With the weather changing, do you find yourself spending more time in-doors? Why not take this opportunity to “de-clutter” all the junk that accumulates in our cars, closets, kitchen tables, bulletin boards, or desks! Here are just some of the benefits of de-cluttering your home: more space, less stress, a sense of helping others, saving time, and saving money.
Having everything in its place and organized allows you to concentrate more on your family, friends, hobbies and work. Some people really thrive on being “cluttered” but it would drive me crazy. I am a big believer in clearing out clutter in order to manage my life.
Here are 10 ideas for de-cluttering those problem areas:
1. 1. Start small. If you have trouble because you are overwhelmed with the amount of “stuff” in your home, try doing just 10 minutes a day of purging. This is the system I have suggested ; spend a few minutes each day just doing a single pile or filling up 1 trash bag and taking it downstairs. It makes the process way more manageable and less scary.
Purge twice a year – Make it a point to spend a day or two twice a year doing nothing but purging. Normally I end up doing this myself, but it would go faster if my family wanted to play along. But then again, I am the one with the need to de-clutter!
3. Prioritize “Essential Items” and “Wants.” Don’t let clutter inside in the first place by saying “no” to swag bags and free item giveaways, and refrain from purchasing “knickknacks” that just take up space and get broken later.
4. Junk in the Trunk. Every time you leave your car, look around to see if there is any trash that needs to be thrown away, and don’t forget about clearing out the trunk!
5. When you buy a product, buy a multi-function version. A coffee maker that both grinds the beans and makes the coffee. A remote control that runs your TV and your stereo. A blender that is also a food processor. By combining these type of goods, you can reduce the amount of “stuff” you have to find a place for.
6. Clothing: Ask yourself these questions. Does it fit anymore? Have you worn it in the past year? Is it in style? Is it comfortable/flattering? Can you actually see yourself wearing this anywhere? If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, throw the item(s) into a box for donation.
7. Reduce “Recreational Shopping.” Regardless of our best intentions, we will typically purchase something we didn’t intend when we partake in “retail therapy.” Instead, shop with a list of your needs, and refrain from any deviation...regardless of how good the “50% Off Sale” signs look.
8. Unsubscribe from magazines, catalogs, etc. Utilize your local library: for magazines, newspapers, and books. Switch to reading newspapers online and receiving paperless bills/bank statements via email.
9. Recycle/Donate old electronic devices and their chargers. Try to sell it on Craigslist, Ebay or Amazon.
10. Use the Clutter Emergency Card. When you’re having difficulty deciding what to get rid of, ask yourself the questions on the Clutter Emergency Card.
How long has it been since I used this?
Do I like it?
Does it work properly? - Is it broken?
Do I have more of this kind of thing? How many do I need?
If I keep this, what will I get rid of to make room for it?
Can I locate this information somewhere else (probably on the Internet) if I need it?
"The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are."