Have a clutter problem? Here's how to solve them.

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PROBLEM #1: WE HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF

This might seem obvious, but it is usually the one we have the most trouble with. We can’t find clothes to wear when our closet is overflowing so we buy new ones. We enjoy finding deals and sales so we store our purchases in our already crowded basement or attic until we can find a place for it. We have emotional attachments to things and we don’t want to get rid of them. With too much stuff, you will create more clutter.

SOLUTION: Elimiate excess

While we might feel like the solution is to get containers to organize it all, it really only makes sense to do the obvious and time effective — eliminate the excess.

Items to get rid of right now:

  • Old magazines and newspapers

  • Extra cooking utensils and small appliances you don’t use

  • Old and expired toiletries

  • Anything that is broken that you haven’t gotten around to repairing

  • Excess bed linens beyond two pairs per bed

  • Old technology, ie. VHS tapes, cassette tapes, 8-track players, DVDS, and CDs

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PROBLEM #2: LIFE TRANSITIONS

Every time we have a change in routine, go through a stressful period of time, have a baby, lose or start a new job, experience a financial setback, move to another home, get sick, or have any other life-altering experience, clutter multiplies. Life is a series of transitions. Focus on areas that frustrate you the most every day find simple ways to get things in better order even in those crazy seasons. 

SOLUTION: Start with small tasks

How to remove clutter 5 minutes/day:

  • Walkthrough your space with a box/basket in hand and place any item that is out of place inside it. Put items back where they belong as you go!

  • Pick one small section and focus on decluttering just that area: a bookshelf, junk drawer, linen closet. Get rid of anything you no longer need or doesn’t belong there. Then organize the rest.

  • Designate a donation box. Scan your space for items you’d be willing to give to charity. The key is to NOT replace these items with new ones - the idea is to get rid of clutter, not trade like for like.

PROBLEM #3: YOUR ORGANIZING SYSTEMS ARE TOO COMPLEX

One of the fastest ways for your space to become disorganized is you simply don’t know where to put things. When you don’t know what to do with something, you set it down anywhere. Stop and take notice when you find yourself gravitating towards cluttered areas with yet another pile of stuff. Why are you setting things down instead of putting them away? Once you identify why the problem occurs, set aside time to create a new system to solve it.

Solution: Identify the problem and address it

Simple organizational systems that make a big difference in clutter control:

  • A designated area for your keys

  • Hooks by the entryway for outerwear

  • An organized pantry and fridge

  • A laundry system that makes sense for you/your family


PROBLEM #4: YOU ARE A PERFECTIONIST

Perfectionism paralyzes us. While we know we have clutter, we don’t feel equipped to deal with it perfectly so we do nothing. Maybe we don’t have the perfect organization system yet; we don’t have time to clean out the entire closet, or can’t decide what is most important to do first.

SOLUTION: Learn to get through the rut

You may never have enough time to clean up or reorganize an entire room at once, but try spending 15 minutes a day tackling one small area like a counter or table top. It doesn’t matter which one you start with, just start with something and make it better than it was.

More ideas to get out of a clutter rut:

  • Scan a room in your home and visualize how you want it to look. Making a mental note of furniture and decor you definitely want and clutter you don’t want ahead of time will help streamline the decluttering process.

  • Create to-do lists. Start with tasks that are attainable in the moment. Setting realistic goals for yourself will help keep clutter at bay. You’ll feel satisfaction every time you can cross a task off the list.

  • Make sure everyone in the family is on board. A decluttered life is all about building daily habits for you and your family that will eliminate clutter for good.

 

Consider these questions when you are investigating your clutter:

What are some reasons you have clutter problems?

What could you do today to get started on a solution?

Who else is involved in the cluttered space?

How committed are you to changing your space?

