Clutter seems to follow me. I must have a magnetic clutter pull. I will organize a room or a drawer and before I know it, it’s cluttered again. I’m working on de-magnetizing myself. And dare I say it out loud, I think I’m finally organizing clutter once and for all!
Here are the best ways I have found to organize clutter:
How to Organize Clutter
Before you even get started, have a look around your house. Bring a piece of paper and pencil with you. Figure out where there is clutter. Is it on table tops, counters, floors, shelves, in drawers? You may be surprised to find that your clutter is usually contained in specific areas.
After finding the clutter (which in my home is super simple!), figure out why it’s there. Is there a pile of papers because you don’t have a spot for bills? Or is it because your spot for bills is inconvenient to access, or too cluttered to add more bills to?
Are the toys messy because there are simply too many, because there is no organization system, or because your kids are little monsters (ahem!)?
After these first 2 steps are completed, you are truly ready to conquer your clutter for once and all. You now know where the clutter is and why it’s there, making it simple to plan how to get rid of it for good.
Clearly, the best way to get rid of clutter is just that, to get rid of it. Truly think about items that are cluttering up your life. I’ve been trying very hard to follow the mantra – if I do not find it useful or beautiful, I do not need it.
Create designated piling spots – a closet or garage space works well. Create a pile for items to donate and a pile for items to sell. Make regular trips to donation centers of course, to keep piles under control.
3. Everything in its place
One key way to organize clutter is to make sure every single item in your home has a place. The bills shouldn’t pile up on your counter if they have a convenient and organized storage spot. The scissors should never go missing, if everyone knows they belong in the left kitchen drawer, etc.
4. Containers, bins, and buckets, oh my!
While I agree that containers and bins do not in and of themselves organize a home, I believe that they certainly have a place in organizing clutter.
Once you’ve realized the important items that you do in fact need, and you have a place for them, containerizing is a good choice to further organize those items.
Having a container for receipts and warranties ensures you always have what you need, when you need it. Having a bin devoted to hair elastics, headbands, and the like makes sure those items don’t clutter up the bathroom counter.
5. Know when one is enough
While getting organized, you may realize that you have multiples of items (like 5 pairs of kitchen scissors). Is this really needed for your family? If not, get rid of the extras.
My husband and I used to each have one travel mug for coffee. Every night they would get washed and reused the next day. Once in awhile one would be forgotten at work, and we would suffer the consequences the next day.
Eventually, there was a good sale and we bought a few more travel mugs. Low and behold we ended up losing them all over a very short period. We no longer had that sense of needing to be extra careful with our cups, as we knew there were extras at home. Sometimes having one is enough.
Once you’ve determined a place for every object, label that place. Label your cupboard shelves, the inside of drawers, everything! This way everyone in your home will know where items belong, making it impossible for them to plead ignorance when you question why the kitchen scissors are not in the left kitchen drawer.
7. Take pictures of memorabilia
This is one step I have a lot of trouble with. I do a ton of crafts with my kids, and as such, have a ton of crafts saved up as keepsakes. I also have some of my favourite baby outfits, blankets, and the like. I have a very difficult time parting with this stuff.
I can’t rationalize – it’s silly, and realize I still have those memories in my head, but I just don’t want to get rid of the items.
Taking pictures of some things has allowed me to part with them, but my favourite baby things I am choosing to organize with containers. I have one container for each child, and am limiting myself to that one bin. This works for me.
Organizing clutter can be done if you put in the effort. It certainly takes time – but I have learned that it also takes strategy. Simply cleaning it up may not be enough, but truly organizing and ensuring everything has its place will allow you to easily conquer that clutter.
Being organized is extremely beneficial – it saves you money and time! You will not have to search for items and will not have to unnecessarily buy duplicate items. The time it takes to organize your clutter will be granted back to you ten fold because you will no longer need to search and shop.