Are You a Clutter Bug? 10 Tips for Organizing and Uncluttering Your Life

It can be incredibly stressful when we’re surrounded by clutter, debris, and unnecessary junk. Imagine the possibilities of personal freedom that can be attained by having control over your personal space. You can start your path to better organization and happiness with small steps. Making your day run smoother is as simple as learning a few new habits. I have had more than one day go up in flames before I even got out the door because I misplaced my keys or couldn’t find my cell phone. Life throws enough hiccups at us as it is. If you start with your best foot forward, the confidence and calm needed to deal with daily challenges will come easier.

1. Always Put the Necessities In The Same Place Every Day

Designate a spot for your purse, keys, any jewelry, and anything else that you know you will need. As soon as you arrive home put them there, and ONLY there. Nothing beats the feeling of heading off to work with leisure and confidence that you have all your essentials without having to make a mad dash searching frantically through your home.

2. Do Not Be Afraid Of Your Closet

Is your closet crammed full of clothing and accessories that you haven’t worn in decades. Keeping clothes that we have outgrown, whether they don’t fit of we simply don’t like them anymore, can add to morning frustration. Digging through unnecessary amounts of clothes to find what you want to wear can really slow things down. Just keep your few favorite items and save yourself the trouble of looking through a maze of clothes.

3. A Place for Everything, And Everything In It’s Place

Quitting disorganization cold turkey may seem like an intimidating process, but you can take baby steps. Start with the items that bring the most frustration to your household. Remote controls, for instance can seem to disappear without a trace. Make a short list of items that you find yourself looking for more often that using, assign them a place, and return them there every time you are done with them.

4. Keep the Beast That Is Your Inbox Under Control

You have heard about email management before, and there is a reason why. Email in-boxes have a tendency to feast on junk and become wildly under-managed. I personally have had times that I avoided checking my email altogether because I ended up on so many crazy, suffocating mailing lists. First lesson here, consider having more than one email address. Have emails that you rarely use or respond to sent to one, and important things sent to another. Second, don’t be afraid to use the master check button and hit the magical delete button after a quick scan to check for stuff you actually need.

5. Make an Organized Work Space A Priority

Every night before I close my laptop I do a super-fast clean up. Put the pens back in the holder, put papers away, and carry any dishes or trash out. There is nothing worse for organization than a continually expanding pile of papers and documents you no longer need. Waking up to a clean space makes a huge difference in my level of motivation for the day. By keeping things tidy and in their place you won’t lose productivity from a messy desk.

6. Own Your Stuff

Do not let your possessions drown you. If you have a hard time parting with things that just complicate your life, set some ground rules you are comfortable with, and that are tailored to your habits. If you tend to buy things “you think you might need” because they are a good deal, you may want to enact a rule that you can only purchase things you will use in the near future. Do you keep things you don’t need? Set a clear goal that you will get rid of a certain amount of items on a regular basis, such as 25 items every season.

7. End Plastic Container Confusion

Spare lids or tubs with no mate can pile up quickly in the kitchen. When storage containers cease to have a mate, it is time for them to go! This is the case with any paired items. If you have a sock, mitten, or other accessories riding solo, there is no reason to keep them around.

8. Handle the Plastic Bag Pileup

Most people have a tendency to let bags from the grocery store pile up. For some reason people assume they will need them at a later time. Reuse the ones you can, and on a regular basis take the rest back for recycling. Most stores offer it and it takes less than five minutes to run them in.

9. Open the Mail Over The Recycle Bin

Mail can pile up easily. Do you have old magazines, coupons, or other advertisement offers just lying around your home? Make a plan to throw away mail that you don’t immediately need. It will feel less daunting to handle the shorter stack of mail right away. Tear out articles you want to keep and throw the rest of the magazine away. You will be amazed how much less will be left over to deal with when you plan on discarding needless mail.

10. Keep the Car Clutter Cleaned Out

The car can become a natural trash receptacle if we’re not careful. On your way into the house take any trash, coffee cups, or anything else with you. You’re headed inside anyway, may as well skip having to do it later. Uncluttering and organizing your life takes a little motivation and a little planning. If you have a hard time throwing away things you don’t need, there is a good chance you’re a clutter bug. Learn to prioritize what you need and be willing to let go of the many things that you lay stagnant around your home or office. Your life will be much less hectic if you do. This is a guest post by Tim. Tim is an expert on all things to do with vacuum bags because he’s been working with products like Miele hoover bags at his job in Manchester. Photo credit: M.Markus