Whether it’s a children’s bedroom, your home office, the attic, garage or basement, every home has areas that always seem to collect clutter. Tired fighting the piles of clutter in their homes, many homeowners will resolve to de-clutter and be better organized in the new year. Trouble is many homeowners will rush to the store to buy storage containers and end the new year with the same clutter they had at the end of the last year. Follow these home organization strategies so you can clear your home of its existing clutter and keep it from coming back.
A place for everything. One of the main reasons why for clutter piling up is not having a designated storage place or “home” for the item. It helps to store an item in the same room where it’s used because it’s more likely to get put away when you’re done. Storing similar items together and in a place that’s easy to access is essential, especially for frequently used items. If you need to move a toaster on a high shelf in order to put away a frequently used bowl, odds are you and your family members aren’t going to put the bowl away very often.
Here come the Pile Police. It’s up to you to patrol your home and protect it. One way to prevent pile ups is by keeping things out of your home in the first place. Almost everyone likes to get freebies like T-shirts and coffee mugs handed out by vendors throughout the year and especially during the holidays. But you have to ask yourself if you’ll really use those items. If you don’t think you’ll use them, you’re better off declining them or giving them away so you don’t have to store them. If you’re an insatiable reader who already has tons of books, borrowing books from the library can help. Opting out of mailings from direct marketers and credit card companies is another way to prevent paperwork from piling up in your home. These are just a few ways that you, the pile police, can patrol your home and block those items from entering.
CSI – Clutter Scene Investigation. Much like the detectives on NBC’s CSI – Crime Scene Investigation, you too must take the time to figure out why stuff accumulates in certain areas of your home. This requires what we like to call “clutter scene investigation.” For example, you might ask yourself why the dishes constantly pile up in your kitchen sink and on the counters. “Is it really too much work to load the dishwasher?” You ask your spouse, spotted at the scene of the crime, rinsing out his coffee cup and setting it in the sink. You discover that your spouse and the kids don’t like unloading the dishwasher because it means having to open a cabinet of plastic containers that rain down on them every time they open the cabinet door. Understanding the problem is half the battle and the only way to devise a solution.
Take a solemn oath. If you’re really serious about organizing your home in the New Year, then promise yourself to not do any shopping for organizational systems, containers, bins or boxes until you’ve de-cluttered your home, identified the reasons why certain areas of your home are victims of clutter and come up with appropriate solutions. Organizational systems for closets, pantries, laundry rooms and your garage won’t be used to their fullest potential until you know the cause of the clutter in your home and how to prevent it in the future.
One in, one out. One of the best ways to defeat clutter in your home is by throwing out duplicates. If you plan to buy a big screen TV with your Christmas bonus, it’s better to determine what you’re going to do with your old TV before you bring the new flat-screen TV home. Getting something new means getting rid of something like it that is old.
In “Organizing Your Home in the New Year Part II” we’ll look at more home organization strategies for the long-haul.