Tips for Cleaning and Clutter Control
Clutter is a huge stumbling block to someone who desires a clean and organized home but lacks the knowledge of how to achieve it. Once someone allows their house to get to full of clutter, real cleaning like sweeping, dusting and vacuuming takes a back seat. The homeowner will now have to spend so much time de-cluttering before the real washing, that by the time they get around to cleaning the counter they just de-cluttered, they are too tired to keep cleaning or there’s no more time to finish cleaning everything else. But, there are steps to controlling the jumble of stuff that can sometimes be overwhelming.
Papers are the most common thing that clutters people’s homes. Whether it’s the mail, newspapers, papers from work, or your kid’s school work and projects they bring home, there are several ways to organize yourself to avoid these things cluttering up your home. Take the time to go through the mail right when you get it. Place a small garbage can at the front door so junk mail hardly even has to enter the house. Place paper bills that need to be paid in a “to do” file right away. The “to do” basket can be hung on the wall near a phone or computer for those who like to pay bills that way or in a basket on a desk near the stamps and the return address stickers.
File other important papers right away instead of leaving them in a pile to do later because later sometimes doesn’t come until after it’s officially turned into clutter. Keeping work papers at home works the same way. Put the important papers where they belong and get rid of the rest. Some people have garbage cans that can be placed in a bottom cabinet in the kitchen. It’s a really good idea to place a bin that will hold old newspapers next to the garbage can. You can then take out the garbage and the recyclable newspapers all at the same time.
Parent knows how many school papers that come home everyday with their child. Parents can sometimes get torn between wanting to keep everything that their child makes as a keepsake and wanting to keep the clutter down. Keep a plastic storage bin in a cabinet or closet close to where you go through the backpack everyday. Use this to place important projects that you would like to keep and throw away the rest of the school work and flyers. A big bin can be placed in a basement, under a bed, or in an attic that you can dump the smaller bin into that will permanently hold those precious bits of history that your child will love to look through one day.
When trying to control other clutter, there are a few things that you should always think about. Is this an item that you will use again? Don't Kid Yourself If you haven’t used something in a year you most likely are not going to use it again so, get throw it away. You might want to consider selling it or giving it to a charity if it is still clean and in working order. If the item is used infrequently and you are not sure whether or not you should keep it or not, store it for six months. If you don’t use it in that time frame, you can get rid of it.
Items that are used only seasonally can be stored in plastic storage bins in out of the way places. Consider purchasing large storage bins that can be stacked on top of each other and used as drawers. The most annoying hassle for me is when I buy something that is on sale because it is not in season or I find a seasonal item that was not put away when the rest were and I can’t get it back into the proper box because everything is piled on top of each other. Plus, if the drawers are clear, you can see what is inside them and when it comes time to decorate for the season, you can easily find the items you want to put out first. Also remember, if something is broken, damaged or stained, throw it out. This applies to all items, not just seasonal ones. You will most likely waste time and effort trying to work around the thing that should be garbage.