It is not just about having enough time to clean. Interior experts say that one of the reasons why households remain cluttered is because of the lack of organization and firm decisions. This is especially true for sentimental people who always find one reason or another no hold on to old stuff. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but these are the sort of items that usually stay in disorganized piles or in the back of your closet.
Leading property portal Lamudi suggests five ways to declutter your home, freeing up space in your house to make your living more comfortable, and your environment more breathable.
1. THE FOUR BOX METHOD
© Monique Popp / Flickr
Get four boxes and label them the following: Put Away, Give Away/Sell, Storage, and Trash. This is the easiest way to organize your things, especially for those who need a little push in decision-making. Put Away are the stuff you need on a regular basis. Give Away/Sell are items you no longer need, but are still in good condition, and can be used by someone else. You can donate to charity or hold a garage sale. Storage are items that you still need, but only seasonal or infrequently. Trash items are typically damaged, broken, or overused. Take note of the quantity of each box. Your Put Away and Storage boxes must not be so much more than your Give Away/Sell and Trash. Ideally, these two are the smallest of your pile. If not, maybe you need to reassess its contents and re-categorize. (This article suggests other Boxing Methods)
2. THE OPRAH HANGER METHOD
© Samuraijohnny / Flickr
Organizing a closet is one of the biggest headaches experienced by women. You can’t find your favorite pair of jeans, you have socks in your underwear drawer, you are not sure which shirt you already wore last week! Public icon, Oprah Winfrey proposes this solution: Hang all your clothes with hangers facing backwards. When your return them to your closet after use, turn the hanger around so that it is facing the correct direction. Doing this for five to six months will give you a clearer picture of what clothes you wear often, and what clothes you don’t wear at all. Not to mention, it saves you a lot of folder time.
© Thomas R. Stegelmann / Flickr
Drawers and cabinets are the easiest prey of clutter. Old useless pens, receipts from transactions over a year ago, piles of post-its, stray staple wires… the list is endless in these pull-out treasure coves. There are two things you can do to declutter.The first is throwing one item out for every one item you put in. The second is to take everyone out of your drawer, and to put them back inside one piece at a time. This is also a way for you to sort out which items to keep, and which ones to discard.
4. STORE AND LABEL
© Christa / Flickr
The kitchen is one of the most intimidating places to declutter.The simplest solution is to make use of empty lidded jars, and using them as containers for your spices, sugar, salt, flour, etc. to store in your kitchen drawer or cupboard. This is not only a form of recycling, but these clear containers make it easy for you to find what you need.
5. ESTABLISH GOOD HABITS
© Christa / Flickr
Easier said than done, right? It starts with a simple visualization of what you want your home to look like. (The power of visualization is worth more than you think.) Having this vision constantly in mind will help you develop and maintain good habits that will help you deal with clutter and organize your household on a daily basis. Imagining all your shoes organized in a shoe rack? Then don’t leave your shoes lying around. As soon as you take them off, put them back where they belong. Thinking of having your own little reading nook? Then put all your books, magazines, and other reading materials in one area.
Also, be a smart shopper. This may be the true source of your cluttering problems. Only buy what you really need. Don’t pile up on toilet paper when you have more than enough, and especially if you have no space to store them all. Don’t buy 3 bottles of shampoo in one go, when you just need one. The less stuff you bring home, the less clutter you will have to deal with.