If your home is overrun with unopened mail, partnerless shoes, and half finished craft projects, giving it the overhaul it needs to become a haven of organization and simplicity may seem like one more project that’s just too big to tackle. Rather than taking on the clutter as a massive weekend operation, try taking a smaller and simpler approach that can transform your home one small act at a time.
– Cancel your paper statements. If you have regular internet access and check your email frequently, there’s no need to keep the onslaught of bank and credit card statements coming in the mail. Not only is this act environmentally friendly, it will also free your home from the ever growing mountain of mail. You can set all of your correspondence to arrive via email with just a few clicks at your bank or creditor’s web page.
– Corral your shoes. If your home is filled with lone shoes, or simply cluttered with several pairs kicked off in various places, designate a single spot for all of your shoes. Whether this is a pile by the door, or a neat line along the floor of the closet, keeping your shoes in one place is the first step toward pairing them all up and having the ability to find the right pair in a hurry. If you find you’re having difficulty with this step, consider changing the placement of your shoe spot. If you constantly take off your shoes as you sit down on the couch, storing them upstairs in a closet will require a change of habit. Placing a basket next to the couch, instead, will allow you to work with your habit rather than change it.
– Embrace the decorative box or basket. You can find simple, decorative photo boxes at nearly any Target, Wal-Mart, or home décor store, and I have yet to find a Goodwill that isn’t teeming with baskets in every size and shape imaginable. Grab a few of these handy storage solutions and use them to contain your clutter. The stack of magazines on the back of the toilet looks infinitely better in a small basket, and the mountain of half finished crochet projects can easily be tucked into photo boxes and stacked in a corner or on a shelf.
– Take small steps toward clearing out some extra space. If you have an extra five minutes before your favorite show starts, open a drawer and find five or ten things that you really don’t need or that you know belong somewhere else. Throw away or relocate those items, then close the drawer and enjoy your evening. After a few quick combs through the content, the drawer will look noticeably improved and you’ll be ready to move on to another corner of the house.
– Designate a Goodwill bin. How many times have you browsed through your closet, identified three shirts you know you will never wear again, and then moved on with your day? The well intentioned trip to Goodwill is included on most people’s to do list, but it always seems to get pushed to the bottom because you can never find the time to go through the house and gather up all the things that you want to get rid of. Place a designated bin in the back of a closet, on a shelf in the garage, or in the foyer. When you find an item you don’t want, place it there immediately. When the bin is full, drop it by Goodwill while you’re out running errands.
While a good spring cleaning or weekend organizing project can do wonders for an overwhelmed home, most of us have an overwhelmed schedule to match that just can’t accommodate it. Try adopting some of these smaller steps, and you’ll find your home gradually transforming, while the bigger projects seem much easier to handle.