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
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.
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
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.
- Invest in a couple of clear food containers from target or a home décor store.
- 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.
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
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.
- Empty your closet.
- Assess clothing for damage and size.
- Put into one of three piles: Keep, Trash, or Donate.
- 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.
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.
- Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
- Beat It by Michael Jackson
- Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves
- Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- 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
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.
#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
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.