The holiday season is over and as I looked around at my house, it was full. Full of clutter. Those little piles of harmless things that creep up on you and take over your life. I thought as a self-proclaimed organization expert, I was immune to this problem. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I put away 5 things at a time regularly and eliminated my problem (again) and I know you can do it, too. I promise, it’s easier than you think.
How to Improve Your Life:
Make things easier. Clutter creates stress and is difficult to manage. You deserve better. Only keep what you value and actually use. Every January, I go through every closet, cupboard, drawer and cabinet in our house. I just pick one thing every day. I look through the items and think, “Have I used this in the past year? Do I still like it?” and if it’s time for the item to go, it goes in our donations pile – which is already enormous and we’re only a few days into the new year. Things really are easier with less stuff.
Don’t let clutter win. Clutter expands to fit the space you give it. The less room it has, the less it will invade your life. Junk Drawer? Banish it. Piles of stuff? Process them. You can live without clutter in every area of your house.
This is digital genius. Go digital with manuals, recycle paper versions and save down-loaded ones all together and file in cloud storage. Last year, I transferred all of my saved papers (think ideas, motivational posters, recipes, manuals) and made them electronic instead. And today, I realized that I didn’t need the 10,000 sheet protectors that held them – now my office space is condensed more than ever before because I’m not saving the stuff that I rarely need to reference.
Fix or Cut Bait. Do you have that item that’s been sitting for a while, just waiting for its magical fix-it piece? Look today to see if you can order the part or find a suitable replacement part. And if you can’t – recycle or donate the item. Today. Do it.
How to get it done:
Use wasted minutes. You know you have them, those tiny minutes that you spend looking at your phone or staring into space. Snap out of it and put away 5 things while you’re waiting for your water to boil. Unload the DW while the Microwave is going. You will change your life if you use your “wasted (or as I like to call them bonus)” minutes every day.
Don’t shift clutter. If you clean your kitchen, the mess shouldn’t end up in the dining room. I am the worst offender at this. I pick up the mess and move it somewhere else. Then I see the combined mess and decide I don’t want to mess with it. Failure at it’s finest. When you pick up your 5 items from your bonus minutes. Put them away where they go, even if where they go is your donations pile. Only deal with your things once.
Store like items together. I just found 5 bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide that I’d stored with my sunscreen stash. What am I going to do with that much stuff, you ask? I have no idea. So I gave the extras to my mom and sister-in-law. If I’d followed my own advice of storing like items together – like I do for everything else, I wouldn’t have purchased so much of an item I rarely use. Save yourself, put everything together where you use it most.
Don’t think of all of the clutter in your life right now, that is too much. Think about the 5 things you can put away right now. That is it. If you focus on those 5, you’ll tackle the mess before you even know it.