Lifestyle, OYou BootCamp 2012

10 Simple Tricks to Living a Less Cluttered Life

OYou 2012 Boot Camp Challenge: Organizing Your Life – Week 3

There are days that I feel swallowed up by certain spaces in my home.  You know those areas that no matter how often you clean, clutter just appears. Overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, I often turned away pretending I don’t see it….knowing that by doing so I rob myself of the peace the space could bring.  Eventually I break down and take care of my space, but not without my body resisting.  It is as if I am honestly repelled by clutter. I have always been drawn to clean lines and structure.  I am not a neat freak; however I do wish that organization came easier.  This week with our Peter Walsh organization challenge I realized what is holding me back…my stuff.  I have way more than I could ever need.  So this week I am challenging myself to trim down the amount of stuff that intrudes on my space. 

Here are some quick and easy steps you can make towards a clutter-free life:

  • Closet Space. Choose one section of your closet to tackle.  Sort out the clothes that you can donate.  If you are having a hard time deciding on whether to get rid of it, place it in a special area of your closet.  In the next 3 months, put the items you wear back into the regular mix.  If it doesn’t make the cut, get rid of it.
  • Loose Papers. Many of us have phone numbers, recipes and sticky notes lying around the house with information that we don’t want to lose.  Pile them up and sit yourself down.  Email all of the information to yourself and recycle the excess paper!
  • Clutter Buckets. Baskets become a catch-all for all sorts of items that people are too tired to return to their proper place.  Empty them out and donate them.  If it isn’t there, they can’t fill it up.
  • Ask for Help. Call a family meeting and have everyone take 5 minutes to go around the room to grab whatever they personally left behind.  This works great with laundry, too.  A couple of loads of towels can be folded in no time.  If everyone helps out, it will save you a ton of time!
  • Dishes.  In order to save time on dishes, have each person rinse their dish and have it dishwasher ready.  If the dishwasher is actually empty, remind them to go ahead and load their dish. By doing this, the whole family will cut down on kitchen clutter and dishes won’t be so overwhelming.
  • Magazines.  Take 15 minutes to walk around and grab old magazines and take them up to your local hospital.
  • Medicine Cabinets.  Go through your cabinets and containers that hold all of your medicines and first aid supplies.  Get rid of anything that has expired or doesn’t work…even the 10-year-old band aids that many of us hold on to.  It is time to get rid of them!  (Learn how to dispose of the medicines properly.)
  • Mail. Sort your mail into two piles: things to keep and thrash.  Throw away all the inserts and junk mail before it hits the table.  This will help you to eliminate the piles of junk that accumulate on your desk.  I try to sort mine before it even makes it in the house leaving the junk mail where it belongs…in the recycling bin.
  • Kitchen Help.  Peter Walsh has a great idea for de-cluttering your kitchen drawers.  Take all of your kitchen utensils and place them into a box.  Pull them out one by one as you use them.  After four weeks donate whatever is left in the box.  You don’t need it!
  • Teach your Children.  If they learn how to sort and organize at an early age, you will save yourself time having to clean up after them…and they will have a chance at a lifetime free of clutter.

Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

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