Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ten Tips for Surviving Clutter

This is day 13 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Organizing.

Are you an "a place for everything and everything in it's place" kind of person, or do things just fall where they may and you walk around stuff for days (or weeks) and then realizing that what takes hours to sort through would have only take minutes a day to put away?

Do you say, "but I don't have enough storage"?  Do you find that getting organized is easy but staying that way is harder?

Here are a few tips to get you organized and help you stay that way.
  1. As suggested above, the first step in organization is finding a place for everything.  For example if your shoes are scattered from the back door to the bedroom, try getting some plastic shoe boxes with lids and storing them on a shelf in your closet. If you still have the original boxes just use those.

  2. Trying to find a receipt for the appliance you bought six months ago can be challenging.  Get a file box or accordion file folder and staple the receipt to the instruction manual and file it under the appropriate letter such as C for camera, instead of N for Nikon.

  3. Does tax time role around and have you scrambling to gather all the pertinent information you have saved throughout the year?  At the beginning of each year, make up a folder labeled 2015 Tax Information.  When you get receipts, pay taxes, make donations, etc., place the documents in the folder and you're good to at tax time.

  4. Don't be a collector unless you are into Art.  Freebies are fine, but a dozen coffee mugs or T-shirts that you don't use or wear just take up valuable space and add to the clutter.  A good rule of thumb is when something comes in - something else goes out.

  5. Eliminating duplicates is another way of decluttering.  If you have already collected those 12 coffee mug or T-shirts, try winnowing it down to your two favorites and donate the rest.

  6. If lack of space is an issue, try and find interesting and decorative ways of adding more storage. Invest in a closet organizer, or put up shelves in the bathroom to hold towels and other toiletries. If you have room consider adding a baker's rack in the kitchen.

  7. Is your closet bulging with clothes that no longer fit or that you haven't worn since Reagan was in office? On the whole, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time and the rest just hang there collecting dust, so cull out the overlooked, unloved clothes from decades past and donate them. They are now called vintage clothing and there is a market for them.

  8. Are you constantly misplacing things or making laps around the house to find your keys?  Try installing a hook by the door for your keys. Add a shelf for your sunglasses or other miscellaneous items you grab on the way out the door.

  9. Do you find your spend more time searching for supplies for a task than it takes to complete the task itself?  Plastic school boxes or shoe boxes will help organize such things as your manicure tools, kid's crafts or school projects, art supplies, or letter writing (pens, note paper, stamps).

  10. Don't wait until clutter overtakes you.  Remember it takes longer to dig your way out than to deal with it on an ongoing basis. You may want to tackle your kitchen weekly, and your closet twice a year, perhaps Spring and Fall.

What are some of your organizing tips or solutions?

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  1. These are all excellent ideas. I am not so organized in some aspects of life and probably should take some of this advice. One thing I need to start doing is throwing ... a lot of stuff. That will help in the long run!

    1. Thanks. Getting rid of stuff once it is settled into your home is not easy. Much easier not to let it in in the first place.

  2. Yeah. I like #7. I've just decided that if I haven't worn it in a year, it needs to go.

    1. I am bad about not follow number 7, especially about jeans. I never give away perfectly good jeans, as I know weight goes up and down.

  3. I have been going to the thrift store a lot with my good friend. I LOVE old funky glasses... of all sorts. But I have a rule. For every one I bring home I get rid of one. Either toss something old or pick something I don't want and drop it off at the thrift store. A good rule indeed... don't collect and have things build up!

    1. I shop thrift stores a lot, too, but mostly looking for clothing bargains. I find some great brand name stuff for just a few dollars. I got hubby two shirts and a sweater - all Hilfiger for under $10. Way better than going to the mall.

  4. These are great suggestions and I could use all of them!!! I'm definitely not the most organized person. I'm not even sure I could offer a tip, except to read what you said and avoid letting clutter build. Once it does, it much harder to get rid of it!

    1. If you saw our house you would know why I wrote this. More to follow than anything else. I know how to organize, but it never stays that way with more things than places to put them.


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