Tip #5 Keep only what you truly use or treasure
Famed organizational guru Marie Kondo’s says “keep what sparks joy.” While good in theory, we’re not sure our broom and dustpan are ever going to make our hearts race. We like to put our stuff to two tests: Do I really use it? Do I treasure it?
Do I Really Use It?
Many of us get in the habit of hanging on to things “just in case.” Be honest: Do you have a pair of jeans (or more) in the closet for when you lose those pesky (fill in the blank) pounds? Yep, we’re right there with you. Unfortunately, these usually make us feel the opposite of joy whenever we see them and they take up space.
Help yourself gently part with these items. (No need to rip off the proverbial band-aid.) Start a bag with items you don’t use — and don’t realistically plan on using in the next year. Now, choose a date to donate those items if you haven’t pulled the item out by your deadline.
Do I Treasure It?
Have any items in your home that you used to love? Maybe something that fit perfectly at your old home, but you just can’t make fit your new digs? We all do and these are some of the hardest pieces to part with.
A good example is holiday décor. It is amazing how we can accumulate more items than we can realistically use. And, over time our tastes, homes and lifestyles change.
Before purchasing more items, pull out everything you already own. Does the new item fit in your collection? Should it replace something that could be donated? Or, do you already have more ornaments than you have room on the tree?
As you decorate, notice what doesn’t make the cut. Is that cowboy Santa hanging out in the storage box for a second year? Might be time to put him out to pasture so to speak.
Aim to keep only your favorite of anything you have an excess of.
Tip #6 Start Each Day by Making Your Bed (teach children to do the same!)
It’s a small accomplishment, but making the bed sets the tone for the entire day. And, since it’s usually the biggest item in the room, it helps everything look more put together and styled. And, it just might encourage you to keep the rest of the room tidier.
Our bedrooms are where we go to relax and unwind. When your bedroom it tidy, it lowers your stress and improves your mood. Win. Win.
Plus, a made bed just feels better to come back to at the end of the day. And if you get nothing else done during the day…at least you made your bed!
We know this can be a difficult habit to keep when you are running late to work or school but we have a couple of ways to make it easier… Have a duvet that is easily pulled up and smoothed out. No need to have 10 decorative pillows for the bed if it keeps you from making the bed and makes your bedroom look messy!
Tip #7 Open Mail by the Trash or Recycle Bin
This is one of those “you just gotta try it things” that can make your space so much tidier. When you get your mail from the mailbox, walk right to your trash and recycle bin. Deal with each piece right away. Don’t let a single piece hit your countertop without deciding:
Is this trash? Drop it right in the recycle bin. (Aimee likes to keep a recycle bin next to the trashcan in the garage and sort the mail over the recycle bin. Junk mail doesn’t even make it into the house.)
Contain sensitive/personal, information? Shred it right away. If shredding immediately doesn’t work for you, set up a “shred box” next to your recycling and shred weekly.
Do I need to deal with this further? This might include an invite you need to RSVP to or a bill to pay.
Now, you’ve reduced your pile to what you really need to put your attention to. Move what’s left to your desk or where ever you will take next steps.
Another great way to reduce your mail is to unsubscribe from mailing lists for catalogues you don’t buy from or organizations you aren’t supporting. Go with paperless billing where you can. You can always re-subscribe later, but it’s funny how often you don’t miss some of these things.
By ensuring everything is tucked back into its designated space, you get to end your day in a neat and orderly space. A little bit of effort each day keeps clutter from conquering your space.
Now’s your turn! What’s your best clutter taming tip? Share with us in the comments.
Did you miss one of our clutter-busting tips? Catch up here.