By definition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, clutter is to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness. More often than not, when clutter takes charge of the household, organizing clutter can easily become a losing battle. For some, it is very overwhelming when things are stacked high and they simply don’t know what to do with everything.
Clutter can become so devastating to a household that weekly cleaning, such as the bathrooms and kitchen, is no longer done; simply because the clutter won’t allow it. When this happens, professional help is needed to help wade through the clutter and find the carpet again. Before hiring a professional organizer, there are steps you can take to tackle the clutter yourself. When you look around your home and see piles and piles it can be extremely overwhelming. When organizing clutter, it helps to have a plan that you can stick to.
One of the more common items that creates clutter is paper. It could be newspapers, junk mail, regular mail, children’s projects, or work you or your spouse brings home. One of the best things to reduce paper clutter is to go through your mail as soon as you bring it in, and either recycle or shred the mail that isn’t important. The mail that is left should immediately be placed or filed in a “to do” basket or tray or dealt with at that time or as soon as you can.
When organizing clutter, especially papers, there may be documents you want to look over or just can’t seem to throw out like your child’s rough sketch of a doodle from 4 years prior. Prioritize your papers; when making a “to do” area, use dividers or file folders to make items easier to find. For example, label a tote or empty printing paper box “school projects” for your child’s artwork. This way, you get to keep it but it’s contained and out of the way not causing more clutter.
Of course, paper is not the only thing that causes clutter as we all know. Making a quick decision, the amount of money spent or the personal attachment to something can make throwing something out a difficult step to take. Organizing clutter is rather simple but doing it is the hard part. There are some general rules to keep in mind when dealing with clutter:
- If you haven’t used the item in over a year; get rid of it
- As for clothing, if it’s a coat and it is currently summer then store it
- Don’t leave a room to put something away
- Use boxes, totes or a bag to put things in that belong elsewhere
- If something is damaged or broken, toss it
Many organizing clutter tips will suggest to a have a keep, throw and a toss box or tote. This is an excellent suggestion when de-cluttering a room. If deciding if to keep something, if you can’t make up your mind within a minute you obviously don’t really need it, so donate it.