Many of us have drawers, cabinets and closets heaping full of stuff we don't use. The sight of stacks of old magazines, a variety of unnecessary gadgets and other random knick knacks, piled in various corners, closets and counters makes us cringe. We quickly resolve to trash it all and will likely forget to follow through.
Sure, that souvenir cup from the first time you vacationed at Disney World brings back memories, and those favorite jeans from five years ago are too big right now, but they'll fit again! It's difficult to let go, we get it.
Whether it's an emotional attachment to a treasured item or the thought of throwing money down the drain that causes you to hold on longer than you should, the only way to clean up your act is to toss, donate or repurpose those items that aren't serving you any longer.
Here's our advice on kicking your clutter habit:
Schedule a weekend, or two, to purge. Room by room, drawer by drawer. If you haven't used an item in the last six months, let it go - seriously. It's really that simple.
Use discretion when it comes to sentimental items. It's okay to be emotionally attached to your child's hand woven baby blanket. It's kind of not okay to store every piece of art your child has created since pre-school.
If you'd rather piecemeal the task, do a little each day. Concentrate on a kitchen drawer for 20 minutes one day. Trash duplicate utensils - who needs two garlic mincers or can openers? Toss disposable silverware and random swag, like souvenir cups and swirly straws. Do you have more coffee mugs than any person will ever need? Recycle all but the five to ten (depending on family size) most enjoyable ones.
Be realistic when considering house projects. Be specific and diligent in completing them and cleaning the tools and scraps up. If you can't commit to a deadline for finishing projects, consider hiring a professional.
Manage additional clutter by using caution when making new purchases. Do you really need another kitchen accessory or ambiance candle? Probably not. Ask yourself:
- Do I have a place to store this when I get it home?
- How much extra work will this possession add to my life?
Keep it simple and relish in the happiness and ease that a clean, clutter free space will create.