Think you've lost control over the clutter in your life? Keep these eight simple rules in mind - every day - to conquer clutter and organize your life
- Put it in its proper place. The last thing you need is tons of stray, homeless items strewn about. When you're done using something, don't put it temporarily on the table, the counter or another random surface. Put it back where it belongs---in its designated home. Don't have a designated home? Find an appropriate place and claim it as a home for this item.
- Be sure it meets your 'OK to Buy' criteria. If you see something at the store that you're thinking of buying, don't buy it until you know:
- where you're going to put it
- if you really need it (go home first and think about it if you're not absolutely sure)
- Keep things you love and/or use. If you have things that you never use and/or that you're not too fond of, don't take up precious space in your home with those possessions. Save your valuable space for those things that have lots of meaning and/or that serve an excellent purpose.
- Ease your guilt. If you're keeping something you don't like and/or you don't use because you're feeling bad about getting rid of it, try to ease that guilt by giving away the item to someone you feel may really enjoy it and/or put it to good use. Another alternative is selling that item at your next rummage sale.
- Get them on your side. No matter how much you want to get and stay organized , your family members may not share your vision. Entice them to join your crusade, by rewarding them for completion of tasks such as putting their clothes in the hamper, emptying the dryer when the cycle has finished, and cleaning up their rooms at the end of each day. Perhaps they can build points or star stickers that can eventually be traded in for fun prizes like a movie outing, a picnic in the living room or a batch of their favorite cookies. Hey, everyone could use a little bit of motivation, right?
- Use the rotation system. If you have lots of things you really love, but your problem is finding space to display everything, know that you don't have to display everything you have at once. Keep a Rotation Box or two in the basement, attic or a closet. Display some things now, and store others in the boxes. When the season or the mood changes, rotate some items out of the box, and those currently on display back into the boxes. You'll be able to enjoy everything you have, without that cluttered feeling.
- Ask for gifts that don't clutter. Drop hints whenever necessary to ensure you get gifts that don't add to your clutter. Some possibilities are a gift certificate for a manicure, movie tickets, homemade fudge, or piano lessons. Some families and friends even go so far as to hand each other wish lists so they only receive things they will use.
- Be ruthless. A big part of getting and staying organized starts in your own mind. If you're only somewhat interested in being organized, chances are your home is only going to be somewhat organized. However, if you're absolutely adamant about following systems that will help you eliminate clutter, then clutter will never have a chance.
It's up to you. You're in control.