Is a clutter-free home possible? Learn how mavens of home cleaning and home organization manage to get a handle on the stuff that seems to accumulate and multiply. Did you know that you can remove clutter from life and home in 30 minutes a day?
Day 1: De-clutter Mentally by Taking Stock
All clutter is not created equal. A home with children has a different type of clutter than the home of a single person living alone. Take an inventory of your home on a typical day and define your particular brand of clutter. Be as specific as possible and jot down in a notebook all the little odds and ends that seem to crowd available surfaces.
Tip: Before achieving a clutter-free home, remember that some home cleaning needs to take place. To this end, it pays to differentiate trash from bona fide clutter, such as errant toys, dishes, magazines and other items.
Home Cleaning Paves the Road to a Clutter-free Home
Clean the home. Remove all the trash, wash the dishes and put them away. Do the laundry, fold it and put away the clean clothes. You are now free to remove clutter a.k.a. the items left over that do not qualify as trash but nevertheless do not seem to have a steady home.
Tip: If it is difficult to put away dishes because the cupboards seem to hold other items – or it is hard to put away clean clothes because the closet is already filled to brimming – start your effort to de-clutter in these venues.
You have now set the stage to organize and de-clutter your home in as little as 30 minutes a day. Endeavor to maintain a clean home and do not add any more clothes, laundry or dishes to the mix.
Items Needed for Each Room:
– 3 See-through trash bags
– 1 Inventory list
Day 2: Remove Clutter from Each Room by Spending 30 Minutes Apiece
Remove clutter from each cleaned room by sorting items into one of the three see-through trash bags. Be sure to use one set of bags per room. Trash goes into one bag and out into the dumpster or trash can.
Give-away items go into the second bag and will be grouped in the garage until they can be dropped off at the charity of your choice; be sure to keep an inventory list to write off the charitable donation from your taxes. Items you want to keep — but are not sure where to put — go into bag number three. Be merciless!
Days 3 through 7: Sort through the Number 3 Bags
Go through the “keep it” bags, one room at a time. Set a timer for 30 minutes per bag. Within that time, either find a place to store the items, toss them out or add them to the give-away pile. Whatever is left over in the bag after 30 minutes automatically goes into the give-away pile. If this sounds Draconian to you, you are correct.
Even so, by consciously limiting the amount of time you have to empty the bags, you prevent a recurrence of clutter. Spend the rest of the day organizing drawers and storage areas in the room of your choice. Within a week, you will have an organized, clutter-free home.
The author relies on personal experience gained by downsizing from a two-story home to an RV during a two-year stint as a full-timer.