 

5 Daily Mindful Moves That Can Lead to Minimalism

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Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. If you desire to live with fewer material possessions, then minimalism can lend a hand. A minimalist lifestyle allows people to understand their potential; because of this, they see others around them with the same potential to achieve success. It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a lifestyle that forces intentionality. As a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.

Below are 5 mindful moves or habits that can have a profoundly positive impact on your day-to-day activities in your home.

 

Mindful Move #1:

Discard Waste & Wash Your Dishes as Soon as You're Done Using Them

The Result: It's safe to say, no one particularly likes washing a sink full of dishes. It's best to discard the remaining waste in a receptacle and wash your dishes immediately after using them. Not only does it become easier to maintain a clean, clutter-free kitchen, it negates the anxiety of having to clean the large "pile" of dishes or attract pests. 

 

Mindful Move #2:

Sort Through Mail When You Receive It

The Result: Mail is one of those things that tends to pile up fast. Instead of sorting through a massive pile of bills and junk mail as the "pile" grows, it's easier to do it on a day-to-day basis. It only takes a couple of minutes! Immediately place any papers you don't need in the recycling bin and scan and save digitally any important documents that you might need to reference later.

 

Mindful Move #3:

Clear Off Counter Tops Every Night

The Result: No matter how neatly lined-up your appliances are on your kitchen counter are or how organized all of your beauty products are on your bathroom sink, if there are too many things on your countertops your home will look very visually cluttered, not to mention hide crumbs and other residual fragments.  Make it a point to wipe down counters and store things away into cabinets and drawers when you're not using them.

 

Mindful Move #4:

Be Strict About What You Bring Into Your Home

The Result: Maintaining a minimalist home isn't just about keeping organized the things that are already have in your home, it's also about keeping out things that you don't really need. Be more mindful about what you say yes to. Your space is finite and precious. Only take in the things that you absolutely love and know you will use. Don't let family members unload their junk on you. Give yourself 24 hours before you "confirm order" on an online purchase.

 

Mindful Move #5:

De-clutter Little Spaces on a Regular Basis

The Result: Although doing a major cleanse of your home in one fell swoop is ideal, finding time and energy to do so is challenging - don't let that deter you from minimalism. By de-cluttering one little space of your home at a time, you still achieve minimalism bliss. Make Sundays (or any other day of the week) your de-clutter day and tackle just one junk drawer, kitchen cabinet or closet shelf. It doesn't have to take long at all. You'll be amazed at what you can get done in a short 15-20 minute time frame.
 

From my heart to yours, take what you will and pass it on.

Namaste,
Lace A.

 

How to structure your day so that you're not in a rush

Avoid scheduling back-to-back appointments. Includeempty blocks into your calendar to signal to others that you are not available for meetings.

**Share calendar scheduled meetings with others - include notifications to hold all parties accountable! 


Pack up what you need for your next appointment in advance. Don’t wait until you have one foot out the door to start looking for the stuff you will need.

**Imagine your commute as a vacation - it's best to have all your "stuff" prepared ahead of time so you can leave with ease and enjoy your travels. 


• Stop what you are doing 10 minutes before you have to leave to go to your next appointment or start your next activity. Take that time to close down what you were doing, take a few deep breaths, thank yourself for dedicating time to what matters to you most and make sure you are fully prepared for what’s next.

 

Next time you have a relaxed and un-rushed moment, stop and concentrate on how good it feels.

Let that feeling motivate you to make some changes so that you can feel that way more often!

Tips from the detail oriented

Using box labels, stacking baskets with lids, and hanging curtains to replace doors can actually make a world of difference when you're putting together your place.

If you take the time to smartly conceal all of your apartment's clutter, you'll end up looking equal parts stylish and organized, while taking inventory of what you own.

Repurpose the least-frequently used items for opposing functions, ie. muffin tin to sort craft supplies. It serves as a durable container and won't cost you a penny! 

Hanging clothes straight from the dryer and folding articles and layering in order of density streamlines laundry chores in minutes. 

 

 
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