Home clutter isn't just an eyesore, it can lead to many other issues. Abandoned toys can be a trip hazard. Dust and allergens can build up behind stacks of boxes. Disorganized drawers and shelves can impact productivity and interrupt your daily routine as items get lost. Recent television shows have shined a light on hoarders - people who have a deep seeded need to collect, retain, or other wise accumulate items to the point it consumes their lives. A hoarder's home is an extreme example of the effects of clutter and its impact on a person's daily life. However, for most people, clutter is a constant burden that is more annoying than dangerous. Here are some daily and weekly tips for dealing with this burden.
1. Start with the entryway. It is natural to come through the front door and kick off your shoes. Ensure the shoes end up in the closet. If you do not have a closet in close proximity to your front door, limit each family member to one pair of shoes at the front door. All others can be taken into the bedrooms.
2. Children's toys should have a home, not look like they are invading yours. It is perfectly fine to allow toys to be played with in a living room or family room. The problem comes when playtime is over and toys are left behind. Make it a part of the children's evening routine to collect their toys and return them to their bedrooms.
3. Clean the kitchen and wash dishes immediately after dinner is finished. Plates will come cleaner easier if food is not allowed to dry. Counters and tables will also be easier to wipe down before residual food hardens to the surface. Nobody likes to do dishes in the morning so dishes not cleaned the night before will start to pile up and be clutter when you get home from work.
4. Small appliances can be stored until ready to use. A blender isn't used daily, neither is that popcorn maker sitting on the counter. While a toaster may have a purpose, most appliances are just taking up valuable counter space and adding to a cluttered kitchen. A kitchen is perceived as cleaner if there is less on the counter.
5. Fold laundry ASAP. As soon as the dryer buzzes, get to folding. Clothing left in the washer or dryer will cause a ripple effect and back up incoming dirty clothes. This will lead to overflowing hampers and dirty clothes baskets. If the clothes make it out of the dryer but end up in a basket, they will become instant clutter as they will consume floor space in your bedroom or closet. Plus they create more work because they will surely become wrinkled and then require ironing at a later time.
6. Take charge of your bathroom. The bathroom is widely considered the most cluttered room in the house. It is usually one of the smallest rooms as well. Counter space is at a premium in the average bathroom. With all the new personal care products and gadgets, it can be overwhelming to find a place to keep them. If you don't use an item daily, it should be stowed away in a drawer or closet. Consider putting a hamper in the bathroom so towels and washcloths don't pile up on the floor.
1. Go through the garage and storage closets once a week. Boxes and other larger seasonal items often find their way to the garages and closets where they are forgotten. Over time, empty boxes take over the garage floor resulting is clutter. Soon you start parking in the driveway and the garage gets even worse.
2.Look at your yard. Pick up loose debris that may have fallen or blown into your yard. Ensure sporting goods and toys are brought inside or placed in the proper location. This will also prolong the life of these items.
Goodwill and other charitable organizations will happily accept clothing and other household items.
Garage sale is a good way to make a little extra cash and clear the clutter out. This takes more effort than a donation but you can also get rid of some of those larger items that would be burdensome to haul away.
Go through toy boxes periodically, or better yet have the children do it, and discard broken or unwanted toys. Don't hang on to toys your children have outgrown if you can donate it to someone with a younger child.
Consider installing a storage system in closets. These additional shelves can organinze and hide your excess items efficiently.
Constantly evaluate the usefulness of items. It can be hard to give up something you spent your hard earned money to buy but there are ways to recover some of it. Websites such as Ebay and Craigslist are a popular way to rid yourself of your clutter. Remember, someone's trash is someone else's treasure.
With a little daily vigilance and some of the tips listed above, you can live happily ever after in your clutter free home!