7 Real Tips For Beating Clutter

The following post is from Rachel of The Minimalist Mom:

7 Real Tips For Beating Clutter at lifeyourway.net
source: evan p.cordes

Waiting in the doctor’s office I spied a title on the cover of a magazine: 7 Ways to Beat Clutter.

I’m always looking for interesting ways to get rid of stuff. A few flips of the magazine pages, and I’m at the two page spread on clutter busting. A quick glance and I shut the magazine.

Every single thing on the list is an organizer or basket. A jewelry box that holds dozens of pairs of earrings. Shoe racks. Out of season clothing storage containers.

We can’t beat clutter by buying more stuff. We just end up spending even more time picking up and putting away and folding and organizing and hunting around for the other half of the pair.

1. Buy less stuff.

When the impulse hits you, when you’re in that clearance home wares store and they have a ridiculous sale on the super fun Zebra patterned ottoman, the one you have no place for in your home, when it seems like a must buy, just stop.

Put the item down. Leave the store. Sleep on it.

By far the easiest way to beat clutter is to bring fewer things into your home.

2. Sign up for paperless statements and only keep receipts for non-consumables over a certain value.

Aren’t we supposed to be living the paperless revolution? E-signatures and e-bills and e-statements were supposed to save us from all that paper clutter. Instead, many of us are shuffling paper back and forth and watching it pile up in our home office or take over drawers in our kitchen.

Go paperless. Only keep receipts over a certain value for things that you may return or that have a warranty.

3. Replace or Repair.

Don’t hold onto things that are broken. Repair or replace them as soon as you can. Even better, if you’ve been living with the broken item just fine, even with it out of commission, sell or recycle that thing and don’t replace it at all. Maybe you didn’t need it in the first place.

4. Say no to free stuff.

We can say no to the free mug that comes with opening an account or the plastic toys that come with the child’s meal. Simply say, no thank you.

Free with purchase doesn’t mean you have to take that item home with you.

5. Practice two habits: make your bed and hang up your coat.

Bust clutter with small habits that stack up for a tidier home. Make your bed and hang up your coat. Teach the kids to do the same.

6. Find people to share with and give to.

Hobbies evolve, needs change and children grow out of clothes. Find a donation center nearby or one that will pick-up items. When you find that family with children all a year to two younger than yours, ask if they would like outgrown clothes. It’s easier to stay on top of our stuff and keep clutter at bay when we can easily pass on our unneeded items to others.

7. Only shop with a list.

This goes for groceries and everything else you step into a brick and mortar or online store for. Do not let a sale and a whim push you to buy things you don’t need. Be deliberate about what you purchase and you’ll make fewer bad buys and have less clutter at home.

We so often think that clutter is a storage problem.

We tell ourselves that if we had a bigger home or better drawer organizers there would be less laundry on the floor and those piles of opened mail would disappear. The truth is that we don’t need anything other than a few new habits and a bit of time to beat clutter.

Which one or two of these tips will your put in to practice?  Do you have any tips to add?

Rachel Jonat is a world medalist rower turned marketing professional turned SAHM/writer. At The Minimalist Mom, Rachel writes about living a rich life with less stuff. Currently living on a windswept island in the middle of the Irish Sea, Rachel owns two pairs of jeans, loves taking the bus and is attempting to become a tea drinker.