Nearly everyone is guilty of some amount of clutter in the home. You may not having a hoarding problem on your hands, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have at least one room in the house that is a catchall for all the stuff you’re not using (sporting goods and camping gear, holiday decorations, stacks of old tapes and electronics, etc.). And most of us have some level of clutter around the house in general, with magazines overflowing from bins simply because we don’t have time to read them, a perennial pile of dishes in the sink, stacks of mail and paperwork in the home office, and perhaps even a noticeable layer of dust on rarely cleaned shelves, picture frames, and other items. In short, clutter happens to the best of us courtesy of our busy lives and our consumer culture. But you can resolve to make 2013 the year you finally get a handle on all the clutter in your home and get organized for good. Here are a few tips to make it happen.
Image via: CDN Home-Designing
Set up a schedule for purging and organizing
For starters, you should consider setting up a schedule for both short-term progress and long-term maintenance. Considering a whole-house purge can be daunting, which is why you need to break it up into small, digestible pieces. So instead of setting aside an entire weekend to attack the entirety of the problem, why not devote one Saturday to cleaning the living room, the next to doing the kitchen, and so on until you have worked your way through every inch of the house? If you pencil it in on your calendar you can prepare yourself for the activity, both with plenty of trash bags and cleaning products, as well as a mental plan of attack. Although each room may take you the whole day, within a couple of months you will have completely cleared the clutter from your home. From there all you have to do is schedule in a light cleaning of one or two rooms a week to keep up with your new cleanliness and it won’t take you nearly as much time.
Organize your current items to make room for the new
Of course, you do need a plan of action to get through the initial push. If you’ve got a serious clutter problem your best bet is to get everything out of the room you’re cleaning. This way you can clear the cobwebs and start with a deep-down clean room as your base. But when it comes to putting everything back in, be selective. Throw out the stuff that’s trash (including anything that doesn’t work anymore and – be honest – you’re never going to fix). Then consider what you really use and what sits in a drawer year-round. Anything you haven’t picked up in at least six months can be donated (provided it’s still in usable condition). Keep the receipt; this donation is a write-off!
Image via: Birch and Bird
Then you just move the rest of the stuff back into the room, supplementing your storage with additional cabinets, shelving and bins, or other organizational tools for a clutter-free fresh start. Just about any self storage blog can help you find the products you need here. And instead of gradually letting the clutter creep back in until it once again reaches epic proportions, keep an eye on the situation and prune as needed. This will help you to avoid the hard-core clutter that left you in this mess in the first place.
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