Saturday, March 12, 2011

Top Tips For Reducing Clutter

There's no point in having a stylishly decorated home if it's buried in a mountain of clutter. And even if you don't like the way it's decorated, chances are an outdated 80's theme is still better than the "I haven't opened my mail in 6 days and I'm still folding last week's laundry" theme.

By nature, I'm a horrible clutter bug. It just seems to... HAPPEN... However, my burning desire to have a lovely and stress free home keeps me motivated to reduce clutter and to keep things organized. Here are some of the best tips and tricks I've learned for reducing clutter. They've helped me. Maybe they can help you! :)

  • Get yourself to Office Depot or Home Goods and buy yourself some organizational baskets and filing systems. You need a place to keep "in-process" stuff. Whether it's mail that needs to be delt with, bathroom stuff, kids toys, or laundry. It's amazing how putting things in a basket can immediately turn a pile into a coherent system.
  • Immediately open mail. Trash the junk and put the bills and important mail in their designated basket. Put any magazines you want to keep in a basket by the sofa or reading chair.
  • Reevaluate the surfaces in your home. If your decorating style involves lots of knick-knacks then try this... Take EVERYTHING off of every surface. Only put back HALF of your decor. This means you have to pick and choose what you really love. Trash the stuff that you secretly hate and box up the rest. (Tip: Take your cue from the seasons. Create 4 boxes and rotate your decor as the seasons change.) (Bonus Tip: display any like items together. If you've got a zillion lil cow figures spread throughout your home they will just add to the clutter. Keep 'em together and suddenly they look like an impressive bovine collection.)
  • Get a scrapbook for the kids artwork. Have them help you sift through their masterpieces and put them all together. (Tip: choose a scrapbook when you're not with the kids... Choose something that is kid-friendly in design but ALSO coordinates with your home colors. Then it won't look so bad every time it's left out on the kitchen counter.) (Bonus Tip: Try framing your kids' favorite art pieces. You can even paint the frames to match the room's decor.)
  • Reclaim your storage space. Kitchen cabinets, drawers, and closets all tend to accumulate things that are rarely used. Clear out anything you haven't used in a year. If you know you'll use that slushee machine 'someday' (and your brutally honest bff agrees with you) then box it up, and put it in the basement or attic. If its slushee mechanism is worn out in any way then trash it. If it's in good condition, but you really prefer ice cream over slushees then for goodness sake give it away. And then voila! You actually have room to put things away again.
  • Spend 10 minutes a day doing a quickie... cleanup! Set the egg timer. Make it a game (kids and spouse included if you've got 'em). Make it a daily habit and suddenly those clutter mountains won't look quite so terrifying.
Happy de-cluttering!!! :)
She needs more than ten minutes...

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