Despite our best efforts, clutter has a way of creeping up on us at home and at work. Try the following tips to de-clutter and take back control of your life.
1. Find a Place for Everything
Clutter often accumulates when you set something aside to be sorted or filed later. When everything has its own assigned place, it’s easier to develop the habit of putting items away promptly.
2. Buy an Inbox
By adding an inbox to your home or office, you assign one place for the items that need to be sorted later. This is great for daily mail or other assignments, but make sure you schedule some time to actual take care of the accumulated items.
3. Invest in Storage Containers and Cabinets
Storage containers and cabinets add to the space in your home or office and make it easier to organize a variety of items. Head to a home store and you’ll be surprised at all of the handy storage items available.
4. Make Use of Existing Storage Areas
If you have a basement, garage or building storage area, make use of it. Holiday decorations or other seasonal items don’t have to clutter your closets if you have access to more out-of-the-way storage.
5. Pay Bills Online and Go Paperless
It’s convenient to pay bills online, but often you still get duplicate bills in the mail. Find out how to “go paperless” and stick to online payments alone.
6. Unsubscribe from Magazine Delivery
Unless you regularly read monthly magazines cover to cover, chances are a subscription is only bringing more clutter into your home or office. Subscribe online if you want to continue supporting a favorite magazine.
7. Get a Library Card and Use It
It’s great to support your favorite authors by buying their books, but do you need to keep every book you read? Borrowing from the library will save you money and save space on your bookshelves for the books you intend to read again and again.
8. Purge Your Closets and Drawers Once (or Twice) a Year
Schedule regular periods to purge your home or office of unused items. Go through your closets and drawers for items you can throw away or donate to someone who will actually use them.
9. Sell Unused Items Online
Selling unused items through eBay or Craigslist can be a great motivation to keep up the regular purges of your home or office. Put the money you make toward a trip or dining out to avoid replacing the items with more stuff.
10. Clear Clutter Consistently
Once you have an organizational system in place, stay on top of the clutter regularly. It’s much easier to sort and file a small stack of paperwork once a week than to wade through a mountain of it once a month.