Bust up Clutter
May 31, 2018
It’s a plague that can strike almost any living space — even those as pristine as The Village. Clutter, taking up room within your abode, and making it appear as if a small tornado had worked its way through your home mere moments ago. According to Goodwill, this malady is more pervasive and pernicious than you might previously have suspected:
80% of what we keep, we never use.
Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40% of housework in the average home.
The average American burns 55 minutes a day - roughly 12 days a year - looking for things they know they own but cannot find.
50% of homeowners rate the garage as the most disorganized place in the house.
We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest just hangs there, just in case.
80% of the clutter in most homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.
The average American spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items at home and in the office.
Knowing this, you might be thinking that getting your living space organized will pay off big time, and you’d be right. What’s more, you’ve come to the right place to learn more, as today, we’re going to reveal some clutter busting secrets that will help you reclaim your home and live in relative peace.
Cut Through the Clutter: Common Approaches
One of the hardest parts about getting down to the business of cleaning up is that you might not know where to start. Our first tip, courtesy of Real Simple, addresses this hurdle, urging you to treat cleaning up like you’re getting ready to move out:
“Say you had to uproot and relocate. What would you take with you? You don't actually have to pack up anything―just set aside the few things that you love and use and see what's left over.”
The genius of this strategy is that it simultaneously spurs you to action and provides some direction on how to approach your decluttering process. If you’ve conducted a home move in the past (and honestly, how many of us haven’t?) you likely already have a system worked out for getting your superfluous items out of the way in a hurry. If not, here are some tips help you out:
Think like a homebuyer/renter would. If you were touring your space, would you be interested in living there?
Apply that logic to all spaces of your home, from the kitchens to the closet.
Find extra storage containers after you’ve sifted through the clutter and decided what will stay and what will go.
It’s a great way to start, but not the only decluttering method that might work. Alternatively, Real Simple suggests, is the room-by-room assessment, about as straightforward a solution as they come. Here’s how it works:
“Walk through your house with a pen and a notebook, writing down the activities that take place in each room and the items associated with those activities.”
Do the items in said room fit the purpose you’ve laid out? If not, they’ve got to go. This approach fits those with the methodical, step-by-step frame of mind. Setting the purpose of your rooms first helps you get a “bird’s eye view” of your cleaning goals, and allows you to repurpose out-of-place items for new rooms (if they fit there). You’ll also be able to separate the useless from the useful, taking that which serves no purpose and selling/donating it after you’ve completed your major cleanup.
Organizer and speaker extraordinair, Felice Cohen, is the author of 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet. In an article for Prevention, she provides a unique perspective on the art of downsizing and doing without that which you don’t need to save space:
“When I was living in a tiny studio that didn't even have a kitchen, I relied on my toaster oven. Though I lived in a neighborhood with plenty of restaurants and markets, I made a lot of meals in that toaster. Many people think they need a blender, food processor, and mixer, but you can find one multitasking appliance (like a large blender) to do the work of all three.”
Additionally, she provides some hints you might find useful if you’ve been in a bind about how to save space and nix clutter.
Among them, she recommends using vertical containers to maximize storage space along your walls (much like a skyscraper maximizes occupants by building up), getting creative by obtaining storage that can serve multiple purposes, and storing similar items together so you don’t go overboard on them.
It’s an interesting read, and there’s a lot to learn, so it’s highly recommended you check out some of those tips and add them to your decluttering routine.
Additional Tips You Might Find Usefu
Lastly, you should keep in mind that the war on clutter is rarely won in a single battle. It’s an ongoing process that requires you remain ever-vigilant. Here are some final tips you can hold onto to ensure the clutter stays at bay:
Go through your snail mail immediately. Those junk letters tend to pile up if you don’t show them any attention, so striking early allows you to get them out of the way pronto.
Set aside time for decluttering every day. It doesn’t have to be a large amount of time, maybe just 15 minutes. It’ll go a long way to keeping junk from piling up, however.
Hang up your coat. Every time. You’ll be surprised how often outdoor garments will end up cluttering your space. Get in the habit of hanging them up, though, and you’re in the clear.
Keep The Village Clean
Communities like this are the pride of Mountain View. Don’t they deserve to be kept in pristine condition? Even if the idea of doing it “for the community” doesn’t much appeal to you, doing it for yourself will certainly bring you lasting benefits.
With your lovely residence clean, you can spend more time enjoying it, or lounging around at the pool, gym, or yoga studio. And what could be better than that, really?