As a professional organizer, I’m often asked about what products I recommend for people to use when organizing their homes. It’s a good idea to think about what NOT to do in order to reduce the clutter.
Here are some things to avoid if you want to truly eliminate clutter in your home:
- Stacks of magazines – Even if you have a magazine rack, it’s a good idea to purge some every week or two.
- Unidentifiable keys – If you have no idea whose keys you have or what they unlock, consider tossing.
- Too much shelving – Plain walls can be calming.
- Large file cabinets – How many files do you currently need at home? Unless you have a home office, you probably could use a 2-3 drawer cabinet and/or a safe for all of your important papers.
- Too many storage containers – When you have containers, you’re likely to fill them. That might get things put away, but they can still become clutter. Under the bed containers, closets full of containers, think “less is more.”
- Textbooks that are no longer relevant – Textbooks are becoming outdated quickly especially in the science and technology fields.
- Old medications – They expire. Get rid of them when they do.
- Old cosmetics – Using old cosmetics can lead to infections. No one wants that.
- Plastic containers that are missing lids or lids that have no containers – If you don’t have both pieces, they’re no longer useful. Containers that have been warped by the microwave or damaged by the dishwasher can also be trashed or recycled.
- Damaged bed linens and towels – Clear out the linen closet, purge some things and put back what you use and need. Pet rescues can often use towels even if they are torn or stained.
- Small appliances that are never used or multiples of appliances – These things are taking up valuable space, often times on counters which can make your kitchen look cluttered.
- Packed refrigerator – Old food and/or condiments and things that have been in the freezer forever can make you sick.
- Stuffing closets to capacity – Most people only wear about 20% of the clothing they own. Get rid of a few things and donate them so someone else can make use of them.
- Overfilling kitchen cabinets – Unless you have a huge family, you probably don’t need all of the stuff you have. The MD SPCA can use some of those things, like measuring cups and muffin tins. You’ll get a tax deduction for donating them (and old towels).
- Most importantly, don’t get comfortable having clutter around your home. When the dining room table can’t be used because it’s housing a bunch of stuff, it’s no longer a place to eat.
When clutter gets to the point where you no longer notice it’s there, it’s time to make a change. Need help? Contact me for more information.