The Clutter Reduction Plan

Need to get your home organized? Try these ideas for cutting the time you spend on life’s unavoidable chores-leaving you more space for the things that really matter.

The Clutter Reduction Plan

Clear out the clutter

Constantly negotiating around the clutter in your home wastes time.

  • Identify your clutter problem areas and deal with them one by one.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. Go into one room and identify a problem area, then work on it, or even just a section. If the whole wardrobe needs sorting, start with the sock drawer. If the kitchen looks like carnival night at the tip, clear one drawer or cupboard at a time. Time yourself and devote an hour or so per session to the task, until it’s done.
  • If you’re not sure whether to keep or throw away something, ask yourself: Do I really want or need it? Is it in good order? Have I used it recently? Will I miss it?
  • Be ruthless. Haven’t worn that skirt for 12 months? Give it away. Do you hate the Eiffel Tower doorstop your aunt gave you for Christmas? Take it to a charity shop.

Tackle the hotspots

Clutter can sneak up on you-one folded newspaper in the corner quickly becomes ten.

  • If paperwork is your weakness, get a filing system and create a separate folder for bills due, bills paid, banking, tax documents, receipts, appliance instructions etc, and file them each day.
  • Try to be realistic about recyclables: keep a few empty jars or takeaway food containers, not hundreds; one or two carrier bags or padded envelopes, not piles of them.
  • Not all clutter is obvious. It can be hidden in garages and cupboards. Recognise clutter hotspots and give them regular attention.
  • If you’re a hoarder, get organised about your storage and display systems, so that what you keep is not filling up your living space.
  • Once you’ve got your clutter reduced, stay on top of it. All you need to do is spend a few minutes every day returning things to their proper place – this is now simple tidying, rather than de-cluttering.

Sort, store and toss

Sort clutter into labelled cardboard boxes. Try this:

  • Box 1 – Everyday things that need to be put back in their place.
  • Box 2 – Things to be given away or recycled.
  • Box 3 – Items that you don’t need every day, but need to store.
  • Box 4 – Anything that can be categorised as “absolute rubbish”.
  • Box 5 – Items you simply can’t decide what to do with.

Put everything in Box 1 back where it belongs, take Box 2 to a charity shop, label and decide where to store Box 3 and dispose of the contents of Box 4. Now go back to the contents of Box 5 with a newfound zeal and make a decision.

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