Dear Home Organization Help:
How do I Declutter My House?! I swear the little things keep adding up and they’ve taken over. I don’t even know where to start!
Declutter My House, Please!
Dear Declutter My House,
Are there homeless items living in your home? If you’re like most families, you have countless bits and pieces lacking designated spaces, so the homeless items are left lying on the nearest shelf or countertop. After awhile all the little items without a home begin to accumulate, causing clutter and chaos in your household. Without a specific place for everything, your level of discomfort may increase because when you need one of these floating items you will not know exactly where to go to find it. Talk about stressful!
How do you combat the urge to throw your stuff on the kitchen table and decide to put it away later? First of all, stop telling yourself that you’ll ‘Get to it later.’ For most people, later means ‘When I can no longer see the table top and have to eat dinner on top of a pile of newspapers.’ Unless you’re one of the blessed few who weren’t born with the ‘do it later gene’ you know how quickly the mess can pile up and how uncomfortable the resulting feeling can be. Your home becomes a cluttered mess, less than welcoming place to hang out.
When was the last time you were searching frantically for your checkbook only to find it well hidden underneath a stack of junk mail? What about the universal search for the illusive car keys? How many jobs were ultimately lost because the key search went on for thirty minutes or more on a daily basis? The solution is simple really. Every item in your home needs its own ‘place to be.’
Items like Junk mail and newspapers should be thrown out daily. Or, if reading the newspaper is becoming just another chore, cancel your newspaper subscription, and, instead read your news online!
So what do you do about those items that you can’t quite figure out where to store? Items like odd batteries and eye glass cleaner. I’ll tell you what not to do. Don’t buy a large rubber container and label it ‘miscellaneous.’ Obviously, if you don’t know exactly what’s in your miscellaneous bin, you’re only containing chaos in a smaller space.
Instead, purchase a set of multiple storage bins. Each bin can store one type of otherwise homeless stuff. Give each bin its own ‘address’ or label and put in the matching contents. Just remember to avoid the ‘get to it later’ trap when you initially bring the item into your home.
The old saying, ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ applies more in today’s world than ever before. There are books and courses dedicated to ‘home organization.’ Honestly, a course isn’t going to help break the bad habits that caused the problem in the first place. Ending clutter must become a habit, just like brushing your teeth each day; only if you can find the toothpaste. Decide today. If the homeless have taken over your home, then get up and get started. You’ll love the feeling!
Good luck to you!