Cleaning House: Tips For Getting Clutter Under Control

If you are like many people, you have been telling yourself forever you need to get your house organized. The clutter kind of drives you mad, but you are so used to it, you don’t feel particularly motivated to do something about it. Not only does clutter make the home appear unattractive, it makes us feel anxious. It impedes the flow of energy through the home. If you are ready to do something about it, here are a few tips to get you started:

Start with What’s Going Right in the Garbage

Progress is a great source of motivation, and one of the best ways to kickstart your decluttering campaign is dive right into the items that are destined for the trash without question. No agonizing over items deciding whether to keep them, and where you will put things. Just a swift toss into the bag and you are done with it. You’ll feel you accomplished a lot in not so much time, which will spur your efforts.

Don’t Focus on the House as a Whole

When a big project lay before us, it can feel a bit overwhelming, and this often leads to the poor decision of just doing nothing. We don’t know where to start, so we don’t start at all. When you decide to get things in order, don’t think about the whole house. Just focus on one area at a time, kind of like tunnel vision. When you are tackling the spare bedroom, don’t think about what lay ahead for you in the basement, garage and attic.

Pencil Decluttering Time into Your Schedule

Writing out tasks makes us much more likely to do all the things we need to do; when our plans are just floating around in our head, we can feel a bit overwhelmed, and our efforts are scattered and inefficient. Make decluttering time official by writing it in your day planner, on the calendar or on your to-do list. Set a specific time you will do it.

Schedule smaller chunks of time at first, maybe like 15 or 20 minutes. As you feel more motivated, you might commit to a whole Saturday. And naturally, when you feel the urge and have momentum, just go for it.

Make Sure Everything Has a Space

If you don’t find a space for everything, you will eventually fill all that cleared out space right back up—all those messes will just grow back. Make sure everything has a space. Consider getting fitted shelving units to house items you use, like books and any knick knacks you with which you don’t want to part in your living room, bedroom or other living spaces. Invest in some storage bins. Designate drawers to house specific items.

Keep on Top of Things

A cluttered home doesn’t just become that way overnight. It developed over a course of years as more and more stuff entered the house. Now that you have cleared the slate, it is up to you to keep things in order. The best way to do this is to make decluttering a regular part of your routine. Once a week, go through the mail and get rid of the junk. Think carefully before you buy something—will you use it enough to justify the purchase? Do you have somewhere to keep it? Regularly go through your closet and donate items in good condition that you no longer wear. Trash the rest.