6 easy steps to conquering clutter in your home

Clutter isn't just about having too much "stuff", it's about living in a house that puts your physical and emotional well-being at risk. Here are 6 steps to help conquer clutter in your home.

6 easy steps to conquering clutter in your home

Clutter means more than a messy living room. It takes away your sense of control and can isolate you.  It can even be physically dangerous, leading to tripping accidents, increased allergens, insects and other vermin. The key to controlling clutter is to start with a little at a time, then move towards the next area that needs tackling.

Here is our strategy for attacking (and controlling) clutter.

1. Make a list of spaces to be cleared out

It could include drawers, closets or counters. Do not list an entire room (like "living room").

2. Schedule "clutter-control" time

Give yourself enough time to complete one item on your list.

3. Approach the cluttered area

Bring three boxes labeled "keep," "donate" and "trash". Be prepared to separate items accordingly.

4. Pull every item from the cluttered area

Don't put anything back without asking yourself the following questions.

  • Have I used this in the past six months?
  • Will I need to use this in the coming six months?
  • Does this hold significant sentimental value?

If the answer is "no" to any of these questions, put the item in the donation or trash box. If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, ask yourself one more:

  • Does this need to be in this location or is there a better place for it?

Then put it in the appropriate spot.

5. Once you complete decluttering, take a picture

Tape the picture to the bottom of the decluttered drawer, stick it on the inside of the door of the decluttered closet, or tuck it under an item on the decluttered shelf, mantel or desk.

  • It serves as a reminder of how your hard efforts paid off.

6. Give away donations within a week of the cleanup

You may need to do some research about who accepts what and whether they will pick it up.

  • Likewise, some trash – like old cans of paint or electronics – need special treatment and cannot be discarded in the regular trash collection.
  • Whatever you do, don't just transfer the clutter from one space to another. The job isn't done until trash and giveaways are long gone.
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