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10 Helpful Tips To Effectively Declutter Your Home

10 Helpful Tips To Effectively Declutter Your Home

Is your house full of clutter?

Are you looking for some help to finally get things under control?

Decluttering is the act of removing clutter, or all those things that impede your ability to use your living space(s) as they were meant to be used. Clutter can be made up of items you no longer need or want, or that do not belong in a particular space, area or room. It’s important to remove clutter from your home so you can find what you need when you need it, fully enjoy your space and give your mind and eyes a much-needed rest from unsightly piles of stuff.

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Here are ten helpful tips to help you get rid of clutter in your home…once and for all!

1. Set aside small sessions of time to declutter.

Think you can effectively declutter your entire house in one day? Think again! As strange as this might seem, decluttering takes a lot of effort, energy and concentration. Not only are you sorting through and identifying lots of different items, you are making decisions as to what to do with all of your things. Instead of spending hours upon hours decluttering a space or room, work in small increments of time such as 15 or 20 minutes per session. Set a timer if you need to.

2. Remove and process clutter in different areas of your home.

It’s not uncommon to become “clutter-blind” or overly accustomed to clutter in a particular space. The clutter has been there for such a long time that you are used it; it starts to seem like it belongs in a particular area of your home! However, once you move a stack of makeup clutter from your bathroom to your living room, it suddenly becomes clear that the clutter doesn’t belong there. Put things in perspective and process clutter from one room in an entirely different room. Collect clutter in a basket, box, bag or other container and move it to another room for processing.

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3. Have a trash and recycling bag/bin handy.

You’ll want to make it as easy as possible to dispose of items when you declutter. In order to make things run as smoothly as possible, make sure you have trash and recycling bags/bins handy. For personal or sensitive papers and  information, run it through a shredder before discarding it. Once your decluttering session is over, place the unwanted stuff in bins outside of your house or apartment so it doesn’t have a chance to get back inside your home.

4. Declutter from top to bottom.

Ever hear you should clean a house from top to bottom? This also applies to decluttering. When you clean your house, you’re getting rid of all the stuff you don’t want: dust, dander, dirt, fuzz, etc. Similarly, when you declutter, you’re either getting rid of, reorganizing or readjusting the location of items. Declutter your home from top to bottom, starting at the top level of the home, such as the attic or bedrooms, working your way down the bottom level, such as the basement or garage. Your home will undergo a total transformation and there won’t be any doubt as to whether or not you’ve decluttered a particular area of the house.

5. Declutter a room from the inside out.

Have a lot of clutter in a particular room? You may want to declutter this room from the center space to the perimeter or walls. Not only will you make it easier for you get in and out of the room, you’ll also be able to see progress that much faster. For starters, you’ll be able to see a clear floor space! Start with clutter located in the area nearest the door and then work your way from the center of the room to the walls. You may then decide to declutter items in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion inside the room so you can see the progress you’ve made.

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6. Try the “grab and go” approach.

However, if you’ve got a lot of clutter in a particular area or space and aren’t sure where to start, simply grab a small stack of clutter and get to work. You could use a small basket, box, bag or container to temporarily house this small pile of clutter. This way, you have a small, contained and finite amount of clutter to process and focus upon without being overwhelmed with a large mass of stuff.

7. Make signs to help with the decluttering process.

Decluttering isn’t always about throwing stuff away, sometimes it means sorting through stack of items you actually want to keep. Whenever you begin a decluttering session, consider writing up small signs to help you easily identify what’s what. Sure, you could make small signs out of index cards with the obvious phrases of “Trash” and “Recycle,” but why not expand those cards to places where you’ll eventually need to relocate items? If you’re sorting through items in your kitchen and find items that belong in other areas of the home you could make cards that read, “Living Room,” “Home Office,” “Basement,” and so on.

8. Take an objective look at your things.

When it comes to decluttering, it helps to take a practical look at your belongings and how you are, or are not, using them. Ask yourself some of the following types of questions as you tackle your stuff: Have you used said item(s) in the past year? Are you making use of the item right now? Are you saving an item because you think you might need it in future? Do you like the item, or do you no longer have interest in the item? How is the item adding value to your life and home? Is the item weighing you down and preventing you from doing the things you’d otherwise like to do?

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9. Let go of useless, broken, outdated and otherwise unusable stuff.

A broken toaster, an MP3 player from seven years ago, outdated fashion magazines…. what do these items have in common? For starters, they won’t be of much practical use to you unless you’re starting a memorabilia museum or collection. Broken, busted and otherwise unusable stuff just becomes a headache over time in your home. It sits there taking up space and sucks your energy and attention away from what really matters. If you’re looking for an easy way to decide whether or not to chuck something, ask yourself whether it is broken, outdated or unusable and whether you want it to be a part of your life now…and in future!

10. Don’t wait for the perfect time to declutter.

When’s the perfect time to declutter? When things are slightly cluttered or chaotic beyond belief? Actually, there is no perfect time to declutter. It’s all about learning how to keep things in check and under control. Take time to regularly declutter the rooms of your home so things don’t get too out of hand. You could set a regular weekly schedule to declutter small areas of the home to keep things neat and tidy. You’ll save yourself from marathon decluttering sessions in the future if you just attend to a little bit of clutter right now.

What areas of your home seem to be clutter magnets? Are you looking forward to finally taming the clutter once and for all? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: Organized Closet/Emily May via flickr.com

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Rashelle Isip

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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