Clearing the Clutter

Clearing the Clutter
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clearing the clutterKeeping your home environs tidy and organized may sound like a huge chore to some, but it’s actually one of the best ways to obtain a calmer outlook on life and peace of mind.  I have totally embraced a tidy, clutter free home and am loving it.  Here are a few steps to make tidying and “clearing the clutter” painless.

1. Make Time in Your Schedule

I’m a great believer in lists, as they help me to accomplish so much.  It also gives me great satisfaction to tick the jobs off the list as they’ve been completed.  Like everything else on your to-do list, “tidying the house” will only get done if you make time for it.  It’s so easy to put off the tasks of tidying and organizing, however, if you lose an important item, then the task of organizing can become a big priority on your list.  Try to set small targets – maybe just 30 minutes each day to “tidying up”.  You will be very surprised just how much you can accomplish in 30 minutes each day.  clearing the clutter

2. Focus on one area

It’s so easy to attack the whole house at once, however little is often achieved with this action plan.  Focus on getting one corner or room completely tidy and organized.  It will definitely give you a huge motivational boost!  Often a great place to start is your desk (if you have one).  Also, the kitchen bench can be another “dumping ground” for almost anything.  I try to keep my desk and kitchen bench free of clutter.

3. Tackle Something Everyday

Once you’ve finished with your desk or kitchen bench, try to move onto other areas, which may take only around 30-60 minutes to sort out:

  • Your wardrobe and drawers of clothing.  What is out of date or doesn’t fit that can go to a charity store or be sold?  What can be kept or stored elsewhere?
  • Storage space under your bed (this can be like the Bermuda Triangle where items are never seen again!!)
  • How about your “My documents” folder on your computer.  If you’re like me, this is one of the greatest areas to keep clutter free.  Digital clutter can be just as time and energy draining as a physical mess.  It is also one of the easiest areas to neglect.  (*note to self….clean up “My documents” folder!)
  • Then there’s the kitchen pantry.  Toss out of date food and then make a note of anything that needs replacing.  It’s amazing what is hiding in the pantry that doesn’t belong there too!
  • The bathroom – How many bottles and cans are really needed around the shower?  How about those old cosmetics in the cupboard that you just don’t use anymore?
  • Try to keep up your tidying momentum each day.  Clearing the clutter can be surprisingly quick, even if you’re really short on time, 10 minutes cleaning a drawer can be encouraging.

4. Keep your Enthusiasm

Since I have started “clearing the clutter” in our home, I have found that my enthusiasm just grows.  I’m always on the lookout for things we don’t use in our home and that can go.  Some people may find their enthusiasm wane, however keep pressing on, one task at a time. Getting other family members involved can also help.  My husband is on board with keeping our home clutter free and he regularly goes through his shed to clear his clutter.  You could even have a one hour “blitz” where everyone attacks some part of the house.  Also, if you love listening to music, putting your favorite music on while “clearing the clutter” can give you added motivation.

Never forget to look at how far you’ve progressed.  It makes life much easier when you don’t have to spend your time looking for something that is lost in the mess.

If you find that you can’t part with certain items easily, have you thought of selling them on ebay, and thereby giving yourself a little more spending money?  We have done this with quite a few items and it always amazes me that there is someone else interested in what I am selling.

5. Don’t Undo Your Progress

I have found that once my home is cleared of clutter and in a tidy state, it’s not taking too much effort to keep things that way.  It’s vital to develop good habits so that things stay “automatically” tidy. For most of us this means making sure that items get put back after use.minimalist desk

Everything needs to have a place – especially items such as important documents, passports, keys etc.  Try to get into the habit of putting things away as soon as you’ve finished with them.  One example in our home, is that we always put the car keys on their hook as soon as we come home.  We never have lost keys in our home.

End each day with a few minutes tidying – to help clear the clutter.  It may mean tidying your desk, washing and drying dishes (I love a clear sink and kitchen bench!), folding the laundry.

Children can be responsible – for tidying their toys.  This helps develop good habits in children.  We always taught our daughter to put things away when she’d finished using them.  Toys can be a challenging area to organize.  It might be helpful to buy a couple big boxes or a set of drawers to put everything away.

