Stopping Clutter on Its Tracks
While there are many articles everywhere on how to deal with clutter, few address a more important issue: How to prevent clutter from happening in the first place. By taking care of your possessions and making sure you don’t buy more than you need, you can deal with excess and prevent chaos from taking over your home.
Here are five ways to get you started:
1. Ask yourself a series of questions before you buy something. Do you really need it? Is there something you already own that can serve the same purpose? Do you have the space for it? Can you get rid of something to make space for the new item? How long are you going to use it? If this is something you will only use once or twice, can you rent it or borrow it instead of buying it?
2. Determine where the item is going to be placed. Not the general room or area of the house, but the specific location, such as “second shelf of the living room bookcase.” If you can’t find a specific location for it, it should be considered clutter.
3. Have a place to store it. If you’re buying Christmas decorations, cleaning supplies and products or a new set of china, make sure you have enough cabinet space or drawers to put these items away when not in use. Moving boxes make great for storing stuff you don’t use often.
4. Have a designated place for things you deal with regularly. Have a tray near the main door where you can dump mail as soon as it comes in. Or place a container near the entrance where you can put umbrellas, or a small wood rack where you can store shoes.
5. Get into the habit of donating things you no longer use or need. Don’t wait until they pile up so high that it will take you days to get through them. Go through your closet, your bookshelf and your garage once a week and make a bag of things you can give away. Drive the bags to the nearest thrift store at least once a month.