It’s the first week of the school holidays for us in Western Australia and the beginning of spring. For some reason those two things inspire me to look around my home to see what I can declutter. No matter how hard I try, things I don’t need or never actually want seem to multiply in the house as time goes on. I love to have the opportunity to get rid of that clutter and simplify a little. There is certainly a sense of satisfaction that comes from carrying bags of no longer needed clothes and children’s toys to the Good Samaritan shop.
There are a few places where clutter accumulates in my house and I tackle each one with a slightly different process.
- My wardrobe– The change of season is always an inspiration to give my wardrobe a good clean out. I put away my cold weather clothes and get rid of those I never actually wore. See my posts here to find out how I use 3 different piles to sort my clothes before I create my capsule wardrobe for the next season.
- The car- I have friends who struggle terribly with this one and it can be easy for clutter to silently creep up here but I believe I have it sorted. For me, the best way to manage this is to create a rule that whatever gets taken in to the car at the beginning of the trip gets taken out at the end. This applies to all passengers too. I have some more thoughts on this here.
- Children’s clutter- Getting rid of our own clutter can be hard but once I get started I often find that I get on a roll and want to get stuck in to tossing as many useless things as possible. This brings up an interesting dilemma because obviously not all of the things in the house belong to me. In particular, children’s rooms can be a minefield of pain when their parents try to get rid of their treasures. I have a few tips for achieving this without tears in my post here.
- Paper clutter- We are relatively lucky in our current house because we don’t get anywhere near as much junk mail in the letterbox as we did when we lived next to a major shopping centre but there still always seems to be a pile of papers that need to be managed. My calendar gets a good workout when I am dealing with these because anything that relates to a school activity or event gets written on the calendar and then the paper gets thrown away. Of course, not everything will be that easy to manage but there is hope. Check out my 8 steps for dealing with paper clutter here.
- Digital clutter- It’s funny how in a few short years I have gone from rarely ever checking my email to checking it a few times a day and finding many new emails each time. I have started thinking carefully about who I give my email address to so that I can cut down on the number of unsolicited emails I receive but it’s far to late for that in some areas. Don’t even ask me how I ended up on the email list of Groupon for North America as some things simply do not have a logical answer. I have significantly cut down on the seemingly unstoppable amount by systematically unsubscribing to as many annoying emails as possible. Find out my strategy here.
- Best way to prevent clutter- Of course, the best strategy is to avoid letting the clutter build up at all. One simple way to look at this is by using the kitchen chef analogy. It’s my understanding that the best run kitchens have a ‘clean as you go’ philosophy in which the tidying up happens throughout the cooking process. This means that at the end of service there is relatively little cleaning that needs to be done and everyone can go home just that little bit earlier. Follow these steps so that you can do the same.
What to do if you are already in a pickle- For some of us it’s too late to prevent the clutter occurring, we already have too much of it. There are 2 things that need to be done in this situation.
1) Take steps to prevent more clutter developing
2) Begin to remove the clutter that already exists- learn to do this here.
A couple of things you can do straight away to reduce the clutter in your home include following the:
Follow those steps and within no time you will have less junk in the house to manage, step over or sort through.
For extra assistance in your decluttering journey, join me in the private Facebook group ‘The Clutter Free Life’.