, you simply follow through for each of the five collections you have created.
Here’s a handy tip for de-cluttering, when it comes to selling and donating unneeded items. How about resolving ahead of time to donate any sale items that do not sell, whether in a garage/yard sale or in a consignment arrangement? Plenty of garage sale hosts schedule a Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army or Vietnam Veterans of America pickup at the end of the sale day for this reason. Others gather their unsold items at consignment shops and drop them directly at local thrift stores. Why bring unwanted items back into the home, once you have decided to part with them?
4. Consider re-gifting brand-new items.
Unused items, particularly those bearing sales tags and original packaging, may make suitable gifts for certain individuals. Give these away quickly, or store them with gift wrapping supplies for future use.
5. Obtain a set of attractive storage units.
Purchase a collection of sturdy storage containers that fit your home design style. Choose from wooden boxes, rattan trunks, plastic bins, clear cubbies, and cabinets, or other container systems. Label these clearly, so you will be able to find stored items easily when you need them.
6. Store items near in spots that make sense.
Why do useful items become mere clutter? Most often, this happens because we cannot find these essentials, so we go without or buy new ones. Suppose the resident neat freak stashes clutter in random spots, simply to remove items from sight, but his family members or roommates cannot find those things. How might that actually lead to increased clutter, when such goods are replaced, rather than located?
On the other hand, if items are stored in logical spots, they will be handy for efficient use.
7. Keep frequently used items close at hand.
Most home organization experts suggest storing tools and items used most often right in plain view. Hanging pot racks, spice displays, office supply caddies, and key racks are prime examples of such storage. If everything has a proper place within easy reach, clutter may be contained.
This is precisely why many parents wisely store children’s boots on waterproof trays and coats on rows of hooks by their back doors, instead of insisting kids carry these items through the house to the coat closet. Convenience streamlines home organization. It’s that simple.
8. Build a daily routine for keeping clutter at bay.
Clutter only becomes overwhelming, if it is allowed to multiply over time. Disorganization becomes disaster when it has time to breed. Performing a quick daily roundup of the home, either at the beginning or end of each day (and perhaps a more detailed de-cluttering every week or so), can go a long way towards keeping clutter from taking over the home.
9. Train each family member to organize his or her own belongings.
Even young children can learn to maintain their own toys, shoes, books, and other loose items. If each family member has simple storage solutions, ideally in his or her own room or designated section of the home, personal accountability can help to minimize the ongoing accumulation of clutter.
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10. Seek professional help, if needed, to manage clutter.
Some folks may simply find it impossible to deal with clutter on their own. Just as some hyper-organized neatniks may have trouble facing the slightest disarray, their cluttering counterparts may be positively pack rats. Home organization experts, custom closet designers, or even tough-love confidantes may be able to step in and help with either extreme.
For most, these 10 tips for busting clutter can work well, making home organization feasible and realistically maintained. The trick is to stick with it, keeping clutter under wraps as much as possible.