15 Steps to Clearing the Clutter

Posted by Steph Kaye on Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at 10:42am.

Clutter is the visible chaos of life and often results in a less productive, less motivated , and often more irritable lifestyle.  While most of us have clutter, not all of us know how to deal with it.  The process of organizing such excess can seem overwhelming and many find it difficult to know where to begin.  Yet, clutter does not attract buyers.  If you are thinking of selling your house, the clutter issue must be addressed.  

Lang Premier Properties Presents 15 Methods for Busting the Clutter:

1. Practice the 1:3 ratio. See your future.  Be your furture.  Begin to mentally prepare for the practice of throwing three things out while inviting one item in.  For example, if you purchase a new shirt, three items in your wardbrobe must go.  Prepare to donate, recycle, or trash three items for every one item of its kind brought into your home.  You will find that you can declutter like a pro when you practice this simple step.  

2. Don’t store beyond your means. If you don't have room for items you are storing, it is time to get rid of those items!  If you find you are housing things that you have not used in over a year, it is unlikely that you will miss those items once they are gone.  

3. Be cool and color-code closets. Arrange your closets according to color.  This simple step will enable you to see if you have a surplus of a particular color of shirts or too many pairs of stonewashed jeans.  This will ease some of your purging process in that you have an instant visual of your stock.   

4. Attend to your refrigerator. As with basic closet organization, you can organize your refrigerator by grouping similar food items together.  Perhaps you can start by dedicating one shelf to dairy and another to sweet and salty items.  Baskets are a great means of storage for a refrigerator and can be lined with foil in the event that something is spilled.  This will make for easier clean-up and a more tidy, orderly grocery shopping process as it will likely prevent you from overbuying.  If foods don't fit in their designated baskets, it is unlikely that you need them. 

5. Make your storage work for you. Don't work to reach storage items.  Rather make the stored items work for you.  Hard to reach shelves and spaces should be reserved for occasional items such as holiday decor or fine China.  Summer clothing can be stored in hard to reach places during Winter and vice versa.

6. Develop a filing system for shoes. Perhpas your closet space is limited.  Utilization of baskets can be a great organizational tool as you file flats, flip-flops, and sneakers vertifcally in those baskets.  This will enable a large amount of shoes to be stored in a small amount of space.  

7. Immediately dispose of excess packaging. In the event that you purchase a product that has been heavily packaged, immediately unpack the item, store it away, and dispose of the packaging.  This process will allow you to maintain an ample amount of storage space that would otherwise have been utilized to house large amounts of packaging.  Contrary to popular belief, most companies do require original packaging in the event that a particular item needs to be returned.  

8. Go green. Recycling is a great way to reduce excess clutter.  Most products sold on today's market have downloadable manuals available online.  There is no need to stockpyle old manuals, assembly instructions, or warranty information as in the "olden days".  Simply go online, google the product's model number, and download the manual to your computer.  There is nothing more overwhelming in the decluttering process than sorting through excess paperwork.  This simple step will eliminate that process entirely.  

9. Declutter AFTER you've organized. Try to begin by organizing first.  Sort paperwork into categories and begin by addressing stacks in order of smallest to largest.  

10. Address unneccessary office supplies. It is not uncommon for home owners to have that one special drawer full of excess post-it notes, highlighters, tape, paperclips, and other such office supplies.  If the thought of parting with your excess office supplies is unbearable, consider boxing them up and storing them for future use.  Is it really necessar to keep a pen in every drawer?  

11. Purge unfinished projects. Perhpas it is time to toss the half-knitted sweater you started seven years ago.  If you are home to a myriad of unfinished projects taking up residence in your precious, limited space, choose which three projects you can finish within a reasonable amount of time and rid yourself of the rest.  Approach such tasks realistically and think about the amount of time you have to dedicate to crafts and hobby projects.  

12. 100% visibility. Try to utilize clear storage bins.  For example, if children are unable to clearly see what is in a storage bin, it is unlikely that they will properly utilize it.  Additionally, clear storage bins are great when packing away holiday decor on hard to reach shelves.  It will be much easier during the following holiday season to see exactly which bin should be brought down from a far off attic or closet shelf which will serve to eliminate great frustration when searching for specific items.   

13. Store to scale. Overstuffed bins are not useful and no one wants to dig through one only to discover that the much sought after item sits at the very bottom of the bin.  Try to store items to scale.  If a group of items won't fit in a specific bin, try to purchase a larger bin to house a collection of like items.  This, too, will eliminate the waste of precious space.  

14. Ditch digital clutter. Make it a point to daily delete unnecessary emails from your inbox.  Schedule a 10 minute block each day in order to complete this task or consider choosing a specific amount of email messages that you'd like to delete on a daily basis.  Maybe start with a low number such as 25 and work your way up.  You could also try setting a timer in order to block of a specified period of time to conquer the digital clutter.  

15. Count by fours. Consider establishing a master list of things that need to be accomplished over a matter of weeks.  From that list, you can create your daily list of to-do's.  Pull four items each day from your master list over to your daily list.  This is not only an encouraging process as you watch tasks quickly disappear off your larger master list, it also creates a grander sense of accomplishment and propels one to press on in the completion of longterm tasks.  

Perhaps you are still unsure as to where to start in your home organization process.  Consider contacting a professional real estate agent who can suggest multiple resources and provide education as to how you may best prepare your home to sell. 

If you'd like to learn more about home organization and readying your house for the market, please don't hesitate to message Lang Premier Properties online or call us at 1-855-526-4466.

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