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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

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

                    More by this author

                    Sarah White

                    Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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                    Last Updated on February 17, 2021

                    50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

                    50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

                    If you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do, maybe it’s time to check-in with your time management skills.

                    No one is born to be very good at time management, so that’s okay if you think you’re bad in it. But everyone can learn to boost their productivity and achieve more!

                    Here are 50 ways to increase productivity and add hours to your day.

                    1. Set a Timer

                    Estimate the time you need to tackle different tasks and set a timer for each of your tasks. How you go about this is up to you as there are many different ways. There is the Pomodoro technique where you focus on a task for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break afterwards.

                    In the event that you have a task that will take much longer than that, you can consider one of the many timer-based apps. One that comes to mind is Clockify. It’s used for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike, however it’s a good way to be setting yourself a timer. It provides reports and you can serve as a project manager of sorts too. Best of all, it’s free.

                    2. Eliminate All Distractions

                    Distractions include the phone, email notifications and having multiple web browsers open on the desktop. Just as it’s important to be organized offline, it’s key to have things organized online as well. This free guide End Distractions And Find Your Focus is a good tool to help you. With this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of distractions and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

                    You can also learn more on how to get rid of all distractions in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                    3. Listen to Music That Boosts Productivity

                    Distractions should be avoided, but sometimes a bit of music in the background can help you focus.

                    Of course, it doesn’t need to be heavy rock music, but a bit of Beethoven may do you some good.

                    Here’s a complete guide to help you pick the right music for better productivity: How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

                    4. Find Meaning in What You Do (And Love What You Do)

                    Enjoying what you do is the ultimate way to increase your productivity.

                    If you aren’t sure what you love doing yet, don’t worry. Leo Babauta has some unique ways to help you: How to Find Your Passion

                    5. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time.

                    By listing your tasks in order of importance, you can make sure that you finish all of your most important tasks during the day.

                    Learn a unique technique to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster.

                    6. Batch Similar Tasks into a Single Batch.

                    Tasks like blog writing, phone calls, email and errands can be grouped into a single batch. You will save time by completing similar tasks in one session. One way to help you with organizing all of those things is through the app Todoist. It’s an easy and simple way for you to plan out your day, set reminders, and group all of your most important tasks in a convenient spot.

                    7. Complete Your Most Dreaded Tasks First Thing in the Morning.

                    Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning.

                    Many people tend to check emails in the morning because after checking a list of emails, they feel fulfilled. But that’s just an illusion of having achieved more.

                    Doing simple tasks like checking emails first in the morning is bad for you. Instead, do the difficult tasks because you have more energy in the morning to tackle them!

                    8. Reward Yourself for Finishing a Big Task

                    To stay motivated for whatever you do, reward yourself every now and then.

                    Keep track of your small wins and milestones and celebrate them. So whenever you struggle about your progress, you see how far you’ve come!

                    Find out more about this 2-Step Approach to Self-Motivation: Track Small Wins and Reward Yourself.

                    9. Don’t Multitask

                    Research has shown that multitasking is not productive. If you think you can multitask, think again.

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                    For optimum productivity, focus on one thing at a time.

                    10. Step Away from the Computer

                    The Internet has become one of the number one distraction. To increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible.

                    I do this a lot when I try to brainstom new ideas and have found it to be very beneficial to simply unplug.

                    11. Use Focus Tools

                    Make good use of apps and technology to help you remove distractions.

                    Here’re 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools to help you stay focused. This way, you’re not distracted by the web, e-mail, or IM.

                    Also, join the free Fast-Track Class – Overcoming Distraction, and you’ll learn the one simple method to work even when you’re surrounded by distractions. Join the free session now!

                    12. Just Start

                    Often times, starting is the hardest part. People tend to wait for the perfect time with perfect condition to start. But there’s no perfect condition.

                    Once you get going, you will quickly get into a rhythm that could last for hours.

                    13. Find out Your Productive Hours

                    Everyone has a certain time of the day in which they are more productive than others. For me, it’s the morning.

                    Find out when your prime time is for productivity and optimize your work schedule accordingly.

                    14. Keep a Notebook and Pen on Hand at All Times

                    This way, you can write down your thoughts, to-dos and ideas at any time. The key is to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Your subconscious mind won’t be reminding you about it every other second. Another consideration is getting the app Evernote. Not only does this save you on ink and paper, Evernote is a convenient place for you to jot down notes and thoughts and then share them with the team. In certain circumstances, this can prove useful if you’re the type of person that has a lot of ideas that you want to share.

