Keeping your house or apartment clutter-free can increase your enjoyment of your home and make cleaning a much easier task. These six tips will help you attack and conquer the clutter in your home.
Follow the 15-Minute Rule
Are you overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with your home’s clutter? Breaking the task into 15-minute segments can help. Set a timer, choose a room and start putting stray shoes, toys, books and other objects back where they belong. You don’t have to follow the 15-minute rule strictly. If you’re more comfortable decluttering in longer or short spurts, adopt a 10- or 30-minute rule. As long as you make a point to spend a little time tackling clutter each day, you’ll soon begin to see results.
Stop the Problem Before It Starts
Clutter can become a problem if everything in your house doesn’t have a home. Do your kids leave a trail of coats, backpacks and shoes throughout your house when they return from school? Set up a drop zone in your mudroom or back entryway with hooks for coats and separate cubbies for backpacks and shoes.
Encourage everyone in the family to promptly return books to the bookshelves when they finish reading them and place dishes in the dishwasher immediately. Make a rule that laundry must be put away the same day a family member unloads the dryer to prevent piles of clothing from overtaking bedrooms.
Manage Mail and Paperwork
Despite the fact that so many things can now be accomplished on the Internet, most people still receive plenty of mail, particularly junk mail. If mail tends to pile up on your dining room table or kitchen countertop, set aside five minutes each day for sorting. Place junk mail into your recycling bin immediately. Keep in mind that credit card offers and mail that contains your name, address or account numbers should be shredded before being recycled.
Find a box or bin to hold bills, correspondence or other mail that must be acknowledged. Keeping important mail in one place will help you avoid a frantic search for the cable bill when it’s time to pay the bills.
The biggest paperwork generators in any home are often the children. When your kids’ backpacks overflow with homework, tests, flyers and permission slips, those papers have a way of piling up throughout your home. Ask your kids to empty their backpacks and sort their papers every night. Establish piles for recycling, papers that require your signature, homework and artwork.
Corral Hobby Materials and Toys
Finding a place for hobby equipment and toys can make your house look less cluttered. Whether you stow these items in a closet, build shelves or cabinets to hold them, or buy storage containers, putting them back as soon as you’re finished with them will help your house look less cluttered.
Clean Your Closets
Although you probably clean your closet once a year, a yearly cleaning might not be enough to avoid clutter, particularly if you have a small closet. Before you know it, you’ve got piles of clothing stacked haphazardly on top of your dressers and multiple pairs of shoes stashed under your bed. Instead, take a look at your clothing and shoes at the end of every season. If you can’t remember the last time you wore those jean shorts, or if the new pair of sandals you bought in the spring barely left your closet because they hurt your feet, it’s time to get rid of those items.
Cleaning your closet four times per year instead of just once will decrease the amount of time you’ll need to devote to the task and help you keep your bedroom neater. Don’t neglect your linen and coat closets when you declutter. Throw out worn towels and sheets, and get rid of coats and hoodies that are out of style, torn, stained or outgrown.
Create a Designated Storage Space
Basements and attics provide good storage options, but too often, things are piled in those spaces indiscriminately, making it difficult to find them when you need them. A designated storage space, whether it’s an entire room or a section of the attic or basement, can help you stay organized. Storage spaces consist of several important elements:
- Rows of shelving
- Labeled containers
- An inventory list or spreadsheet
Assign each shelving unit or section a letter, then give each individual shelf a number. When the first New Jersey snowstorm of the year dumps eight inches of snow in your backyard, you won’t have to tear apart the entire basement looking for your kids’ boots. When you take a look at the list, you’ll see that the boots are located in shelving unit B, shelf 2.
A new home provides the perfect opportunity to control clutter before it can take over your living space. If you need plenty of room for all of your stuff, you’ll want to consider Country Classics at Hillsborough. The four-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom executive homes offer large closets and ample space to hold your most treasured belongings. Contact us today to arrange a tour of the community.
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