All the best with “clearing the clutter”.  I encourage you not to give up!  If you’ve got any great de-cluttering tips or organizing ideas, please share them in the comments.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I really love this article, Kym! I have become a big fan of minimalism in the last few years – in all areas of life. You are right, it brings a lot of peace.
    I like the approach of tackling things in small sessions. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed by too much at one time.
    I am getting much better at accepting my surroundings in the present moment! De-cluttering really helps with the focus.
    Is this something you have always been into, or only in recent years?
    Thanks, Stella 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comments Stella. Nice to meet a fellow minimalist! It’s easy to be overwhelmed when we try to tackle everything at once and I know that I work much better if I attempt things in small chunks. I have never been a hoarder and have always like a tidy home, however it was last year that I discovered the topic of minimalism on the internet and found that I could tighten up more on what I own and what I do. Loving every minute of it!

  2. Great post it gave me good vibes:). The first part about the schedule really hit home with me. I just recently implemented a dedicated schedule to my daily life and everything is running so much better! All the things you mention in this post are basically my own thoughts, Great minds think a like!

    • Glad you enjoyed this article and so good to hear you’ve started a daily schedule. An organized day just seems to go so much better. Nice to hear of other like minded people!

  3. hi Kym, great post, thank you! i have recently begun trying to live clutter free and your post gave me some great tips. it is amazing how much of a difference it can make to have a clean organised space around you. i found the way you write to be insightful and easy to read.

    • Thanks for your comments! It is very liberating to live in a clutter free environment. Glad you’ve begun to embrace living clutter free. I encourage you to keep going at it!

  4. Hi Kym,

    Isn’t it amazing what modern people can hoard these days? I am one of them too and the things that I accumulate over the years are just unbelievable.

    In my recent spring cleaning, I divided my items to ‘Want’ and ‘Don’t Want’ and I was very firmed about my decision. As a result, I was able to create some breathable space in my room and it was refreshing.

    I added plants to those places and I would like to keep it that way for as long as I can.

    • Hey Cathy, that’s great to hear that you’ve started by spring cleaning. I like how you’ve divided items into ‘want’ and ‘don’t want’. Plants will definitely refresh the spots that once were homes to things!

  5. It is amazing how many things around our houses can add up over a a period of time, in my home I even told sons yesterday to clean their room because of how junky it looked, When a home or some other place is over crowded it is amzazing how heated it feels but once cleared everthing feels so open and cool. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I have this problem at home with trying to keep things inorder, one thing that I hate is clutter where everything is so junky and you feel at times like you cannot breath. Thanks for writing a post such as this, I can see that I am not alone and so do a whole lot of other persons. I like a home that is clean nice and open where you can feel the breeze as it passes through. Thanks again for sharing.

  7. I was always bad when it came to clutter. The number one reason is time. I agree that you have to make time. Set aside time or the procrastination sets in and the clutter won’t be sorted out. A little bit at a time will make it much easier. What helped me was tackling one room at a time. It did take some time, but I finally did get organized. The best way is to not live in a cluttered environment in the first place.

  8. Hi Kym,

    My daughter and I had a bit of a blitz on the weekend, sorting through the ‘stuff’ that accumulates on every flat surface! Before we did it I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the things on my ‘to-do’ list but since we did it the house feels much calmer and I feel like I’m back in control again. It’s amazing how having room clutter and disorganisation can make your whole world feel like it’s out of control. I’m now endeavouring to keep the surfaces clear and looking at chipping away at other areas of clutter.
    It’s funny how we don’t tend to see what’s in drawers unless we’re looking for it. I realised that in the drawer that I get the dog’s lead out of every day there were hats that my kids used to wear about 5 years ago. Every day I’ve been pushing them to one side to get to the lead, without even acknowledging what they were.. So in about 5 minutes I halved the contents of that overstuffed drawer!
    You give some great suggestions and I think we’re moving in the right direction now so we’ll aim for 10-30 minutes a day of clearing the clutter and see how we go!
    Thanks,
    Rachel

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