Are chaos and disorganization taking over your life and your home? The unorganized mess in your house can literally be debilitating. When you look around at the clutter and think, “I don’t know where to begin,” it is time to start controlling the clutter in your home. While it is unlikely any of us can ever be completely clutter-free, these 10 tips for controlling clutter in your home are a great place to start managing the mess!
10 Tips for Controlling Clutter in Your Home
Make a List
The first step to controlling your clutter is to lay it all out. You cannot know where to begin if you cannot see the mess. Make a to-do list of everything that needs to be organized in your home. It can be difficult to make sense of the mess swarming around you, so do not worry about putting your list in order. Instead, just start writing it all down. You must start somewhere.
Do Not Try to Accomplish Everything at Once
The unorganized mess in your home was not thrown into clutter and chaos in a day, and you will not be able to organize it in one day. Take baby steps as you try to reorganize your house. Start in a small area and work your way up to the larger areas. Take a breath and relax. You can do this one small step at a time.
Start with the Trash
What is the point in trying to organize what you do not need, use or want? Bring out a large contractor bag, and scour your house for trash (and I am talking items you cannot donate, non-useable items – broken toys, crayons, exploded pens, torn envelopes – real garbage). You may need more than one large contractor bag and that is fine. Get rid of obvious trash such as paper plates, toilet paper rolls, and junk mail (you may move that to the shredder). The more you get rid of in that garbage bag the less you have to organize later.
Tackle a Small Area First
Many people give up organization when they do not see immediate results. It can be frustrating to have a room(s) look worse after a few hours of decluttering than it did before you started (it is always darkest before the dawn). Tackle a small area such as the foyer to your home, the bathroom, or a hallway or even simply the hallway closet. Once you can see a finished decluttered and organized accomplishment, you will feel more energized to continue throughout your home.
Use the Power of the Bins
If you do not have bins, now is the time to go out and purchase some. I highly suggest clear bins that you can label and/or see through. Or, color coded bins – perhaps one color per room or per child.
Color code your holiday bins. Mine are green and red for Christmas, orange for Halloween and brown for Fall. Red for Vantine’s day would work (so stick to only green for Christmas), pink or purple for Easter, blue for the summer holidays would also be good choices.
Everything can have a place, and even if you are not the super organized type with labels, at least the bin will be in the proper room and assigned to the proper child. Bins can be a great way to organize anything and everything. You can use your bins to organize winter and summer clothes, organize your home office, or to have a place for all your shoes. Consider using smaller bins, medium bins, and larger bins for different items in your house. Use the power of the bins to get organized and master the chaos.
I am not saying you have to go all Martha Stewart on everything, but labels help you to keep organized in the future. They, also, help you to find what you are looking for when you are in a hurry. If you just throw everything in a bin, and you do not label what is in the bin for later additions, the chaos will come back.
Use labels such as:
• Winter clothes
• Summer clothes
• Summer shoes
• Winter shoes
• Office supplies
• Important papers
Use a marker, a sticker label, or print labels using a label maker to label all your bins. The more you label, the easier it will be to keep it organized and see what you have in the future.
Organize that Paper Trail with File Folders
You do not need a file cabinet to keep your paperwork in order. In fact, hanging file folders work in boxes, egg crates, and bins as well. Get some file folders and start labeling them to fit all your important papers. Things like your mortgage, insurance policies, and taxes need to have their own special folder in place. Make your file folders before you go through your paperwork. This will cut down on the time it takes to organize and allow you to simply place your papers where they need to go.
I do not file every day. I put all the papers on top of the box and then file periodically. The box is stored in a cabinet, so no one sees it. As long as this paperwork is filed occasionally, this method really works.
Place Shelves in Closets
The front hall closet used to be a disaster of a dumping ground until I installed freestanding plastic shelving. Now, those shelves store things I use regularly such as crafting items, my camera equipment, etc. There is still plenty of room for coats and boots (also on the plastic shelving), but the closest is now organized and I can grab what I need in seconds.
Put Items Away Immediately
One thing I never allowed in any of my homes was a pile on the stairs. If something was placed on the stairs, it went up and was put away immediately! This included shoes, baskets of laundry (and the laundry was put away as soon as it went upstairs), books, etc. Not only am I afraid of a tripping hazard, it looks like hell. Very few people have the luxury of back stairs no one sees that can house clutter. The staircase is usually very close to front and center in the home, and the last thing anyone wants for a first impression is that their home is a cluttered mess.
Purge Items You Do Not Use
There is no point in keeping something you never use or do not wear. Use the 6-month (or 12 months for seasonal) logic on everything that is not of sentimental value in your home. If you have not used it in 6 months, as yourself the hard question: Am I really going to use this again? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is no, trash it or donate it.
Purging your house of extra clutter you do not need is not only going to help you get organized, but it is going to help you stay organized. Less is more and that goes for the things in your home as well.
Is your home in utter disarray? What tips can you give to help organize the chaos in your house? Share your organizational strategies in the comments below!
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