Watching an episode of Hoarders is enough to send just about anyone into decluttering mode. Day-to-day stuff has a tendency to pile up quickly. Here are some tips to keep your stuff at home manageable and organized.
Get a handle on your things at home and you’ll breathe a sigh of relief: No more feeling overwhelmed by simple, everyday tasks! Here are three strategies to streamline your possessions and stay organized.
Invest in storage solutions
As you start to declutter and get organized, your task will be easier if you have thought through and purchased the necessary items for creating a system. Measure the space you have and research storage bins and baskets that maximize it. Look for containers that have straight sides (baskets that can’t be set flush side by side loses you space) and with lids (so they can be stacked).
Also consider other items that will help keep clutter minimal: jars, bowls or trays that you can use to collect mail or loose change; hooks you can install in your entryway; any shelving or even a storage bench that’ll help make the space more functional.
Tackle the cluttered area that distresses you the most
If mornings are chaotic because you can’t find a thing to wear (it’s all piled on a chair), start with your closet. Or, if you work from home and are finding you cannot function with the piles of paperwork surrounding you, start in your home office. For your office, create a filing system that is clearly labelled and accessible, and schedule a weekly time for filing. When sorting papers, create piles for items you need to hold onto (your birth certificate, for example), ones that need to be held onto for several years (such as your taxes and bills) and a third pile of items that can be shredded and recycled.
Be ruthless in discarding items
When going through your closet, pull out anything you have not worn in a year and plan to bring them to a consignment or charity shop. Be just as ruthless when sorting through any collections: Do you truly need to hold onto every back issue of a magazine, when you never look at them more than once? Another good rule? When purchasing a new item, plan to remove one similar item from your current possessions — this way, your collection will never grow out of control.