Tips to clear the clutter

DO you feel like your house is getting smaller each year?

While your house may be the same size today as it was when you bought it 10 years ago, your space may actually be decreasing due to all the stuff you accumulate throughout the years.

If your home is unorganised, your whole life may feel unorganised. Many people know their home is a mess and want to do something about it but don’t know where to start. This New Year’s, make a family resolution to tackle your clutter and come out with your sanity back intact.

Here are some organisation tips from the pros.

Start Small: A cluttered, unorganized home can be overwhelming. You may think, “It would take years to clean this mess, so why even start?” or “Even if get organised now, it won’t stay that way.” Don’t think these thoughts, but rather envision the end result.

Start slowly and take one day at a time. This may be just 10 minutes a day. Start in one corner or in one drawer and work your way around the room, doing a little each day. Before you know it, you’ll be able to see the counters, then the floor, and whoa, there’s a couch in here!

Give Everything a Home: Stuff. Where should it all go? From junk mail to toys to shoes, everything needs to find a home, and the best place to put something is not on top of the counter or the middle of the floor. A lot of the stuff in your house may find its permanent home in the trash or at a second-hand charity store. Home for everything else needs to be a place neatly organized and preferably out of sight.

To do this well, you may need to invest in quality storage shelves, boxes, or containers. But don’t go out and buy storage solutions until you’ve sorted through your junk.

After all, you don’t need to store stuff you’ll never use again. Store bedroom things in the bedroom and kitchen things in the kitchen. Stuff that’s used often should be made easily accessible – not on a high shelf. Otherwise, its chances of being put away is less likely.

Clutter Prevention: Where does it all come from? The best way to keep clutter from piling up is to keep it from getting into your house in the first place.

As soon as you bring the mail in the door, trash the junk mail. When you’re out shopping and find a great sale, think twice and think hard before buying. Do you really need it? When your child’s friends give them hand-me-downs, go through them first and donate what your child doesn’t need.

When you know you’ll be accumulating more stuff (Christmas or birthdays), go through what you currently have and purge. This is a great rule when it comes to kids’ toys. If your child is getting a new bike for his birthday, it’s time to get rid of the old one.

Clutter Solutions: A messy house is everyone’s fault and it’s not just mum’s responsibility to clean it. Get the whole family involved in cleaning duties.