cleaning tips and tools

4 Tips for Organising Clutter

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Organising clutter – Americans spell it with a ‘z’ – will rescue your time, save you money, create storage space you didn’t know you had, create good impressions for your visitors, even improve your mental health, and more.

But when stuff such as mail, knickknacks, pictures, paper and other daily routine items cover most of your free surfaces, you lose these benefits and like a small child, clutter will demand your regular attention. Plus, if you have a home office or garage with a shop, the problem can explode.

Here are 4 simple and inexpensive tips that will work for you when organising clutter and will certainly enhance your life.

Sort: What’s Your Purpose For the Room?

Question 1: What’s the purpose or goal for this particular room or space? We’re assuming that you are starting your decluttering in a smallish space. On this basis, separate items that belong in another room, haven’t been used in a year, though in good condition, or are just trash. This forms the basis for your decisions.

At this point, it’s helpful to find the largest sorting area possible- dining table works well-and pile all loose mail, newspapers, notebooks, pens and daily debris in the center. Try to keep an open area where you can work on the process. Pull out the wastebasket and a box and begin purging!

Some people prefer to shred anything with identifying information such as credit card offers. Shredders are generally cheap and simple to use.

What’s Your Problem Area?

Question 2: what are the most pressing storage concerns? Since organising clutter is not a one-time thing, you’ll want to plan to prevent future piles of debris! Which area of your house receives the bulk of the mess? Is the mail piling up on your desk or are odds and ends proliferating on the refrigerator? Determining where the problem lies is half of the battle.

Tools: Baskets, Basins and Bins and More

Question 3: What tools are available to use? If you are not prepared to spend a lot of money on storage systems, you may want to consider using baskets, basins and bins. There are a variety of possibilities here; colorful stackable bins or possibly a toy storage unit with colored bins are a great solution for messy toy rooms; while decorative baskets make a good solution for small items in the bathroom and on your desk.

Smaller baskets can be easily attached to the wall above the kitchen counter or above your desk to hold things like pens, paper clips, markers, thermometers and even loose change. In our entryway, we use a small basket to hold keys and cell phones on a table near the front door.

Don’t forget to use drawer dividers and if you have hanging space, hooks and racks work well. And for subdividing larger areas, shelving makes a great organiser. If you use dividers on the shelves, it’ll keep the separate piles of sweaters, etc., from tumbling into each other.

How to Maximize Space

Question 4: How to maximize space? There are times when organising clutter is hampered by space limitations. If you have ten pair of shoes and a tiny closet, things can get tangled up pretty quickly. Overcome your need for space by hanging a shoe organiser over the door of your clothes closet.

Or organise your clothing by length to create space under the shorter hanging items.This will free up floor space and leave you with more options for arranging things.

When counter space is limited in your bathroom you can also use a shoe organiser for extra toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine products, soap and more. Hang it on the back of the bathroom door, but make sure you attach it securely at the bottom as well as the top.

Here’s a couple of other tips. You may also love having a storage ottoman, which is a great place to stash games, electronics, blankets, books, etc. And to further redeem storage space in your closets and cabinets, you could consider buying transparent plastic boxes and tubs which fit nicely under almost any bed.

Finally, shelves are great space savers. You can stack them above a desk or along a wall, and especially in a closet.

Final Thoughts

Organising clutter in your home will help your house will look better. You’ll be able to find your possessions, and you’ll definitely feel better about your life. Because you know the purpose for each room and know the tools to use, you can find space where you thought it didn’t exist. It’s true, so the experts imply, that your world at home affects your quality of life wherever you are.

Steve B. Brown, Ph.D., is a retired research professor. Steve started as a free resource for others who wanted to feature speed and simplicity when decluttering and organizing their homes.

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