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9 Practical Tips To Eliminate Clutter At Home
Clutter at home can really be an eyesore. And people usually handle this problem with either one of three ways.
- Major spring cleaning once a year
- Make maintenance a habit so that the place would always be neat and tidy
- Who cares?!
While sometimes, people really have no aesthetic issues with clutter at home, they might still have to manage it for reasons like preparing for guests, pest control, or simply because the wife demands it.
Whatever the case it is for you, if you have finally mustered up the courage to tackle this problem head-on, here are some practical tips to be as efficient and effective as possible.
1) Your way or the highway
Make a conscious decision to choose an outcome for each item you come across.
It’s either to keep it or lose it. And if you decide on the latter, then make a secondary decision to either throw it away or give it away.
Some people might actually value your stuff much more highly than you do.
For example charities might see your items having a role to play for those who are less privileged.
2) Are you sure?
While you try to be systematic in sorting out the mess, recognize that you are not a machine.
At the end of the sorting, go through the junk you’ve decided to dispose of again.
Some objects might have emotional or monetary value. This is time to give them a second chance at convincing you of their worth.
3) Get help
The best way to avoid letting emotions get the better of you when de-cluttering is to have someone else do it for you.
For example, you can ask your spouse to go through your stuff and you do the same for him/her.
This way, there is a lesser likelihood that you would keep some things that you really do not have a need for.
4) Get a partner
If you cannot handle the thought of having your wife throwaway your stuff, then how about having her assist you instead?
A task like this can be lonely. And sometimes an emotional roller coaster too as you start visualizing memories that accompany some timeless pieces.
You can be sure that a partner can use logic to debunk emotional attachment from time to time. Especially when she/he definitely wants the clutter gone by the end of the day.
5) Have a time capsule
It is almost certain that you would come across products or artifacts that you think you might still need… but have no use for them now.
In this case, prepare a box. Or a bigger carton instead.
Dump all the stuff that fit into the category of “I might need this in future” into the box. Then seal it and write an expiry date on top of 1 year from today.
If the date arrives and you did not open the box to retrieve something, it’s time for the WHOLE box to make a one-way trip to the dumpster.
6) No mercy for outdated publications
Magazines tend to have this weird aura of magnetism at home. They grow old and outdated. And continues to take up prime real estate in the house.
Maybe it’s because of their glossy lovely covers. Or how they make a place look more welcoming. I don’t know. It no coincidence that they tend to stay in a house for way longer than their expiry date.
If a magazine is more than 6 months old, make a conscious decision to discard them.
Newspapers should be gone after a month at the maximum.
7) If you are not getting it fixed, chunk it!
Everyone will probably have appliances or electronic items lying around that are no longer working.
And we continue to keep them around thinking that one day we might run into an emergency where we need to use them and can fix them impromptu.
Yet we have already bought replacements for them long ago.
Granted. Some items can be of value and can be fixed. But if you are not going to take action into fixing them, it’s time to say goodbye.
Let’s be honest here. If you have yet to fix them and already have replacements, the odds that you would eventually fix them are close to zero.
8) Hide the stuff that you absolutely must keep
It’s such an irony. A lot of times, when sieving through clutter, we find lot of stuff that must be kept. Yet we haven’t touched them for ages!
I can empathize with this.
In this scenario, store them in cabinets, drawers, under the bed, or even the garage. Just get them out of sight as the clutter is just a catalyst for stress to develop.
There are businesses now that provide storage space for rent. If your monuments are huge in size and there is simply no place to store them at home, consider using one of these services.
9) Take pictures
I’ve mentioned about things you don’t use but cannot afford to throw away. A cousin to this category of household items are things that you can ditch but still keep them for one reason or another.
Paperwork like receipts and bank statements are general items that fall under this category.
This is when the digital world can truly add value to your life.
Snap a picture of these items and then dump them. You get to see them whenever you want on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. And you free up space at home.
I truly believe that almost everyone would choose clutter-free over clutter on any day. Yet most household still harvest them like there’s no tomorrow. The biggest reason for this is that homeowners are unable to find enough motivation to take action.
I’ve had my encounters with this lifelong struggle. And will probably continue to battle it from time to time. The best absolute best tip I can give is to DECIDE to do it.