5 Tips for de-cluttering

Now that the weather is (finally!) colder, I'm spending more time inside and noticing how quickly clutter is accumulating, so I'm putting some new habits on my calendar, and thought you might want to see if any of these would work for you!

5 tips for a decluttered lifestyle

In order to conquer clutter you have to exercise your de-cluttering muscle’ on a regular basis. You can slow down clutter if you can incorporate some new habits that will help keep clutter form accumulating in the first place. But, clutter happens, and it’s best to embrace it and have regular, small-scale de-cluttering be part of your weekly schedule rather than an emergency procedure which can feel overwhelming. Like starting an exercise routine, you’ll soon see small changes turn into big ones -- you just need to start with practicing a few new habits and getting them on your schedule (just like visits to the gym!).

Paper clutter:

As soon as you bring mail in the door, open all envelopes, sort into piles for the recipients, and put all empty envelopes and junk mail into the recycling. If you have a few people in your home who receive mail, create an inbox for each person.

Daily

Clothing, toy and book clutter:Keep a bag in your closet for charity, and place any thing that is unused, unworn, or unwanted as you come across it into the bag. Then, schedule a monthly family ‘run’ to the charity of choice.  This goes for books and toys as well. For daily clothes, put everything in one place and create a regular daily time to get everything hung up and put away. Once a month donation run / Daily clothing management

Drawer clutter: 

De-cluttering one drawer is very satisfying and a great confidence booster to move forward toward a de-cluttered lifestyle. Imagine if you took on just one drawer or small area per week what a difference it would make! First, take EVERYTHING out of the drawer. Throw away the obvious, then sort into piles of items you use often, seldom and never. You know what to do with the never items -- toss. The items you use most can go back in the drawer grouped by category using dividers, labeled containers, rubber bands, or any other system that is a good fit. Put largest item in first and work in the smaller ones. Package seldom-used items in a labeled container and put in a long-term storage area (like a high shelf). Once a week.Counter clutter: Do a sweep of each counter, categorizing items by what room they go in. Then, take the piles to each area. When you are done, go room to room to place the items in their rightful homes. If you have had ‘decorative items’ on a counter for some time, put them away for a week and see if you miss them or if you’d like to switch up the display. It’s easy to ‘stop seeing’ things in your own home and can be very calming to clear the space. Once a week.

Leaving things around as reminders clutter: 

This is a big one for me -- I think I’ll get it done faster if I leave out papers, tools, catalogs, etc. It doesn’t work! Pick ONE reminder system and stick with it. You can use a notebook (just one!) or a web-based system, like http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ or teuxdeux.com which you can set as your browser homepage. Try to get this into your Daily routine.

Hope this helps, and let me know what your design challenge has been so I can answer it next time!