Making Time to Clear Clutter

Posted By on January 23, 2012

It always sounds so easy. Grab a stack of magazines or a box still packed from your last move and just go through it.

Uh-huh. Getting right on that. But ooh, look. Something shiny and way more fun. Stack of what?

This happens to all of us. We have great intentions of accomplishing all sorts of things, but life gets in the way. Other stuff is always more fun than clearing clutter, unpacking boxes and folding laundry, but we know there are some things we have to do. Here are some ways to make time to clear clutter.

Take 15 minutes. Set the timer or put on some music (Lady Gaga gets me moving) and see how many items you can put in recycling, the donation box and trash. Do this several times a week, and you will see progress.

Other rooms. Grab a box or laundry basket and gather up anything you find that belongs in another room. Then take those items back to the rooms where they belong. Here’s a little trick several of my friends who are parents have told me. If items belong to your kids and they haven’t picked it up like you’ve asked, seize the item, and the kids have to “buy” their stuff back with chores.

Trash Day. The night before trash day, clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Dispose of any expired items. If you’re not sure if something is still good, check out Still Tasty. The website has an app that will remind you of expiration dates too.

Leave the “bad” room. If you are trying to clear the clutter in that room – the one that makes all the air leave your body, take a laundry basket, fill it with stuff and go to the happy room where there’s TV and snacks. Sort your basket and grab another load. If you stay in the “bad” room, it’s easy to get distracted with the other items you see. You will either become paralyzed and do nothing, or you start fiddling with other stuff all over the room and wind up accomplishing little.

Stay in the room. If you need to stay in the room and are not sure where to start, toss a hula hoop or embroidery hoop on the floor. Wherever the hoop lands, clear out the stuff inside the hoop. This works great for helping kids too. If you don’t have a hula hoop, then stick to one spot – one shelf, the top of the desk, the coffee table, the stack closest to the door. Whatever works, but just focus in on one area before jumping to another.

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