Cutting Clutter: Prevention and Organization

Cutting Clutter: Prevention and Organization

Clutter grows with little notice. Organization and clutter control is one of those activities that requires a regular discipline. In terms of keeping your home clean, it is essential in terms of keeping things under control.    

A little time every week can help you keep the clutter under control.   Just pick a different room or two every week to spend 10-15 minutes eliminating clutter – items no longer needed, items in disrepair, clothes that don’t fit, etc. So, why does that affect how clean your home is?  Those items can accumulate dust and dirt and hide areas that also need to be cleaned.  

In a bathroom it may be mold and mildew flourishing under bath toys. In a kitchen, it may be grease or moisture trapped by small decorative items. Cleaning a home with lots of stuff takes significantly more time.

You get it, but now after months or years of clutter accumulation, you face a house cleaning of giant proportions that you dread facing. You can’t put it off any longer. If you have a spouse, roommate or kids, you might be lucky enough to share the enormity of this task. When clutter piles up in your home, your options include:

  1. Getting rid of it
  2. Organizing what you keep so it’s more manageable

Here are just a few tips we share with clients:

  • Organize room by room at the most, perhaps a dresser of overflowing drawers or a crowded closet. A big job is sustained by completing smaller jobs. 
  • Set a timer so you can motivate yourself to start knowing you are committing to only 10, 15 or 20 minutes.  If you decide to keep going – win!
  • Play some music.
  • Separate what you are going to keep, what you’re going to toss and what you can give to someone else, perhaps a charitable organization. In the keep group, subdivide into what stays in that room or closet and what belongs elsewhere.
  • Decide how many of a certain item you need. You’ve already read the book. Do you really expect to read it again? Are three tennis rackets necessary? Considering that you haven’t played tennis in years, do you need a tennis racket at all?
  • Belongings you want to keep but are not likely to utilize in the near future should be compartmentalized and labeled in containers in an accessible storage area.

Once you follow the room-by-room approach, you’ll be surprised by how a seemingly enormous cleaning and decluttering job comes together. And don’t forget that an ounce of prevention is a cure for clutter.