From work deadlines and travel to family commitments, life as you know it has created little mounds of chaos inside a much-beloved-but-sometimes-neglected house.
Sound familiar? Spring’s here, so let the de-cluttering begin.
Too much “stuff” and little surface area not only clutters the house, attracting allergens, irritants, and pests; it also clutters the mind, blocking clear, creative thought, causing stress. An at-home obstacle course is the opposite effect that you were going for when you first envisioned your abode as the restful haven that it could be. If you’ve run out of space in the House of Things, it’s time to take your house back.
Try these de-cluttering tips:
Take baby steps. Clutter overwhelms, so don’t try to tackle too much at one time; you’ll only get frustrated and likely stop with nothing accomplished. Experts advise to pick just one room (or even one corner!) as a reasonable goal to finish first. Do that, and you’ll feel good about your progress!
Think surface versus storage. Flat surfaces are not designed to store items, so clear those first to stop the catch-all madness. Weed through bills and stray receipts to identify those to be tossed. Affordable craft-store photo boxes can serve as decorative storage for select items that you need to file. Prioritize keepsake greeting cards for a special bulletin board (or snap a group photo to remember and store).
Divide and conquer. Find your floor again by labeling boxes into four categories: “Keep,” “Sort,” “Donate,” and “Throw Away.” Group books onto shelving, then insert small baskets with items you wish to conceal to better-utilize wall space. (Donate/sell books too; ditto gently-used clothing.)
Contain your cords, devices, and keys. Use decorative baskets or boxes for the remote control and cell phones; hang keys on cool hooks or toss into an artsy bowl. Round up stray electrical cords with a cord cover.
Turn up the music to keep both you and the clutter moving. Remember: A little cleaning and a little exercise can produce big results!
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano