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10 Simple Yet Creative Life Hacks for a Clutter Free Home

10 Simple Yet Creative Life Hacks for a Clutter Free Home

We all want to decrease the clutter in our homes and become more organized. Whether it’s a problem of money or time, however, many of us put off organizing the messiest rooms of our homes. That’s why we have created this list of cheap, simple solutions to the most common clutter problems.

From your overflowing mail table to that unruly office desk, we have some great ideas on how to turn mess into success. Here are our favorite life hacks for a clutter free home:

Wall Space

While adding extra shelving above the bed or beside the fridge is always helpful, it’s also labor intensive and permanent, so here are some simpler ideas:

Pegboards

Pegboards are the sort of item that once you start using them, you’ll wonder how you ever got on without them. These boards are often made out of sturdy plastic or metal, and feature dozens of little holes for attaching hooks. These hooks can be used to store anything that hangs, from kitchen utensils to house keys.

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Try one by your vanity to hang long necklaces and earrings, or one by the front door for keys, umbrellas, hats, and more. Pegboards come in a variety of colors and sizes, and are easy to mount.

Magnetic Strips

Where pegboards may be too big, magnetic strips are here to the rescue. These space-saving miracle strips are very thin, and can safely adhere to most surfaces. They are especially useful in the kitchen, where you can hang knives without the need for a bulky knife block. In fact, restaurants have been using magnetic strips this way for decades to save space and provide ease-of-access.

Magnetic strips are also great in the bathroom, where you can store clippers, tweezers, and all your other metal grooming accessories on the wall next to or even in the medicine cabinet.

Door Backs

When space is tight in your home, doors become premium real estate. A plain hook for your robe is handy, but we can do better than that. Try installing towel-rungs on the inside of the bathroom door, while multi-pocket shoe organizers make great toy chests on the back of a child’s bedroom door.

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For adult bedrooms, it’s time to ditch that bulky stand-alone mirror and invest in a slimmer, lighter version which can be mounted to your door.

Outdoor Space

Our yards can be strewn with toys, gardening and barbecue equipment, garbage and recycling reciprocals, and even vehicles. Here are the best ways to organize messy yards:

Screens

A simple screen can turn your unsightly backyard into a well-organized retreat. Install screens around your trash and recycling cans, as well as outdoor A/C units, generators, etc. Screens will hide these eyesores, and create a defined space for them to be kept and replaced.

Screens around the barbecue area define the line between “free space” and “work space”, and kids are more likely to keep their toys contained when they have portioned-off area for their belongings.

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Sheds and Steel Buildings

Big, open spaces are just begging for clutter. It’s difficult to give everything a “home” when there’s so much area. If you can relate, it’s time for a small shed to help you organize. Many people think a small garden shed or steel buildings are too expensive to be a viable option, but to the contrary, they can help save you money over time and can be affordable to install.

Buying a steel building is a simple matter of finding a dependable contractor. There are both permanent and temporary buildings available, in sizes as small as a closet or as large as a barn. No matter the kind of storage you need, installing a shed will minimize your clutter.

Garage

Sick of seeing cars parked on the lawn or the drive way, alongside the lawnmower and the hose which never seems to get put back in place? A garage is a more affordable and simple option than you imagine. Additions can be made to your existing home, or can be made to stand alone elsewhere on your property.

A solid garage will give your vehicles and gardening equipment a place to stay organized, and more importantly, protected from the elements. Steel buildings have variety of insulation options, too, so your garage will remain comfortable all year long.

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Around the House

Still have clutter? We’ve got you covered.

Spice Racks

Lazy-Susan style spice racks have a multitude of uses outside the kitchen. Use them in the craft room to organize beads, thumbtacks, stickers, rubber bands, and all the supplies that could fit in a jar but instead end up scattered around the room.

Spice racks are also great under the sink in the bathroom, where they can conveniently store bandaids, cotton balls, bobby pins, etc.

Hanging Garden Baskets

Many styles of hanging baskets, usually reserved for houseplants, are ideal for storing oft-used knickknacks around the house when used with a longer chain. Children especially love them, as they clear up space on the floor for toy storage, and are fun and easy to access. You can use one beside the couch for remotes and magazines, or in the bathroom to keep all your styling tools (and cords) in one place.

Plastic Bag Storage

Plastic shopping bags plague even the tidiest homes. To keep them organized and tucked away, use an empty cardboard soda box. The 12- and 24-count boxes work the best, holding dozens of bags, and can be covered with wrapping paper to make them more appealing. Use the perforated opening in the box as easy-access to the leftover bags.

Mail Station

Mail is another common problem for even well-organized individuals. The simplest idea is to create a box system (empty shoe boxes work great) for everyone in the house, including a small recycling box nearby so junk mail gets thrown out immediately. Keep the boxes by the door, so everyone has to pass them throughout the day.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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