8 Effective Strategies for Fighting Clutter
To tackle the challenge of excess clutter, you need strategies that work. Here are eight proven ways to conquer clutter once and for all.
Piles of paperwork, children’s shoes, and an abundance of kitchen utensils might seem unrelated, but they share a common trait: useful when needed, burdensome when not. If the overwhelming presence of too many items is causing you stress, fear not. There are solutions for clutter. Here are eight practical solutions to address daily household clutter problems.
1. Prioritize Progress Over Perfection
Immerse yourself in the task at hand, doing as well as you can with your available time. Understand that perfect organization isn’t always possible immediately. Set up a temporary system, keeping in mind you can make adjustments in the future. The key is just to get the process going. This could simply mean starting with a smaller, more controllable task, like organizing a dresser drawer. Keep the focus on making progress rather than achieving perfection.
2. Make the Time
Dedicate specific time slots in your schedule, even if they are brief, for decluttering activities. Try this approach: Set aside 15 to 30 minutes each day for decluttering and challenge yourself with a timed task. See how many organizing activities you can accomplish within this time frame, such as sorting mail, rearranging a cupboard, or folding laundry. Knowing there’s a definite end to your allotted time can help you build momentum to finish a few tasks. To ensure you don’t forget, use an alarm on your phone or computer as a reminder to take on a particular organizing job.
3. Get an Accountability Partner
In case you have a plan in place but struggle sticking to your decluttering responsibilities, consider using a reward system. For instance, allow yourself a short nap after cleaning, or treat yourself to an attractive desk organizer once you’ve sorted through all your papers. Additionally, it’s beneficial to have a motivation buddy. Arrange a weekly meeting to discuss your decluttering objectives and how to achieve them. Having someone to be accountable to, especially a friend with similar objectives, can be a strong motivation.
4. Simplify Your Mornings
If you often spend valuable time each morning frantically searching for the things you need, consider adopting the “transfer basket” method. Use it to collect everything that needs to leave the house the next day, such as bills to mail, library books, and school assignments. Take this basket to your car each morning, and return it inside once you’ve completed your errands. This strategy can streamline your daily routine significantly.
5. Conceal the Clutter
If your home seems to look untidy despite your efforts, remember that while hiding all clutter isn’t feasible, managing it effectively is. Pinpoint the areas where clutter tends to accumulate and establish aesthetically pleasing solutions to contain it. For instance, use a bowl on the kitchen counter for keys, or a spacious basket near the entrance for shoes. Look for attractive folders at office supply stores to organize bills, and use fabric, wicker, or leather covered boxes that complement your home’s style to store other small items.
6. Get Closets Under Control
When your closets are crammed with a chaotic mix of stuff from around the house, it’s a good idea to strategize where to put them based on how frequently they are used. For items like yearbooks, children’s keepsakes, or seldom-used dishes, consider storing them on higher shelves that are less accessible. If your home has several closets, organize the items by their function. Incorporate a mix of storage solutions to maximize the efficiency of the available space.
7. Designate a Dinner Table Basket
The dining room table frequently becomes a hub for various family projects, but you can still maintain its primary purpose. Assign a specific bin for items that often end up temporarily on the table. This bin can serve as either a permanent storage solution or a means to transport items to their appropriate locations in the house.
8. Find Storage Furniture
It’s crucial to maximize the storage potential of your existing furniture. For example, a nightstand equipped with drawers is perfect for hiding bed and bath essentials. Similarly, a console table in the dining room can be an ideal spot for storing holiday dishes and rarely used china. There are also less obvious choices, such as beds with built-in drawers, ottomans featuring removable tops, or benches with cubbies below. When purchasing new furniture, prioritize items that offer integrated storage, ideally with closed compartments to keep contents out of sight.