Simplify your home life and clear the clutter with these easy rules.
1. Keep things of value
Everything in your home should have some value to you. If you don't use it, need it or even like it, then it's time to give it away.
2. A home for everything
Do you constantly lose things in your own home? Give your belongings a place where they live and return them after use. Communicate this system to your household and the result will be fewer missing things and a tidier home.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
You might think that multitasking and rushing from one activity to the next will save time and energy. But what you really end up with is a bunch of half-finished projects and exhaustion. Focus on one task at a time - sort the mail, then do the washing, then cook dinner - to uncluttered your daily schedule.
4. If it doesn't fit, it goes
There is absolutely no point in keeping clothes that don't fit or suit you anymore. They are simply taking up valuable wardrobe space so donate or sell them to someone who will appreciate them. If a garment has sentimental value then label and put it in storage (but only keep a handful of sentimental items!)
5. Give away if you haven't worn or used it in a year
Everyone has those 'someday' pieces in their home. "Someday I'll wear that dress out" or "someday I'll use that embroidered tablecloth". In reality, if you've gone through a whole year without looking twice at your 'someday' item, you probably won't use it in the future. Let it go!
6. Ignore trends and fads
Buying things because they are on trend makes no sense if they don't suit you or your house. Prevent clutter by not buying into the latest fashion trends and give away the 'trendy' stuff you bought but never used.
7. Invest in storage systems
After you have decided what to keep, you need a clever storage system to keep the clutter at bay. A little planning goes a long way. Measure your space before going shopping for new storage boxes, baskets, racks, hooks and more to ensure it works for your home.
8. The car is not storage
Cars are for driving, not holding your stuff. Food wrappers, spare clothes, blankets, towels, tools etcetera should be kept in your home or tossed. A clean and tidy car will help to put you into a good mood and reinforce your 'no clutter' motto.
9. Inherited items
So you can't bear the thought of throwing away the silverware from your aunt, the blanket from your grandmother, the lamp from your uncle. The fact that you've inherited an item doesn't mean you absolutely must keep it. If you don't like it or won't use it, donate the hand-me-down or give it to someone who will appreciate it. If you do decide to keep it, don't keep double ups. For example, if you get a new blanket, give away one of your old ones.
10. Organise your files
A cluttered computer is just as time-consuming and confusing as a cluttered home. Set aside a few hours to go through your files: delete what you don't need, organise folders, add colour coding. When naming files, add the date backwards at the beginning, followed by key words that will help you remember what the file is about. That way it will be easier to search for your work.
11. Don't display everything
Trying to put your entire souvenir collection on display is a big mistake as it will only make your home feel more cluttered. The key is to edit: less is more! Put a few of your treasures on display shelves and put the rest in storage. Rotate your collection when you need a change.
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Source: Better Homes and Gardens, "11 rules to unclutter your life"