                    15. Write a Blog to Chronicle Your Own Personal Development and Achievements

                    The blog keeps you accountable and always working towards self improvement and personal growth.

                    When you write down all the small achievements you’ve been having, you’re also more motivated to move forward.

                    And you know what, this is how I started Lifehack too! What also helped me in starting Lifehack is WordPress, which allows people to set up a website for free. WordPress has simplified a lot of the process of building a site to the point that virtually anyone can build a website now.

                    16. Write out a To-Do-List Each Day

                    I like to plan my day the night before. This way, I can get started on my most important tasks as soon as I wake up. The Full Life Planner is a nice tool to help you organize your days and get things that matter done. Check out the planner here and start to plan your day ahead easily!

                    Make sure you don’t make any of these common to-do-list mistakes!

                    17. Write Your Most Important Tasks and To-Dos on a Calendar.

                    The key to good time management is knowing where to be and what to be doing there at any given time. Effective calendar management goes hand in hand with good task list management.

                    Learn here How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space.

                    18. Reflect on Your Productivity Constantly

                    As you go throughout your day, repeatedly ask yourself:

                    “Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?”

                    This one simple question can be an excellent boost to your productivity.

                    19. Get up Early Before Anyone Else

                    I know it could be difficult for some to wake up early in the morning but nothing beats a quiet house!

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                    Here’s How to Start Your Day at 5:00 AM and some Simple Things Early Risers Do to make waking up early easier.

                    20. Get Plenty of Sleep

                    When you work online, sleep can become a long lost memory. However, it’s important to get plenty of sleep so that your working hours can be as productive as possible.

                    Try out this night routine which I highly recommend for productivity: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                    21. Exercise

                    Research has shown that midday exercise boosts productivity and morale in the workplace.

                    Take a short walk at lunch or do some simple stretches during your break to maximize your productivity.

                    Here I have some exercises recommendations for you:

                    22. Outsource as Much as Possible

                    If you want to achieve more in less time, learn to delegate or outsource work. Here are just a few of the companies that will help you outsource your everyday tasks:

                    Also, read this guide to learn how to delegate effectively: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                    23. Set Some Exciting Goals

                    Without worthy goals, you will never be motivated to get things done.

                    Set goals that are challenging and achievable. The best goal setting framework is a SMART goal. That said, there are other tools that can help you out as well. For example, The Dreamers’ Guide To Reaching Your Goal is a great guide to help you set and reach goals effectively. Grab your free guide and learn how to make your goals happen this year!

                    24. Tell Other People About Your Goals

                    When you tell others about your goals, you will instantly be held accountable.

                    25. Listen to Podcasts

                    Listen to educational podcasts or audio books while you’re driving to work, cleaning the house, exercising, or cooking dinner.

                    Audio learning has the power to add hours to your day. Not to mention, your cranium is sure to thank you for it.

                    Some recommendations for you: 11 Podcasts To Inspire Yourself

                    26. Read David Allen’s best-selling book Getting Things Done

                    This is one of the most important productivity books you will ever read. Read it, apply the tips in your daily lives and get more things done.

                    Here’re more great books about productivity too: 35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

                    27. Learn to Speed Read

                    When you can read faster, you will read and learn more! Check out these 10 Ways to Increase Your Reading Speed.

                    You can also make use of the app OutRead to help speed up your reading speed!

                    28. Learn to Skip When You Read

                    When you’re reading a book, just read the parts that you need and skip the rest. But you have to read with a purpose.

                    Learn how to make it work here: How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

                    29. Focus on Result-Oriented Activities

                    Pareto’s law (also known as the 80 20 rule) states that 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. This means that 20% of our actions result in 80% of the results.

                    We must find the 20% that is creating the 80% of our desired outcomes and focus solely on those activities.

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                    30. Take a Break

                    You can’t always be working at optimum productivity. Instead, you should shoot for working in short bursts at your most productive times.

                    31. Start a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

                    What is polyphasic sleep?

                    Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily.[1] This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness.

                    While you can learn more about it here, you’re recommended to take some naps during the day to recharge your energy too.

                    32. Learn to Say “No”.

                    We can’t do everything and therefore we must learn when to say no in order to save our sanity.

                    Learn the Gentle Art of Saying No from Leo Babauta.

                    33. Go on an Information Diet

                    Most of the world lives on information overload. We must eliminate mindless Internet surfing.

                    Stop reading three different newspapers a day and checking your RSS feeds multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.

