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10 Creative Ways to De-clutter Your Home

10 Creative Ways to De-clutter Your Home

If anyone were asked if they enjoy the clutter around them, few would say that they do. However, the problem with de-cluttering doesn’t lie in the desire to do so; it is all a matter of keeping the individual interested in the process. Some may not know how to get started, while others may be at a loss as to why they may give up cleaning after ten minutes. Today, we have ten ways you can add a bit of spice to de-cluttering that will not only create lasting results, but will also prevent you from cleaning burnout.

#1 Stuff the Bag

dustbin liner

    One of the benefits of our goal-oriented society is how this can be used to complete tasks at the best of our ability in a reasonable amount of time. A great de-cluttering technique that makes use of this is what I call “Stuff the Bag”.

    • Specify what your ultimate goal is: throwing away items, or making donations?
    • Search the area, throw away what’s trash, and collect what you’re donating. Attempt to fill the bag to capacity.
    • Add a bit of earth-friendliness by recycling paper and other recyclable items found along the way.

    Since you only have to do is tie it up and throw it out, you are less likely to want to hold on to something or go back to retrieve it.

    #2 Time Yourself

    You may find yourself either cleaning until your knees give out or looking to when the end is near. If you are either of these types of individuals, you may want to look into timing yourself.

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    Timing how long you will clean helps to reduce stress from being overworked. It creates a challenge to try and finish within the knick of time, and you are able to focus fully on one task or another rather than trying to have a catchall clean day. So, for example, you can allot yourself 20 minutes to dust, 15 minutes to organize the bookshelf, etc. When the time is up, move on. If you didn’t stop in time, schedule for another day or at least after a nice 15 minute break to refresh.

    #3 Feed Outside the Box

    feedoutsidethebox_creativedeclutter03

      While we certainly find cleaning the kitchen on our to-do lists, we don’t always look into de-cluttering that space. The difference lies in cleaning for sanitary reasons vs. cleaning for sanity reasons. If you’ve ever found yourself looking throughout the kitchen for a specific item, or if your kitchen is stuffed with boxes of the same item, you’ll love this tip.

      1. Invest in a couple of clear food containers from target or a home décor store.
      2. Place food or liquids into the containers from their boxes or cartons.

      This saves on space because instead of having three boxes of the same cereal filling your pantry, you are able to put the contents of those boxes into containers. While you’re at it, the boxes or cartons can be recycled afterwards to extend the effect of this cleanse.

      #4 Schedule Your De-cluttering

      Earlier, we mentioned giving you a time limit with tasks to prevent over-working, but if over-working yourself isn’t an issue, you may find yourself not finding time to de-clutter in the first place. Prevent this from happening by scheduling your cleaning into apps like Wunderlist or the onboard iOS Reminders app.

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      This will prevent you from running around like a headless chicken to find places to clean. Spend a weekend searching your home for concern areas, jotting them down, then scheduling in when you can make time for decluttering each spot.

      #5 Put Clothes in Piles of Three

      pilesofthree_creativedeclutter05

        De-cluttering your closet is one of the most daunting parts of cleaning your home. One tip that is particularly popular and what I will make use of when packing in a few days for college is the “Pile of Three” method. This works by seeing your clothes as one huge pile rather than just pants, shirts, etc.

        1. Empty your closet.
        2. Assess clothing for damage and size.
        3. Put into one of three piles: Keep, Trash, or Donate.
        4. Throw away clothes you’re trashing, give away the donate pile to a friend, the less fortunate, or a consignment shop.

        With the clothes you’re keeping, we have a tip later about how to de-clutter that pile even further.

        #6 Change Your Mindset of Cleaning

        Ultimately, when de-cluttering, it’s important to change the way you view cleaning. Most often, it isn’t about throwing out junk but rather assessing what you truly need or don’t need. There can be times when you give away great quality clothing, but if you have repeat colors or if something doesn’t fit, doing away with it will help you begin to see de-cluttering as a cleanse from all the stuff in your life.

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        To further changing your mindset on cleaning, look into listening to a couple of tunes while cleaning. Having uplifting music will make cleaning fun and enjoyable, not just a chore. Below, we have five music suggestions to get you in the cleaning spirit.

        1. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
        2. Beat It by Michael Jackson
        3. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves
        4. Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd
        5. Maniac by Michael Sembello

        #7 Use the Traveler’s Method

        As a person who loves to travel, my favorite part is ironically my most dreaded part. The preparation process is fun because you are able to envision all that you are about to do, but it also means a stressful packing process. Why not take the “Traveler’s Method” into the way you de-clutter.

        When packing for a trip, you are confined to one or two pieces of luggage and what doesn’t fit doesn’t come with you on your journey. You can use this in the de-cluttering process by reducing the amount of places clutter can grow. This can be applied to anywhere you are de-cluttering, from confining your toiletry items into one caddy or having one container for office supplies. The reduced space will prevent you from taking on too much of what you don’t need.

        #8 Re-arrange Your Space

        rearrangespace_creativedeclutter08

          In this tip, I recommend re-arranging the placement of the main items in your room. For example, changing the position of your couches or office desk. This will force you to address the junk you are holding in and around these items. You don’t want to spread or tag along the junk that comes with these items and rearranging your space allows you to address the issue.

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          #9 Musical Chairs For Your Closet

          Before, we mentioned about the “Pile of Three” method. But what happens when the items you want to keep is still a large pile? It’s time to play “Musical Chairs for Your Closet”.

          • Remove all the hangers from your closet, creating a pile of hangers.
          • Remove 5 or 10 from the pile.
          • Place clothes back in closet assessing one final time if each item stays or goes.
          • Once hanger space runs out, what’s left is donated.

          #10 Digitize Your Clutter

          digitize_creativedeclutter10

            Paper is still a necessary evil, at least until everyone goes digital. Until then, you can help jump-start the revolution by digitizing some of the papers that are filling up your kitchen drawers or office space. You can even implement the “Pile of Three” method in this case.

            • Pile 1: “No Throw Zone” – original documents and sentimental items.
            • Pile 2: “Trashing the Junk” – papers that have to go.
            • Pile 3: “Scan and Go” – papers you’re scanning and throwing out.

            If you don’t have a scanner, you can use your smartphone to take a photo of the document. You can also look into public scanning and printing shops and save your papers onto a memory card or flash drive. Once scanned, apps like Evernote or Dropbox provides a place to hold and organize them.

            Which de-cluttering tip did you find the most creative and useful? Let us know in the comments below.

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            Last Updated on July 23, 2019

            5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

            5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

            In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

            Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

            How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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            • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
            • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
            • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
            • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
            • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
            • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

            When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

            1. Realize You’re Not Alone

            Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

            2. Find What Inspires You

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            Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

            On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

            3. Give Yourself a Break

            When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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            Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

            4. Shake up Your Routines

            Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

            Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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            When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

            5. Start with a Small Step

            Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

            Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

            More to Help You Stay Motivated

            Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

            Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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