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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 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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