                    The key is to limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on. Here’re some simple tips you can try: 10 Simple Productivity Tricks To Manage Overloaded Information

                    34. Organize Your Office

                    The piles of paper around your desk can be a huge barrier on your productivity. Optimize your time by organizing your office, setting up a system and dumping the junk.

                    Check out these 21 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done and 20 Easy Home Office Organization Ideas to Boost Your Productivity.

                    35. Find a Mentor

                    By modeling after those who have already achieved success, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.

                    A good mentor is hard to find, so here’s a guide to help you: What to Look for in a Mentor

                    36. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

                    With technology’s help, you can double your work efficiency. Even better, you learn all the shortcuts when using technology, for example keyboard shortcuts.

                    When you use keyboard shortcut, you gain 64 hours every year!

                    Not sure what shortcuts to lear? Check out these 22 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Keyboard Ninja.

                    Besides learning the shortcuts, you can also create keyboard shortcuts with AutoHotKey.

                    37. Improve Your Typing Speed to Save Time

                    Do you know you can save 21 days per year just by typing fast?

                    You don’t really need to take some serious courses to type faster, try these typing games online:

                    38. Work from Home and Avoid the Daily Commute

                    If your job is a flexible one, consider working from home. This saves you the commute time and you’ll find yourself more energetic throughout the day as you have saved the long ride.

                    Take a look at these tips to help you stay productive while working from home:

                    How to Work from Home and Stay Ultra-Productive

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                    39. Get Rid of Time Wasters

                    Common time wasters include Instant Messenger, video games, Flickr, checking your stats 10 times a day, television and extraneous Internet surfing.

                    Don’t rely on your willpower, make use of some of these useful tools to help you stay focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

                    40. Plan Your Meals in Advance

                    Plan out all of your meals a week ahead and make your grocery list accordingly. This allows you to focus on the necessary – saving you time and money. You can also save yourself even more time through a wide variety of apps. One app that I find helpful is Mealime. It’s an app that provides you with a wide selection of recipes and also a convenient spot for your grocery list as well.

                    Considering the fact that over 4 million users have this app, it goes to show that there is a good selection of meal plans that you can follow and that the app is friendly to use.

                    41. Cook Your Meals in Bulk

                    When you cook your meals in bulk, you will have plenty of leftovers. This can avoid having to cook everyday.

                    Find out more about how to make cooking in bulk works: Once a Month Cooking: Productivity Hack or Overrated Time Suck?

                    42. Protect Yourself from Unnecessary Phone Time with Caller ID

                    The minutes you spend on picking up unnecessary phone calls are time wasted. You can prevent that from happening.

                    Check out this detailed guide how you can deal with those unnecessary phone calls: How To Lose the Useless Items that Weigh Down Your Day – Cellphone Calls

                    43. Take Shorter Showers

                    This one may sound silly but it’s actually something I struggle with. I spend up to 30 minutes in the shower. Think of the time I could save simply by speeding up a bit.

                    44. Save the Trips to Bank by Taking Direct Deposit

                    Many employers now offer direct deposit. If yours does, then be sure and take advantage of it and save yourself from a number of trips to the bank.

                    45. Auto Pay Your Bills

                    How many times have you been worried about whether you missed the bills deadline?

                    Auto paying your bills will save you time and eliminate late fees and increased interest rates.

                    46. Shop Online

                    Whenever possible, avoid going to the store. When you shop online, you can be more focus about what you’re getting.

                    47. Speed up your Internet With a Broadband Connection

                    Many people are aware of the slow speed of internet but aren’t doing anything about it. In fact, this is the number one Internet time-saver!

                    If you must use dial-up, then you can use accelerators like Propel and SlipStream to double or even triple your speed.

                    48. Keep up the Speed of Your Computer

                    If you’re a Windows user, use Windows hibernation feature to avoid the slowdown of exiting and restarting Windows.

                    Or maybe, consider switching to Mac as there’re plenty of Advantages You Probably Don’t Know About Switching To Mac From PC.

                    49. Turn off the TV

                    The average American watches more than 4 hours of television every day. Over a 65-year life, that’s 9 years glued to the tube.

                    For better health and productivity, turn off the TV. Here’re 11 more reasons to tell you to stop watching TV so often.

                    Turn off the TV and you are sure to get more out of life.

                    50. Use a Tivo or DVR

                    This can help you cut an hour-long television show down to just 40 minutes. You can save time while not missing the fun.

                    So, here’s the ultimate list of techniques you should learn to boost productivity. Pick the techniques that work for you and make them your daily habits. As time goes, you’ll find yourself being a lot more productive.

                    More Time Management Tips

                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Medical News Today: What is biphasic and polyphasic sleep?

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