Try as you might to keep your home clean and organized, it continues to look cluttered! What gives? Here are 5 mistakes that may be cramping your organization style.
Try these simple tips out to give you that clutter free home you have always wanted. Enjoy!
THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF EVERY DAY CLUTTER IN A HOME BY FAR.
We are all super busy throughout the day and often do not have time to put things away properly. I know I have been guilty of running out to the garage to get a hammer, hanging up a picture and then, leaving the hammer in the kitchen because I got distracted preparing dinner. Often times things come up or projects take longer than expected and cleaning up and putting things away is the last thing you want to do.
I found that storing commonly used items together helps to cut down on the clutter of materials not ending up in their designated area. In our house, I moved the spare hammer and tape measurer into the “junk drawer” in our kitchen. This has really cut down on people misplacing both of these commonly used items and since our kitchen is like Grand Central Station, it magically gets returned (around dinner) when it is done being used.
Taking the time to store items in a logical place will cut down on the time wasted searching for them and help to keep things orderly.
Your home will stay more organized and clutter free when you can quickly retrieve the things you need.
I love decorating and dressing for special events, but storing all these specialty clothing and decorations habit can take up large amounts of space in my home.
This year, I have really tried to downsize the amount of things in my main living area by keeping speciality items in storage. A trick that has helped me is to have totes set aside for every holiday and seasonal change. As the new decorations come out, I go through them and discard anything that I will not use again or that needs to be replaced. Labeling your totes with exactly what is in each makes it super easy to be organized and decorate at your own pace.
Another way to clear out the clutter is to go through your cabinets and closets and start using the items that you love more frequently. I was surprised how many amazing items I found in my own house this way. Plus, if you notice you aren't utilizing certain items, you can decide if those materials can be purged or donated to free up some more space.
Have you heard the expression… if it’s broke, don’t fix it? Probably not, but this twist on a traditional phrase can serve us all when dealing with things that break and end up cluttering our homes.
Although you may have the best intentions when you try to repurpose or fix every item that breaks, it may end up not being worth it in the long run.
THE RULE OF THUMB IS: IT IS WORTH FIXING AN ITEM IF IT COSTS LESS THAN 50% OF WHAT A NEW ONE WOULD COST TODAY.
Taking that into account, fixing something like a dryer or washing machine is well worth it since that cost of a new one is far more expensive than having it repaired most times. But, if you are like me and have some items that are sitting in your house waiting to be fixed, and that day never ends up coming then that item is clutter taking up valuable space.
MANY OF THESE ITEMS I COULD FIX, BUT THE COST OF GETTING THE MATERIALS NEEDED PLUS THE VALUE OF MY TIME MADE DOING THE REPAIR NOT WORTH IT.
Make sure to factor in the time spent learning to repair something with the time for the labor and the cost of materials. You would be surprised how often it is not worth keeping the item in your home.
Now let’s consider the solution to clutter in your home by setting up a designated area for repairs or a “fix it” basket. When something needs to be repaired make the decision if it would be worth it to fix it or not. If the answer is "YES, this is worth fixing!" put it into the “fix it” basket and encourage your family to do the same. When you have a spare afternoon, you can easily take out the basket and work on the repairs. If the answer is "No, this is not worth it," purge it immediately.
Another common mistake that people make that will absolutely cause clutter is not putting things away after you use them. The simple rule of putting things away when you use them is sure to keep your home organized and clutter free. Go one step further and challenge yourself to find something else that is not in its place and put that away as well. This way you are helping out other people in the house and maybe someone will do the same for you.
An example of how a simple task can turn into a large project with lots and lots of unnecessary clutter was one that I did today.
I decided that I would change out the hardware on our entry table that had been sitting in the drawer waiting to be installed. Easy enough. So I take out the hardware out of the package and thought to myself I am only going to need a screwdriver and I will be done in less than 5 minutes.
BEFORE I EVEN REALIZED IT, I HAD OUT...
And 30 minutes later I have new hardware and a MESSSSSS everywhere around me. Like many of you, I had about 25 things to do this morning and I didn't think I had the extra time needed to put everything away.
But I decided that I would be in a better mood if I just put everything away instead of leaving it to be put back one piece at a time. It took a grand total of three minutes! I had my seven year old time it.
3 minutes of work and now I do not have to walk by the clutter of tools and mess for days and stress about how I need to 'get to it.' Plus, 3 minutes would be all that it would take for me to get the items out again if I wanted to work on the project again. Imagine what is creating clutter in your home that could be cleaned up and put in its place right now.
RULE OF THUMB... IF YOU GET SOMETHING OUT, PUT IT AWAY IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU ARE DONE USING IT. IF YOU WANT TO BE A HERO FOR THE DAY, PUT SOMETHING AWAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
Bye bye clutter.
Another common cause of clutter is possessions that you hold on to for sentimental reasons or because you think, "I might need this one day." Honestly, I am not an overly sentimental person, but my husband loves to hold onto items and we seem to come home with a box of old trophies or old calculus books from his parents' house more than I would like to admit.
I find that preparing to move is a great time to go through old boxes and decide what you really want to keep and what can be discarded or donated. Another great time to go through items is in the spring time in preparation for spring cleaning.
Giving yourself a target number of containers that you are willing to keep definitely decreases on the clutter. Let's say you currently have 10 boxes of kid clothing. When you go through these boxes, try to decrease what you keep by at least half. That would be a great goal.
MAKE SURE YOU PROPERLY LABEL YOUR TOTES WITH WHAT IS INSIDE SO YOU CAN EASILY FIND WHAT YOU NEED IN A SNAP.
DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND PICK UP MY FAVORITE LABEL MAKER THAT WORKS PERFECTLY FOR THIS TASK.
Another common clutter item is old books and schoolwork. Trying to get my husband to release his college textbooks was a struggle. However, after assuring him that he could keep one tote and that most of these books were out of date and could be found online, he was willing to recycle most of them.
SO IT MAY BE TOUGH TO GO THROUGH OLD BOXES OF THINGS, BUT ONLY KEEP THE BARE ESSENTIALS OR THINGS OF EXTREME SENTIMENTAL VALUE.
You will be surprised how much extra storage space you will end up having.
I hope you enjoyed the Five Reasons Why Your Home Still Looks Cluttered. This is a chance to reflect on your own areas of your home that could use a good declutter. I know for myself I felt an urge to tackle some of the areas of my own home that needed a good Spring refresh. Feel free to leave any of your tips on how to keep decluttered for everyone to enjoy.
Can't wait to catch up on the next blog... Stay Organized.