Clutter seems to be an everyday occurrence somewhere in our homes. We live in a consumer driven economy and we’re bombarded with advertising to buy, buy and buy more. Managing these purchases requires organizing tips so everything has a home right away, or they might end up as clutter.
What makes clutter so challenging is the time we waste looking for things, and money we waste buying duplicates. When I was packing recently, I found myself guilty when not two, but three irons appeared in my quilt room, LOL. I gave away extra dishes, books, fabric and more, before packing to move. Paying almost one dollar per pound is a good motivator. It made me more conscious of avoiding the clutter in my new house too. As we’ve unpacked, my goal was to watch where piles began to grow.
Rather than fight the clutter, I decided it was time to organize the clutter so it’s easy to find things, and put them back.
1. A Box for Things You Don’t Want or Use
How many times do you say to yourself, I should get rid of this? But you don’t do anything until a neighbor organizes a garage sale two years later, and then you might not remember everything on your mental list because you’ve got too many lists in your head. My favorite new organizing tip is a collection box somewhere in your house. When you recognize something you don’t need or use, pick it up and put in in the box. Not only are you getting rid of visual clutter, you’re also clearing the clutter from your head. A lost and found box for all the things your kids friends forget, is also a good idea. It may take a while for the kids (or their parents) to remember to look in the box, but it shifts the burden from you to the owner of the lost items.
2. Out of the House and into the Car
The next best thing to putting things in your give away box, is moving them directly into your car. How often when you’re running out of the house, do you try and remember where the library books are hiding? or the boxes to mail? Try keeping a box (haven’t found my two-compartment, collapsible box yet) in the car for these things and leaving home will become much easier.
3. Out of the House with Everything you Need
How often are you a mile or more away from home, and realize you forgot ?x*#(%&? That’s where a set of hooks by the door makes a lot of sense. When my boys were little, we built a bench for them to sit on to swap boots for inside shoes, and we had hooks over the bench for jackets and backpacks. In Arizona I need help remembering to take a hat and water bottle, so they’re right by the door out to my car.
4. Avoiding a Cluttered Closet
While I don’t spend much time in my closet, I want to feel good when I leave so it helps if the time spent there is enjoyable. By using lots of hooks for things you wear more than once before washing, you can easily find … your pajamas or the pants you wore yesterday.
5. From Home Office to a Networking Meeting
When I leave my home office, where I go and what I do varies from lunch with a business colleague, to a photo shoot or networking meeting. Each requires different things, so I keep all my bags on the office door, to make it easy to grab, pack and go. My favorite bar of hooks costs about $10 and we’ve got more organizing ideas under $20. Sometimes you need to get more creative with storage ideas, so here are tips for Creating Storage Space Inside Your Walls.
Hope you’ve gotten some new organizing tips, and best of luck avoiding clutter in your home.