10 Commandments of Clutter Control
Most of us just have too much clutter and junk in our homes.
Clutter allows dust, dirt, grime, germs and allergens to accumulate in our homes, creating a potentially unhealthy environment. It is also visually unappealing, and gives off negative vibes.
Congratulations on your new commitment to living a clutter free lifestyle. You'll feel better, more relaxed and can enjoy your free time once everything has been put into its proper place.
Here are my 10 commandments to use to get your clutter under control.
1. Don’t Procrastinate:
You must start by building good habits.
Stop putting off until tomorrow what you can do today, especially when you know you probably will not do it tomorrow!
There is simply not enough time in the day to effectively keep the clutter at bay with work and family requirements. If you add the habit of procrastinating when dealing with your clutter into the equation, you will just create a larger problem.
Make the hard to make decisions today. Set aside 15 minutes each day to deal with 1 new area of your home.
It's okay to take baby steps!
2. Stop Making Excuses:
No more excuses!
It has to be done and you know it. The clutter is not going to go away by itself. 15 minutes a day is all it takes to make a significant impact on clutter control.
Pick just one small area of your home, it could be just one kitchen counter, and tackle the problem.
You can do this and permanently keep the clutter away, have the confidence in yourself.
3. Use It or Get Rid Of It:
When you’re not likely going to put an item to use or if an item has never been useful to you or the family, get rid of it.
If you are really not sure if you are going to use the item, try boxing it up in a clearly labeled box, and store it in your attic or garage.
If six months go by, and you still haven’t had a need for the item, you can recycle it or give it to a charity.
If an item does not enhance your life in some way and you can’t remember why you bought it- move it, recycle it or give it away.
4. Let It Go:
As our lives change, our needs change. Learn how to let it go.
Somehow though, things that you've used accumulate. Nick-knacks, do-dads, mementos and plain old junk clutter our living space with no regard to the changes we've made in our lives.
Clutter which takes up valuable space and gives us nothing in return; except stress and anxiety, should be tossed out or given away.
I know it's hard.
If it hasn't been used or touched in years, ask yourself if someone else can benefit from it. It makes it easier to let something go.
5. Give It Away:
Give your unwanted and unneeded items away when they are not being used.
Friends, relatives and charities can all benefit from your unwanted clutter and someone else will appreciate them.
6. Set Limits for Storing Things- If You're Over Limit, Redo #5:
Limit the amount of space you are willing to allocate to clutter.
Just because one space fills up does not mean that you should find or buy more space. It means that it is time to weed out the clutter and reclaim the space you already have.
7. First In/First out (FIFO):
Manufacturing companies do this to reduce clutter and waste and you can too. If something new comes in, something old goes out. It keeps things fresh, new and reduces waste and stops clutter from accumulating.
Use FIFO for everything– from clothes and toys to books, magazines and other clutter. Remember the limits you have set and stick to them. The whole family will benefit.
8. Less is Really More:
The less clutter you have means more time, money and energy for yourself and other family members. Remember not everything has to go, be realistic.
After you have organized and de-cluttered your home, reassess your space a couple times a year.
9. Everything Has A Proper Place- Find It:
Once you have decided where things will go, keep everything in its place. Don’t bring new items into your home without having a very clear idea of where the item’s home will be.
If you don’t have a specific need, don’t bring it home at all. Find a place for the things you are keeping and that you use, and keep them there!
10. Stay on Top Of It or Ask For Help:
Now that you have organized all your clutter and you’ve vowed to keep everything in its place, don’t compromise when it comes to keeping your home clutter free. Stay strong, and keep on top of it.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.
Most family members or good friends are more than willing to pitch in if you need them to.
Great Job! Now You Can Relax:
Now you must be feeling very proud of yourself, and you should too. A good decluttering/organizing session takes longer than just cleaning the area but the benefits are larger and last much longer.
I have found after years of living with a neat freak that hates knick knacks, and clutter that I prefer the less is more approach too.
It looks clean, it's easier to keep clean. While I do have my precious knick knacks boxed up or in another section of the house, I do prefer the neat clean and tidy route. You will too.
Put your feet up, relax, and congratulate yourself on a job well done. I'm proud of you too.
Image courtesy of It's Greg, CC BY-ND.