Do you feel like you have too much clutter in your home? Do you know how you accumulate clutter or why? Read on for a few tips on how to overcome the clutter in your home, or at least a few tips on how I do it!
I was shopping with my daughter recently and of course as soon as Christmas is over the aisles are full of plastic storage bins and organizers to help you get your clutter under control.
Let’s be honest here, we were in Home Goods so you can bet that we were adding to our own clutter situation just by being there!
I actually picked up an organizer that had 24 mini drawers in it and spent (too much) time figuring out how I could use it.
Which is the exact opposite of how to get organized!!
That really got me to thinking, why do we have so much clutter? And why is it considered normal to have clutter?
I’m not a mental health professional by any means, but I have figured out a few things that work in my life and I’m going to share them.
Of course you may think they’re crazy and that I need a mental health professional, ha. Or you might actually find something that helps you get out from under too much clutter. Or even just find a better way to control it!
You can jump to any of the topics right here, but I promise it’s not too long of a read!
More Stuff = Adding More Stuff
It has become completely normal to have a lot of stuff.
I guess this is partly just the society that we live in these days.
Not all of it is necessary. In fact I’d say that most of it isn’t necessary at all. We buy, we collect and we keep so many things that we don’t need. Things that we often don’t use either.
I can get on my computer or my phone and place an order for a single item and have it delivered right to my front door.
Sometimes it will arrive the very same day.
For me (and I know I’m not the only one) this means that impulse shopping can happen in an instant. I don’t have to leave my house. I don’t even have to put on presentable clothes to shop. I certainly don’t have to get in my car and drive to several stores to pick things out.
This actually means that by adding more stuff to our households, we are also adding more ways to organize our stuff. Or that we need to add more ways to organize our stuff.
Getting rid of “stuff” is the easiest way to declutter!
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not one for going through piles of papers so I’ll buy a pretty box to put them in. At least if I hide them I don’t have to think about them.
When I lose something, it can be easier to just replace it than to actually search for it.
I am famous for using an item and then leaving it in the spot I was using it. My husband can usually find what I’m looking for by asking what projects I’m working on at the time. Screwdrivers, scissors, tape, you name it!
You’re in a Season of Too Much Clutter
When I say season I’m talking about a particular time in your life, not a season like spring or winter.
We all have seasons in our lives that require changes and realigning our priorities and calendars.
Big changes can cause too much clutter but so can changes that might seem small.
Things like a new job that might change your wardrobe or routine can take some time to overcome.
Things like a new puppy or a new baby come with so much new gear and also sleep deprivation. The combination can cause clutter to pile up in all kinds of places.
In a case like this. you first need to give yourself some grace.
If it’s a new routine or a life change causing clutter just recognize that it’s going to take some time and give yourself the time. You need to know what your new routine is going to feel like before you can go about organizing around it.
In the meantime try to keep the piles of like things together so that you might know where to start looking for something.
You Are a Perfectionist (or a procrastinator)
I think there’s a fine line between being a perfectionist and being a procrastinator.
I think I can swing over that line in either direction depending on what I’m working on so I have to assume that you might also be that way. Or you might know someone else like this.
The problem with either of these traits is putting off dealing with your clutter situation.
As a procrastinator I assume that I’ll “get to it”.
As a perfectionist I don’t deal with it because “I can’t tackle the whole project right this minute”.
The method to dealing with either of these traits is basically the same though.
It’s organizing in micro-bursts and I’m going to share a system to help you out with this and get you on the right track.
You know how I know? Yep. It’s me.
I’m the problem.
Now try to get that song out of your head for the rest of the day!
You Don’t Have a System
Lastly, if you’ve got too much clutter, you’re going to need a system.
The system needs to work with how you live, how your family lives and how detailed your system actually needs to be.
Remember that the goal of any system is to make your life better and more organized.
If it’s a system you can’t keep up with then it’s not going to work.
If it’s a system that stresses you out then why bother.
So make it easy!
One of our Systems – the green box
I’ll tell you that when my kids were in school we had a paper box. It was called the green box because it was in fact, a green box.
The green box held all the miscellaneous in our house. Mail, invitations, papers that needed to be signed, business cards. Mostly it was things that needed a temporary home or things that didn’t have an actual home so they would stay there until they did.
If the green box got too full we knew it was time to go through it and file, toss or find a home for whatever was in it.
The upside of this method was that the kids knew it was the first place to look if they couldn’t find something. It also meant that there was a deadline for dealing with items in the green box, and it meant that there was an actual spot to keep items that didn’t actually have a permanent spot.
I still have the green box in a drawer and it still contains some newspaper articles, some invitations and some cards. I guess all this stuff would now be classified as sentimental items. Or clutter. But it’s organized clutter.
None of these things are necessary but it’s a fun time capsule of one of the seasons of our family.
So what methods have you tried to get your clutter under control?
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