You probably have clutter around your house. Big or small, most of us have it. It could be a back shed full of rubbish you've collected over the years or a pile of mail sitting on the table. Whatever it is, it's still unnecessary weight in your life. Regardless of it's size, clutter does have one thing in common; stress. Living in a cluttered, messy or disorganized house is stressful. You may not even be aware of it, it could be a tightness at the back of your skull every time you open a certain cupboard, or a clenching of your teeth when you walk into your back room. You've probably been meaning to clean it or organize it but you keep not getting around to it, which is fair enough. It's a big job. And big jobs take a lot of psyching up.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be a big job, though. It can be small. It doesn't have to start with one giant thing, it can start with many small things. A little here, a little there, and with only five minutes a day you can make a huge difference over a week. I'm going to show you seven simple ways you can tidy up some of that mess and disorganization around your house to get you started and get your juices fired up to tackle those big jobs.
1. House and Car Keys
Got keys? Do you have somewhere dedicated to put your keys? If not, you can sort that out right now. Everyone has a cupboard or shelf nearby their door. Put a bowl or decorative little basket there and throw your keys in that. I generally used to put my keys, phone and wallet in a small basket on my coffee table so they’d all be together when I was rushing out to work in the morning. Failing that you can buy some reusable, adhesive wall hooks to stick on the wall next to the door and hang your keys from that. Really, you could even stick it on the back of the door.
2. All That Pesky Mail
Got mail? Well, you shouldn't. There's no need for paper mail anymore, all the institutions I deal with have been producing electronic statements for a long time now. If you're still receiving paper bills in the mail, consider setting up a direct debit with the biller. Not only will this eliminate physical clutter and help the environment, but it will also free up your mental clutter of worrying about remembering your bills. When you do get mail what do you most likely do with it? I bet you carry it in and, unless it’s personal mail, chuck it on a bench or the table and leave it till later. Wrong! Get yourself a small box, big enough to drop papers in and put it right by the door as you walk in. When you get your mail, walk in the door and, before going any further, open your mail and go through it. Drop the envelopes in the box. If it’s nothing you need to keep, or junk mail, drop it in the box. If it’s something you can action right now, do it. If it’s something to do later then get yourself a little mail caddie and put it in there. That's your mail sorted, recycling done, and you're organizing your house and saving the environment.
3. You Have Too Many Shoes
Got shoes scattered everywhere? Do you have a wardrobe or a shoe rack? A bed you can slide them under? Put them there as soon as you take them off. If you don’t have room in your wardrobe, well, that’s another post. Or you can buy one of those shoe racks that go over the back of your door. Infinitely handy. They’re cheap and save on clutter.
4. Put Those Clothes Away
Got clothes? Same thing. When you change out of your work clothes for the day throw them in your dirty clothes basket (or hamper, if you prefer). Or, if they're still clean enough that you think you can get another grubby day out of them, put them back in your closet.
5. You Still Read Books?
Got magazines or books? Who still buys these? Have you not heard of a little thing called the internet? Alright, you prefer the tactile nature of tree-ware. Are they scattered around? Spread out on the coffee table? I bet they are. At least stack them up into a neat pile. Heck, while you're there, if you have any newspapers older than two days throw them in the recycling. That's not news anymore, it's fish and chips wrapping.
Got dishes? Dirty ones? Coffee mugs? Just sitting there around your house? Do a whip around, pick up all those dirty dishes and put them in the sink. Or dishwasher if you're lucky enough. If you're feeling extra energetic, you can wash them right then and there.
7. Where's Your Lounge?
Now, having accomplished these tasks you can sit down on your lounge and relax for a bit. What? There's no room to sit on your lounge because of all the piles of clothes waiting to be folded? Right. Well now you get to fold those as well. Pull in your nice, tidy coffee table and while you're zoning out in front of the TV you can sit there and mindlessly fold clothes. See? Isn't that easy?
All of these are simple things you can do every day without a terrible lot of thought or effort and soon, they'll become so habitual you won't even have to think about it. And before you know it, your house will be a lot tidier and a little bit more stress-free.