Clutter: we've all got it, but most of us would like less of it. What are some ways to organize clutter?
1. Become Motivated
If you need some motivation to organize your clutter, help is available. "It's All Too Much" and "How to Organize (Just About) Everything" by organizing guru Peter Walsh are chock full of ideas, as well as motivation.
Flylady.com is website that has inspired many to organize their clutter, one step at a time. You can sign up for her clutter-busting email reminders.
If all else fails, watch an episode or two of "Hoarders" on A&E, and you'll likely be more than ready to begin organizing.
2. Start Small
Don't feel that you need to conquer a house full of clutter in a day. That type of thinking will most likely lead to paralysis and defeat. Instead, start small: begin the habit of taking one item with you each time you leave a room, and put it in its proper place. Or, devote 15 minutes daily to general decluttering.
3. Use the Right Tools
To become organized, the proper tools can help. Invest in some storage bins to help organize closets. A lazy susan can help organize your spice cabinet. Drawer dividers can be invaluable in tidying up drawers.
4. Store Items Smartly
Most people who organize clutter effectively are smart about where they store things to begin with. You can begin with your kitchen. Do you have drawers crammed full of gadgets you never use? Box them up and get rid of them (or if you feel compelled to keep them, put them in a box in a hard-to-reach cabinet). Use your prime storage space for the items you use most often.
5. Bust Paper Clutter
The "touch it once" strategy works well in reducing paper clutter. Use the stategy for mail. Go through the mail next to the trash can, immediately throwing away things that are not needed. You create clutter when you keep too many things, wanting to think about it for awhile. Months later, you will likely find that item that you intended to think about, and guess what? I bet you haven't thought about it at all! Throw it away and save yourself the mental clutter of keeping it in mind.
For paper clutter that needs to be kept (school information, phone trees, etc), it is helpful to have a binder in an easily accessible spot such as the kitchen. You may even want a binder for school information, a binder for work information, a binder for church information, etc. Punch items with a 3-hole-punch, and file them in the appropriate binder. No more rifling through messy stacks of unorganized paper clutter to find something!
6. Get help
Finally, don't try to go it alone when you are organizing clutter. If you have a family of 4, it took all 4 to create the clutter. It's not fair that only one person - most likely, you - should have all the responsibility for organizing it. Although it initially creates more work, train your spouse and children in clutter-busting strategies, and your workload will eventually be lighter.
You can organize your clutter! Why not begin now?
Susan Braun is a freelance writer living with her husband, three daughters, 2 rabbits, 2 gerbils and hedgehog in Indiana. She writes at girlsinwhitedresses.wordpress.com and Associated Content.