Many people are natural hoarders. They collect tons of items for which they do not have room, and, as a result, their environment becomes uncomfortable to live in. While you may not be a severe hoarder, you may be living in enough clutter to interfere with your productivity and happiness. Learn how to declutter quickly so you can become more efficient and enjoy a beautiful and neat home.
Clear out your storage spaces first. These include garages, attics, storage buildings, and closets. Designate three areas labeled “keep,” “donate,” and “trash.” Sort out all the items in the area. Be ruthless about what you throw out. Discard anything you have not used in more than a year. Strongly consider getting rid of anything that is in need of repair.
Clear off surfaces such as countertops, tables, desks, and furniture. Carry a trash bag with you and throw away unnecessary papers and other items you do not need. Sort items you intend to keep so you can keep like items together. Store items you do not use daily in the back of closets, the attic, or storage building. Save your garage space for your automobiles.
Go through your kitchen and discard all expired items. Start with your refrigerator and freezer before progressing to your cabinets or pantry. Check items such as spices for “best if used by” dates. These items are often overlooked when purging.
Invest in a paper tray and filing cabinet. Paper tends to accumulate quickly causing piles to develop. These stacks make it difficult for you to find what you need at a particular time. For example, you may be late paying a bill because you didn’t locate it in time. File all papers you need to keep as records and place items requiring immediate attention in your new desk tray.
Recycle all junk mail, old magazines, and newspapers. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you will get around to reading every article that comes into the house. In today’s digital age, if you do need information on a topic or news story, you can look it up online.
Pick one drawer per day to declutter. Take out all items and quickly decide whether they are trash or treasure. Don’t put items that do not belong back into a drawer. For instance, if you find a box of paper clips in your underwear drawer, you need to put it back in your office area.
Maintain your clutter-free environment once you have removed the excess. Put things away as soon as you get home. Also, if you buy something new, you should immediately designate a place for it so it will not become cluttered.
Take a few minutes every day to rid your home of clutter. Good Housekeeping says in five minutes you can get rid of old sponges and cleaning products, organize a worktable, or sort through a bin of your kids’ things to remove items they no longer play with or need.
Tips and Warnings
Place a small wastepaper basket somewhere near the entranceway to your residence. Toss junk mail immediately when you come home. Take a picture of all items you are storing in a particular bin. Tape the photo to the container so you will know later what is in it without having to go through it.