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Clear the Clutter for Good

How clutter happens and why it sucks the life out of you.

If you are a procrastinator or a perfectionist, you probably have clutter. And if we’re honest most of us procrastinate on at least some level.

Clutter happens when you delay a decision about what to do with an item. You don’t take care of the item immediately because you don’t have the perfect solution to store it, or the perfect amount of time to figure it out. Basically the stars are not aligned for you to deal with your clutter so you think, I’ll deal with that later = procrastination = clutter.

Living with clutter sucks the life out of you, even if you think you don’t mind it.

You can’t socialize at home because you’re embarrassed to host people in your clutter.You don’t keep on top of housekeeping tasks because cleaning is a way bigger chore when you have to clean around or clear piles of stuff as you go.You put off other things you could be doing like yoga or painting because you know you should be tidying up, so you end up doing nothing.You can’t focus, concentrate, relax or sleep soundly when you live in a clutter filled, chaotic environment, many studies have shown.

12 Steps to Tackle the Clutter

  1. Schedule in specific time each week to handle different areas of clutter.
  2. Choose an area and set a timer for the specific amount of time you allotted yourself.
  3. Let’s use your countertop as an example. Remove every item from the counter top and put it on the table or on the floor.
  4. Clean the counter and the backsplash while you have it clear. 
  5. Choose items from the pile that will return to the space, maybe your coffee pot is used daily or your crock of cooking utensils. If you’re going for a super clean look, store anything you can in drawers and cabinets to keep your surfaces clear.
  6. Next, take a look at the stuff left in the pile; throw away all the trash.
  7. Take what’s left and sort it; things that go somewhere else in your house, things that you don’t need or want but don’t want to trash. **If you know that things you want to donate will never leave your house, I hate to say it, just toss them. Use the pain you feel doing this to remind you not to buy or bring in stuff that will become clutter. 
  8. If you plan to give items away put them in your car right now, so you can drop them off or ship them.
  9. If you plan to sell the items, get your phone right now, take the photos and place them on Facebook marketplace or whatever site your going to use to sell them. Make sure your ad has an immediate pick-up request.
  10. What you have left, are things that need to be put away in your house. Anything that already has a permanent home simply put them away now. If you have items left that don’t have a home, you will need to decide where will this item live? Decide now and place those items away in their new homes.
  11. Tell your family and yourself this space is absolutely off limits for anything that doesn’t belong there.
  12. Repeat this process over and over again until you hit all your cluttered areas. Working one area or drawer at a time. 

Maintaining your clutter free place.

Make sure that every item in your house has a permanent home, always find items a new home when you bring them in. Things that are temporary should have a temporary holding area.

If you walk by something in your home that’s not in it’s place take the 5 seconds it takes to pick it up and put it where it belongs. Every. Single. Time. I know this seems simplistic but it’s a great habit to develop, you can actually become a tidy person. It just takes practice. Before you know it, any resistance you feel putting something away just melts and it becomes something you simply do. 

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