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The Most Valuable Tips for Anyone with Too Many Things at Home

The Most Valuable Tips for Anyone with Too Many Things at Home
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Social Headlines: 1. You Can Have 1000+ Things Stuffed in Your Home But It Still Looks Neat. 2. A Quick Guide to Be A Home Decluttering Master 3. Home Decluttering Is A Piece Of Cake If You Know These Tricks 4. You Don’t Need A Maid to Declutter Your Home. Do These Instead. 5. No More Mess Around. Home Decluttering 101.

Most people have at least a little bit of clutter in their homes, those spots that are a little embarrassing, that feel unmanageable and are a consistent source of frustration.

Many others have whole rooms full of stuff they don’t use, things they think they might need someday so they are hesitant to throw it out, leaving whole sections of their home unusable for their intended purposes.

Still others have homes full of so many things they are unwilling to have people over, can’t easily navigate their space and can’t find the things they need when they need them.

Clutter on any level can bring about feelings of overwhelm and stress, with the added burden of not knowing where to start or what to do when they want to declutter.

How to Declutter Once and for All

Whether you have a few problem areas in your house or a building full of stuff that needs to be dealt with, the good news is that you can organize your home once and for all and make it a lot easier to keep it clean and decluttered.

These general suggestions and room-by-room guide offer simple solutions to help you get started right away and keep going with confidence.

Start with a Vision

    No matter which decluttering method you use, from Marie Kondo to the hanger flip method,[1] it’s important to start with a vision of what you want your spaces to look and feel like when you are done.

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    Think back to when you first moved into your house or apartment. What did you want it to look like? How did you want to feel walking in the front door? Let those ideas and feelings guide you as you make decisions when you declutter.

    Another good way to do this is to think of three adjectives you wish could describe an area of your home. Maybe you want the bedroom to be calm, romantic and cool, or the office to be organized, creative and open. Whatever your adjectives are, write them down and go back to those ideas as you go through the process.

    Make a List

    Sometimes when a job feels to overwhelming, it helps to make a list of all the little things you need to do to get to your goal or to finish a project. It’s the same when you declutter.

    Walk around the house or the room you want to start in and write down the things that need to be dealt with. In the bathroom, for instance, you might need to dispose of old makeup and medicine, get a bigger laundry hamper so people stop throwing their dirty clothes on the floor and clean out the linen closet.

    Having a list of smaller jobs is helpful because as you declutter you can mark things off the list, which gives you a sense of accomplishment and momentum.

    Start with the Spot Where It Annoys You Most.

    One of the best things you can do in any room or space you are trying to declutter is to start with a small area that really annoys you.[2] That spot where the junk mail always lands. The chair where people dump everything. Your bedside table piled high with too many books.

    Set a timer for 10 minutes and deal with that space. Step back and notice how much better it looks and how much better you feel.

    Cross it off your list and do something else.

    Remember, too, not to try to do it all at once. Some things are quick fixes,[3] and some will take longer. Depending on the level of clutter, it can take a day to a week or more of consistent work to declutter a space. Slow, consistent improvement is better than making good progress working hard for a day or two then burning out and never finishing the job.

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    Some people like to start decluttering at the door or entryway to a room and work around. Others start with flat surfaces or the floor first, then move to bookshelves and storage pieces.

    Another way to look at that is to start big[4]— kitchen counters, the top of the bed, the floor —and move on to smaller places and inside drawers once the major visible stuff is dealt with.

    Know What to Keep and What to Ditch with Four Bins

    A popular method to declutter any space involves four bins/boxes/bags. One is for trash, one for things you want to give away, one for things to keep in that room and one for things to keep that belong elsewhere. As you work your way around the room, everything goes in one of these bins.

    How do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of? Things that are broken, don’t fit or haven’t been used in the last year are easy choices to toss. Some people like to touch everything and only keep the things that spark joy or make them feel good.

    Moving everything out of a space and only putting back what really fits and what needs to be in that room is another great method. Imagine you are packing to move; would you want to take that thing with you? If not, get rid of it.

    Declutter Room by Room

    There are different methods that can help you declutter different areas of your home. Here are some things to think about and remember as you go through different parts of the home.

      Kitchen: Get rid of appliances, serving pieces, vases and other items you don’t use (even if someone got it for you as a wedding present). Get rid of plastic containers without lids, or lids without containers. Cull old spices and expired food. Think about how many coffee mugs and other items you really need and can easily store. Try to take everything out of cabinets–do this in sections if you need to–so you can really see what you have, what you use and how to better store it. Try to put things away near where you use them.

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        Bathrooms: Clear out old makeup and medicines, disposing of medicine properly. Get rid of torn or faded towels. Clear counters, cabinets and drawers of things you never use. Only leave things on the counter that you use on a daily basis, and organize them so your morning and evening routines will be easier. Make room for a candle and light it regularly as you’re winding down in the evening.

          Bedroom: Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, but more often it’s a dumping ground. Clear out things that don’t belong. Make spaces as clear as possible. If you store bills and paperwork in the bedroom, at least put them in a pretty box so you don’t have to look at them every night. Think about hotel rooms; that’s how you want your bedroom to feel. Don’t forget to go through drawers and under the bed.

            Kids’ rooms: Kids are hard because they want to keep everything. Do your best to encourage them to get rid of toys and books they no longer use, as well as anything that is broken (that’s good advice throughout the house). Make sure what returns to the space actually fits and is stored in a way that the child can clean up themselves.

              Living rooms: Whether you call it the living room, family room or den, this is a space that should be relaxing as well. Declutter things that don’t belong, accessories you don’t love and toys that aren’t played with or could go elsewhere. Some amount of decorating is fine, but don’t cover every surface with stuff.

                Office: If you have a home office, it’s probably a catch-all for all the random stuff you don’t know what to do with. That makes decluttering easier in a way but harder, too, because this is stuff you think you want to keep but don’t really have a place for. Be relentless and only keep things you love or really need.

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                  Guest room: Much like your bedroom, the guest room should be as hotel-like as possible. It’s often seen as an extra storage space, but you don’t want your guests to feel like that.

                  Decluttering Is Only the Beginning, Maintaining Tidiness Is the Key

                    Doing a major declutter is a great step, but maintenance will have to be done regularly to keep it up. The good news is it never takes as long as that first time, and you’ll be really motivated to keep your space in good shape once you’ve seen what it can look like.

                    It ‘s a good idea to go through clothes, books, toys and other items at least once a year to get rid of the things you aren’t using.

                    A one-in, one-out rule can help keep clutter under control because you aren’t adding things to your home without taking other things away.

                    Keep track of items you still tend to lose by having dedicated spaces for them or using a device like TrackR .

                    And spending some time each week resetting your problem areas should keep your house looking and feeling great for the long term, which is why you wanted to declutter in the first place.

                    Reference

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                    Sarah White

                    Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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                    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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                    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                    More on Building Habits

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                    Reference

                    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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