Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to Conquer Clutter Around the House

3 tips to reduce household messes

Our lives can be busy and chaotic and, often times, our house or apartment is the casualty of this fast-paced lifestyle. Things pile up, and messes are created. Your desk is a disaster, and your bedroom looks like a fashion war zone, not to mention that the garage is so full that you need to park your car on the street. You want to have the perfect Martha Stewart home, but keeping out the clutter is difficult. In order to help you help yourself manage your cluttered home, here are some tips from Good Housekeeping writer M.P. Dunleavey on how to conquer the clutter around the house.

Step 1: Don’t try to conquer the clutter alone

Many people get overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done, and this can be especially true when it comes to removing clutter. You don't have to do it alone. Recruit a friend or your family to help you. Everyone who lives in the home should be a part of the organizational process. If you do it alone, all the systems will be made with your brain and your logic, which means that others may have trouble following them. If you recruit friends and family to assist you, they can then help maintain the new systems and lighten your workload.

Step 2: Keep, store and toss

Go through everything. Even if you think it’s all stuff you need to keep, you might find that you don’t need to keep it in such an accessible place. Sometimes the attic or the basement would be a more suitable storage place. As you are sorting, make three piles: a keep pile, a store pile, and a toss pile. Remember, though, toss doesn’t have to mean throw away. You can always have a garage sale and sell things you don’t need anymore or donate them to a local charity. By purging yourself of things you don’t use, you'll have a leg up on clutter, create more space and feel better. If you don’t need an item on a daily basis, put it in storage. Holiday decorations are only used once a year, so they should go deep into storage: on the top shelf of a closet, in the back corner of the attic or far under the bed.

Step 3: Create a place for everything

Give everything a home. Don’t just stick things in places to get them out of the way. Designate a spot for each item so that a week or a month down the road you will know both where to find it and where to put it back. To organize the clothes in your closet, make a system of grouping, either by color or style, and then stick to it. Having a system will help you later know where clothes are, where to put them back and help keep the scene of that fashion war zone out of your bedroom. When dealing with children's toys, be sure their most favorite toys are easily accessible so they have no trouble getting them out or putting them away.

Getting organized may seem an intimidating task, but the benefits of conquering clutter far outweigh the work it may take to get it done. Coming home to a well-organized and clutter-free house will bring you a sense of relaxation you'd never get when returning to a cluttered home.

This post was written by E.C. LaMeaux for

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