QUICK CLUTTER CONTROL
10 TIPS FOR A TIDIER HOME
self help article
by Colleen Moulding
Self Help Happiness article:
1. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare
put away five or ten items that are not in their
correct place. These could be toys that the kids
have left somewhere, letters that need filing away
or odd socks that need putting in a drawer.
2. Dump junk mail the moment you receive it.
Deal with other mail at least once a week filing
away what you need to keep in an indexed
concertina file, card or plastic file wallets or even
large brown envelopes.
3. The five boxes method. This will clear clutter
from any room or area of the house, but can look
awful while in progress. Set aside a time when
you won’t be disturbed, put on a tape of upbeat
music and have a treat in the fridge for lunch.
First job is to label the boxes – Rubbish, Give
Away/Sell, Keep, Sentimental and Not Sure.
You then go through everything in the area
consigning each item to one of the boxes.
Theoretically, by the time you have got rid of the
Rubbish and Give Away/Sell boxes, you should
have enough space to store the Sentimental and
put the Keep items back in an orderly way.
The Not Sure box should be sealed up, stored in
basement or attic and if not needed after six
months or one year, given away unopened, so
that you’re not tempted to keep the contents
all over again.
4. Be ruthless. If you haven’t used an item in
the last two years you are not likely to need it
again. Do you really want a clutter free,
streamlined home or not?
5. If you can’t face an entire room, break the
job down into manageable tasks – the kitchen
junk drawer, the letter pile, the hats, coats and
shoes area. That way you won’t be put off
decluttering as just too big a task.
6. Treat yourself to items that make staying tidy
easier. Cardboard storage boxes are great for
sewing and craft items, Christmas decorations,
treasures that your children have made.
Plastic or fabric hanging shoe bags are perfect for storing
small toys and dolls or for hair brushes, clips,
cosmetics and toiletries. Invest in some of those
drawer dividers that separate drawers into a
dozen little compartments – but don’t fill them
7. Clean and put away fifty per cent of your ornaments.
Not only will this give your home a more modern
minimalist look, you will get your dusting done in
half the time.
8. Consider enlisting the help of a family member
or friend to be your organizing buddy. She helps you
with your house – you help with her clutter disposal.
Hearing yourself try to explain why you need a whole
kitchen cupboard full of plastic containers can help
you get them into that Rubbish box.
9. Don’t keep buying things. Stop and think, do
I really need this and have I got somewhere to
keep this? Some people work on a one in, one
out system, i.e. if you buy a new sweater, toy for
the children etc. then one goes to the charity shop
or is given to a friend.
10. Don’t give up. It will take time. All the clutter
didn’t come into your home in one day and you
won’t get rid of it all in one day. Keep on sorting,
dumping, tidying and labelling, cut back
on bringing new clutter home and it is a battle that
can be won. You will have more time, a neat home
and less stress as a reward for your efforts.
© Colleen Moulding 1999
Colleen Moulding is a freelance writer based in the South of England. She is also owner/editor of All That Women Want.com http://www.allthatwomenwant.com a magazine, web guide and resource for women everywhere. Channels for home, parenting, computing, travel, food, fashion ,entertainment, seasonal sites, what kids want, shopping, books and writing, working from home, women’s business, antiques, something different and lots more. Subscribe to the free monthly e-zine by sending a blank e-mail to: email@example.com
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