Household clutter can make a home feel stressful, especially when you have too much stuff. If you’d like to rein in your clutter problem, the following easy, affordable tips can help.
Identify common sources. Although clutter comes in a variety of forms, there are a few common sources plaguing the typical home. These include:
- Mail, paperwork and bills
- Reminder notes, receipts and lists
- Kids artwork
- Mittens, hats and coats
- Clean and dirty laundry
- Old photographs
- Appliance parts, tools and related hardware
- Phone and tablets chargers
- Decorative items, collectibles and knickknacks
Once you identify your most common sources of clutter, you can start thinking of ways to deal with it. For paperwork, it may mean a filing system. For drawers filled with knotted cords, it may mean installing a device charging console. Whatever the case, you will definitely need to come up with strategies for dealing with any items that are used inconsistently, along with materials that regularly come into the home, such as mail, magazines and children’s school work.
Take advantage of vertical space. Most garages have a considerable amount of unused space near their ceilings. You can take advantage of this area by installing garage ceiling shelving, which can hold a surprising number of items, as long as it’s securely fastened to your ceiling joists. From coolers to camping gear to rubber bins filled with toys, tools and other stray items; garage ceiling shelves provide ample space for all sorts of clutter. Unlike storage facilities, they also keep all of your items available just in case you need them.
Avoid the bargain bin. It’s not always easy to pass up sales, especially if you are a cost-conscious shopper. If you are serious about eliminating clutter from your home, however, you should never buy a household item simply because it’s a bargain. Before purchasing something, ask yourself if you really need the item and think about whether you have a place to put it. If you enjoy perusing garage sales or antique shops, give yourself a limited cash budget and leave your credit and check cards at home.
Bring things into the light. Kitchens tend to be clutter hotspots, because you aren’t able to see an inventory of the things you buy. This can cause people to buy several of the same thing, leading to buildup in the cabinets and pantry. You can reduce this type of clutter by combining cereals and other dry goods into single, clear containers. If you have some money for a minor renovation, you should also consider replacing your kitchen storage system with doorless shelves and cabinets, which reveal key parts of your kitchen inventory.
Don’t get attached. It’s not uncommon for people to develop emotional ties to tangible objects. While this is normal, it can get out of hand. It’s one thing to have a small shoe box of keepsakes from when you and your partner began dating. It’s a whole other thing to hoard piles of junk in your garage, just because it contains items that remind you of a special day. If you find yourself having trouble throwing away things you don’t need because they hold memories, consider taking a digital photo of each item. Then, throw it all away or give it to someone who can use it.
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