Clear Out the Clutter
Almost everyone has fought the clutter monster at least now and then, and many of us struggle with it every day.
It hides your keys and swallows up important papers that you are absolutely certain were in their place just minutes ago.
Here are a five tips from professional organizer Anne Jones, owner of Organizing Frenzy in Abilene, on how to keep down the clutter.
1. Find Your Own System
“A lot of people are under the assumption that the system that works for everyone else should work for them,” Jones said. “The key is finding what works for you. People function differently.”
She said often she meets people who are frustrated and discouraged because the system they are trying just isn’t working. They are relieved when she helps them find their own system, and it works much better.
2. Use The One Touch Rule
The one-touch rule is simple, Jones said.
“When you touch it, you make a decision so you aren’t going through things two or three times before you decide,” she said.
It takes two or three times as long to declutter if you are constantly putting off the decision and then having to go through it again.
3. Use Boxes
When you go to clean a room, have a box for donations, a box for trash and a box for things you want to keep. Once you’ve eliminated the first two boxes, the third is not so overwhelming.
“Finding a place for the rest is not so difficult,” she said.
Having a box for things that belong in another room can also be helpful. This keeps you from constantly getting up and going to other rooms.
(It also can keep you from getting distracted in those rooms.)
4. Work With A Buddy
Jones says working with another person can help you stay focused on the task at hand.
“You have to set aside a chunk of time and get it finished,” she said. “It also makes it fun.”
5. Start Small
Don’t try to tackle the entire house at one time.
“I usually do one room at a time,” Jones said. “The average room takes about 5 hours. Five hours seems like a lot if you’re doing it on your own.”
She said if that is too overwhelming, start smaller. Sometimes successfully finishing one drawer helps people see that it can be done.
“Even if you can start with just the closet or a couple of drawers,” she said. “A lot of times, that provides motivation. Start small. Don’t get overwhelmed.”
Organizer Anne Jones said many everyday items around the house can be used to organize clutter without spending a lot of money on store-bought containers.
“ I find a lot of my baskets at garage sales or Goodwill,” she said. “You have to just think outside the box.”
Jones said she read about a woman who used a dish drainer as an art box. She put coloring books in the slots meant for dishes, and she put colors and pens and pencils in the silver ware tray.
“That’s a great way to keep your mind open to alternative uses for things that are around the house,” she said.