It’s a new year and that means another chance to keep the resolution to rid the home of clutter and finally get it organized. While this can seem like a daunting task, there are some tricks that can help make the process easier.
The very thought of tackling clutter often stops people from beginning because it seems like it will take hours on end to complete. This could be true if it is all done at once, but since it took several months or even years to create the mess then there’s no sense in trying to get rid of it all in one afternoon.
Set aside 10 or 15 minutes a day to complete as much of a project as possible. This way a little cleanup time can be worked into even the busiest of schedules.
Find one area that is a no-clutter zone and start there. Once it is finished, either move outward in zones or pick a room to begin next.
Flat spaces should mostly be cleared of any mess. Store any appliances, such as a blender that is seldom used, in a cabinet. If counters have become a gathering place for mail and other paperwork, file it away or use small baskets to hold the important stuff. Ditch whatever is not necessary immediately instead of separating it into piles.
Spend a few minutes going through closets and finding clothes that are not worn any more. Seasonal items that might be worn later can be boxed and stored, but ones that have stayed in the closet without being touched should be bagged and donated.
This is another area that seems to collect a large amount of items that don’t get used. Look through them and collect any cups, glasses or dishes and bowls that are taking up space. Box them up and donate them along with the clothes.
There are a variety of products available that can help people get organized. Knickknacks can be placed on shelves hung along walls, photos can be framed and then hung and plastic totes can be bought and used to store seasonal items all in one place. Find a box and use it to place items that might be kept. Review this box periodically – anything that remains in it unused over a certain period of time can probably be thrown out or donated.
It will be an exercise in futility to spend time decluttering a home if the rest of the family members don’t help keep it clean. Work with children and significant others to pick their things up when they are done with them and put them where they belong.
Ridding a home of clutter not only will improve the look of the residence, but it can also give a feeling of control and accomplishment. It can take time to get started, but once everything is in its place it will all be worth it.
Guest author is Karen Barnes