This may be one of the universal struggles in life…clutter control. Whether you end up with it all over the house or try to corral it into a specific room, clutter still eats up you square footage, takes your time and in some cases even wastes your money.
Here are 10 quick tips to help you keep clutter at a minimum. If we can stick to these tips, we will see results. I say “we” because I have needs in this area as well!
1. Only buy what you need, with one back-up. Okay so maybe with batteries, you can have a few more than one back-up, but that might be about all.
2. Don’t bring home giveaways unless you will use them. Let the county fair keep all the free samples you don’t want.
3. Be kind to your adult friends and either give them what they will use (their favorite bottle of wine or favorite fragrance for their body or home) or give them something disposable (like soap, candle, gift certificate to a restaurant). We all have too much stuff to clutter others’ homes like we do our own. Maybe if you do this for your friends, they will do the same for you.
4. Find a home for everything. If something won’t fit, then get rid of it or get rid of something it can replace.
5. Organization is the key. Keep like items together in sensible locations. Be able to locate everything you have. This prevents you from buying things that you already own, but can’t find.
6.Before something comes into your house, think it through. Will you use it? Do you need it? Is it something that brings you joy to look at? If you can’t answer yes to one or two of these questions, then you may not need to buy it. Just because it is a good deal, you like it, it fits, etc. doesn’t mean you need to buy it.
7. Think about the amount of food you throw away. Do you buy more than you need or can consume in a timely fashion? Maybe we should be more European with our food purchases. We should buy what we need for the next day or two and nothing else (whether it is on sale or not). A few frozen and canned items can get us through in a pinch, but shelves and freezers full of stuff will likely go to waste.
8. Make a shopping list and only buy what is on it. Other items are impulse purchases and will likely not be needed.
9. Don’t shop for things you don’t need. If you don’t need clothes, don’t go to the mall or thumb through catalogs that come in the mail. If you don’t need dust collectors, don’t go to the antique or decorator store. If a catalog comes in the mail, throw it away before you even take it in the house.
10. Keep papers under control by throwing out junk mail as soon as it comes in. Scan documents you need to keep. Keep a notebook for taxes or other specific projects. Random pieces of paper, receipts, warranty information, and correspondence should be scanned and the original shredded or filed. Paper items can lead to a lot of clutter. Keep this in check.
Good luck redesigning your life to be clutter-free. I hope to get there myself!