Spending more time at home can have many advantages, but one of the drawbacks can be the additional clutter that often accumulates. If you’re noticing more piles and pieces around your place, or if it’s taking you longer than usual to locate needed items, it may be time to purge. Here are six ways to decrease clutter and increase the enjoyment of your home:
1. Regularly donate items to charity.
Don’t wait until the end of the year to take a massive haul to your favorite charity. Make it a habit to frequently drop off clothing and household items you no longer need or use to organizations that accept such items. It’s a good rule of thumb to donate or discard one thing every time you bring something new in the house. It may help to designate a bin or bag for storing items to be donated. Set a reminder on your phone for delivering the donations.
2. Open mail by the trash can.
Yes, this simple step can help you eliminate paper piles and mess. When you bring in the day’s mail, simply open the trash can and immediately discard envelopes, junk mail, circulars, inserts, and anything else you don’t need. Immediately file any bills that need to be paid or documents you need to keep. Then post invitations or other dates you need to keep track of in your digital calendar or on a bulletin board.
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3. Use technology.
Where possible, keep digital files instead of document hard copies (always backing up important data), use entertainment streaming services instead of storing DVDs and CDs, and save digital images instead of bulky photo albums.
4. Eliminate duplicate items.
It’s easy to find that you have two items where one will do, especially in the kitchen and garage. Start by grouping like items together and identifying duplicates (or triplicates). Choose the item that’s in the best condition or that you reach for the most often to keep and donate or discard the rest. Doing this will increase your storage space and make things easier to find when you need them.
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5. Maximize storage space.
If storage is at a premium in your home, make sure you’re using it wisely. Look for ways to make more efficient use of cabinets, drawers, and closets with dividers, baskets, and bins. Take advantage of vertical space by adding shelves, racks, and hooks. Store seldomly used items on upper shelves or in the attic.
6. Live sustainably.
Make it a goal to live more sustainably by consuming fewer resources. Purchase only the things you need, buying used items when feasible. Make it a point to find multiple uses for items so that you need fewer objects. When you require fewer things, you’ll find that you have less clutter.
Remember, it’s almost impossible to live completely clutter-free, so cut yourself some slack sometimes. Almost every home has at least one junk drawer for a reason, and what is too much clutter for one person may make another feel right at home.