Want a neat home? A garage you can actually park in?
A closet that isn’t overflowing with yesterday’s fashion trends or clothes that don’t fit?
What is holding you back? EXCUSES?
People are full of them when it comes to getting rid of their clutter.
“I know I’ll use it one day.” “It’s too important to throw out.” “It’s an expensive item.”
“I need a bigger home.” These are just some of the tales we tell ourselves in an effort to avoid what we
need to do. In most cases, your success with any goal depends on your ability to stop making excuses and TAKE ACTION.
So, how can you do that?
How to Have a Clutter Free Home
Read Peter Walsh’s book, It’s All Too Much. Implementing the simple techniques Walsh has created, such as the Trash Bag Tango, the Reverse Hanger Technique and the Ratio Rule, will get you started and on your way to eliminating the excuses mentioned above.
Prior to interviewing Walsh, I read his book. What started out as researching a topic for an article on decluttering tips, turned into a journey of how to declutter my own life. Before reading the book, I believed that it was just another how-to book that would teach me to get organized. I had already read many books and magazines on the topic, but I didn’t find them effective. It was generic advice. Understanding why you need to have a clutter-free home was key for me. Walsh goes into depth about this in the book. It helped me stop making excuses and take action.
Here are the de-cluttering tips from the book and interview that might work for you :
1. Take baby steps.
Start small and take the time daily to de-clutter.
2. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was your clutter.
Being realistic about how long it takes, makes it more manageable.
Chipping away little by little will get your home organized faster than you think.
3. Plan the function of the room.
Plan the function of a room and make sure all who live there understand that function. This squashes unnecessary conflicts before they happen. It’s easy to make rules for what happens in a room when you determine its function. For example, the living room is for relaxing and watching television in our home, not eating (unless we have a party).
4. Don’t zone out. Make zones.
When you know what you are using the room for, it’s easy to section areas for those actions to take place. It makes it simpler to figure out what stays in the room and what goes. I’ve read articles about people who store pots and pans in the garage. Walsh discourages that. I agree with him. I tried it. It has never worked for me. If something is out of sight, it’s out of mind. It also makes you less efficient with your time if you have to dig something out of your garage, wash it, and then cook with it.
5. Follow rules.
There were clear and specific guidelines in deciding what to keep and what to pitch. I try to make up specific rules for my kids whenever something new enters their room. I try to set a number for how many pairs of shoes they buy, clothes they wear, etc. It may sound uptight, but if you have too many items and they aren’t organized, you probably aren’t using them anyway.
6. Organizing paperwork directly helps your finances.
I believe living clutter free helps you financially too. Once I became more conscience of the space I lived in and how I took care of my home, it had an effect on my spending habits. I know that I do not buy things on a whim anymore unless it’s something I eat or can easily fit into my house. Knowing where everything is, makes it easier when going shopping. I no longer re-buy items I already have because I know where they are. Also, my paperwork, such as bills, financial statements, and receipts, all have a home. I make sure my purse and wallet stay organized too. That helps to keep me on track with managing my money.
7. Experience the joy.
Choose experiences over material items to keep clutter at bay. Walsh’s book also emphasizes spending money on experiences, not things. This is one spending habit I’ve truly embraced. It makes managing a household much easier. It’s also eco-friendly to purchase less stuff.
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