It may be “mind over matter” for some; however with a New Year we all have the mindset of New Beginnings. A time in which we wipe the slate clean and stop looking in the rear view mirror and look straight ahead through the big open windshield ahead.
Some may see selling their house and buying a new one through that big glass. With San Antonio’s market still strong at a 7 months supply of houses and the nation with a year end increase of houses Pending for sale at a 2 year record high; it may just be your time this year.
If so…or not…we all still have a yearning to make things new and manageable in our homes. Here are some tips that can help you if your selling or just want to make your old surroundings new.
1. Find a place for every item. One reason things pile up on counters, tables, and floors is that they have no “home.”Storing items in the room where they’re used helps ensure they get put away when you’re done, and usually it’s best to store similar items together.
2. Play clutter cop. The better you are about keeping things out of your home, the less likely things will pile up inside. Take freebies. It’s nice to get a T-shirt or coffee mug, but will you really use it? Enjoy it? If not, decline it.
3. Do some detective work. Periodically scan your home for clutter hot spots, and spend some time figuring out why stuff accumulates there. Once you understand the problem, you’ll find it easy to devise a solution.
4. Hold off on container shopping. Clutter victims often think the solution is to stock up on organizing products, so they head to the nearest superstore and stock up on bins and boxes. Shop for storage items only after you’ve done some de-cluttering—to understand the scope of the problem, the specific cause, and an appropriate solution.
5. Dump duplicates. Why have two nonstick spatulas when one is enough? Why have six hairbrushes or 17 coffee mugs?
6. Beware nostalgia. If you’re a doting parent, it’s not easy to discard a child’s creation, whether it’s pastel drawings from the second grade or that cooler-sized medieval castle. But if you’re serious about minimizing clutter, you must. Take a picture of your child with the creation, and letting that be your keepsake.
7. Weed out your wardrobe. Odds are your clothes closet is chockablock with clothes that are rarely worn. Use the familiar 80:20 rule: we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.
8. Look for simple clutter control solutions. Often, there’s an easy solution to even stubborn clutter problems. Put a hook by the front door, so you can hang your keys up every time you walk in the door.
9. Think home organization “kits.” Buy some clear plastic shoebox-sized containers, and use them to create kits where you store all the items you need for a particular task. For instance, you could create a shoeshine kit, a bill-paying kit, a manicure kit, and so on. That way, you can easily find everything you need to accomplish everyday tasks.
10. Stick to a schedule. Some spaces, like kitchen counters, need daily de-cluttering. Others can be tackled weekly or monthly. When that time comes, be systematic. Take all the items in a defined area (a cabinet, a desk drawer), and spread them out so you can see what you’re facing. If you’re de-cluttering the drawer where you keep kitchen utensils, for example, spread them on the counter, and then sort into two piles: utensils you use regularly and those you don’t use.
Until next time…