Do We Need This Anymore? A Guide to Decluttering

April 23rd, 2019

Does it often seem as if you are on the losing side of a battle against clutter? This article could help you get to the bottom of the problem and provide some possible solutions.

What Kind of Messy Are You?

Knowing why you make a mess might help you figure out the most effective way to declutter. People usually belong to one of three categories:

  • Those that are “normally” messy
  • Those that are messy due to being overwhelmed
  • Those that are messy due to a more complex problem

There is a degree of messiness that falls within the range of what could be considered “normal.” If you are one of those people, it could simply mean that keeping everything perfectly neat and tidy isn’t high on your list of priorities.

There are also those that are messy simply due to being overwhelmed. This is also normal, and most people that belong to this category are generally able to reduce clutter when they have the time and energy to do so.

Then there are those whose messiness is a sign of a deeper mental and/or emotional state. For such people, it may be necessary to consult with a doctor or therapist in order to get to the root cause of their messiness.

What to Ask Yourself When Decluttering

Any decluttering effort should involve a thorough assessment of what your goals and needs are. After all, you don’t want to get rid of something of value, nor do you want to hold on to something that you won’t actually have a use for. In order to help you determine which is which, here are some useful questions to ask yourself:

Have I used this in the previous year? If you haven’t even picked up an item in over a year, it’s probably time to let it go.

Would I buy this today? If a particular item makes you cringe now, there really is no good reason to hold on to it.

Am I only holding on to this so I don’t waste money? Not wanting to waste money is understandable. Even so, you should consider that you’ve already wasted money by not using a particular item.

Is sentimental value the sole reason for keeping something? Unless the item in question is something that you will want to hold on to for the rest of your life, you can probably get rid of it without too much emotional anguish.

Do I have something else that serves a similar function? If you have two items that are a lot like each other or serve similar purposes, you could probably make do with only one.

Will I realistically use this any time soon? If you don’t foresee using a particular item within the next year or so, the chances of you actually using it are pretty slim.

Does it fit my lifestyle now or in the immediate future? You need to clear up space in your life for items that will actually be of use to you. Anything else will just take up space that you could use for something more valuable.

Will I actually get around to fixing this broken item? If you haven’t gotten around to fixing something over the past several years, you probably never will.

Declutter Your Space in 10 Minutes

Depending on how large your space is and how cluttered it is, it may be possible to clear it out in as little as ten minutes. Of course, you may need a little more time if your space is particularly large or messy. But you could make a noticeable improvement in even the messiest rooms in surprisingly little time. Here’s how to go about it.

Set Reasonable Limits

Be realistic – you can’t reasonably expect to clean out your entire basement in the span of 24 hours, much less ten minutes. Trying to take on more than you can handle is a surefire way to get frustrated, and you will likely give up before you accomplish anything significant.

Start with a fairly small space or set a goal of reducing clutter in a few specific spots. This will give you a better chance of actually accomplishing something and encourage you to tackle the other rooms in your home.

Get Some Assistance

Just because you can get some work done in ten minutes doesn’t mean that you should go at it alone. Imagine how much more you will be able to accomplish by enlisting the aid of someone else. You shouldn’t have too much trouble convincing your family members or housemates to pitch in either, considering that you will only be taking up ten minutes of their time.

Don’t Neglect Preventive Maintenance

A 10-minute decluttering session won’t take the place of regular cleaning and maintenance, nor should you expect it to. These 10-minute sessions will actually be more effective if you normally pick up after yourself anyway. By preventing clutter from building up in the first place, you will actually see more benefits from the occasional 10-minute cleanups.

Manage Your Paper Trail

Paper is one of the most common sources of clutter. Amazingly, even though most people conduct a significant portion of their activities online and electronically, paper still tends to clutter up our lives and living spaces.

Utilizing electronic systems consistently is the key to reducing paper clutter even further. Instead of writing grocery lists and chores down, try using a notepad utility on your phone or computer instead. You can even send it to other members of your household via e-mail and save copies to be modified for future use. By doing this, you can reduce your reliance on paper considerably.

Purging Your Closet

Clutter has a way of accumulating in closets. From there, it is only a step away from invading your living space. Any decluttering effort should therefore involve a purge of your closet space as well.

Carefully assess the items in your closet and be honest with yourself with regard to what you actually need. You would be surprised at how many useless and unwanted items are taking up space. Anything that you haven’t used in over a year could probably be disposed of.

If you aren’t sure about getting rid of a particular item, set it aside and come back to it after a couple of weeks. If you aren’t absolutely compelled to pull it out and use it then, you could probably bin it without a second thought.

The The Cleaning Institute blog has plenty of information and advice on how you could reduce clutter in your home. Visit the blog to find out more!

Meta description: Getting rid of clutter is something that most people tend to put off. These tips will show you that decluttering is a lot easier than you think.

Set Aside Space for Odds and Ends

With almost every batch of laundry you do, there is almost always something that gets left behind. A single sock, a wayward hanky–all these can make up a sizeable pile of odds and ends over time. Keep things organized by setting aside a space where family members can find missing items of clothing.

Add an Organizing Rack to the Door

If you are really in need of additional space, why not install an organizer rack on your door? This will give you another area where you can store laundry items and other essentials, and it definitely won’t take up any more space in a crowded room.

Set Up a Jar For Pocket Change

Coins are another item that often get left behind when doing the laundry. You can simply pocket these if you wish, although a better solution would be to have a jar set up specifically for misplaced coins. You might also want to check pockets before dumping the clothes in the washing machine to prevent them from damaging the interior.

We hope that these important hacks will help you organize your laundry room so that it will look tidier and more spacious. Check out the The Cleaning Institute site for more helpful tips on maximizing space in your laundry room.

Meta description: Make the most of your tiny laundry room with these smart and efficient storage solutions. Maximize your available space so your laundry room will be tidy and spacious.