Be alert, not alarmed. There may be a thief in your home. And it’s called, ‘clutter’. It moves in slowly. And sometimes quietly, until – like a swarm of ants – you’re inundated and you don’t know where to start.
Seriously. Clutter in the home can be a thief to your health, sanity and hip pocket.
Consider this. Clutter encourages the build-up of dust, which impacts air quality. Clutter hinders our ability to think clearly (think tidy home, tidy mind). And finally, if you’re considering selling, then clutter to potential buyers is like hot salty, chips at the end of the salad bar: At best a total, unnecessary distraction.
But there’s always a place to start, when it comes to getting rid of clutter. And here’s six of the best tips ever:
TIP 1 Find the problem areas
You’ll know them when you start to look for them. The piles of newspapers or magazines, the bench tops that attract little bits of disparate nothing, all the dust-covered heaps of household orphans: get rid of them. Join me in this mantra: If in doubt, chuck it out…
TIP 2 Do the thing you loathe most first
What job are you avoiding? By tackling clutter that usually stumps you, you free up energy for the rest of your cleaning efforts. Don’t underestimate the satisfaction of de-cluttering even a small area that makes you feel annoyed, guilty or overwhelmed.
TIP 3 Implement systems for dealing with incoming clutter
Consider for instance, the one paper method. Basically, any paper that comes into your house gets looked at once and dealt with straight away: in most cases filed, turned around, or binned.
TIP 4 A place for everything and everything in its place
Put into practice, this mantra is one of the best ways to beat clutter. Designate proper homes for any flotsam and jetsam clutter that drifts endlessly around your home. Or better still – if you’re de-cluttering to sell – start packing and store anything you won’t need over the coming months and be ruthless.
TIP 5 Become a basket-case
When you’re cleaning and tidying, carry a basket around with you in which to put all clutter. These items can be sorted and restored to their rightful locations later, one room at a time, rather than making multiple trips to each room. This will speed your cleaning process and make it easier to keep up momentum.
TIP 6 Reward yourself for dealing with clutter
Decide on something you can treat yourself with after you’ve done battle with the clinging claws of clutter and use it as motivation to push on. Even if it’s just a cup of tea on the couch with a good book, reward yourself so that you feel inspired to keep dealing with the clutter.
So, whether you’re de-cluttering to sell, or simply wish to bring some calm, organised space to your life, start today. A drawer a day, if necessary.
But tackle the clutter thief before it gets to you.